T1 Diabetes Myths

“There will be a cure in the next 5 years!”

Most diabetics have heard some version of this. When I was first diagnosed, I was told “There will be a cure in your lifetime”. However, if you hang around the T1 community long enough, you’ll find doctors have been telling us this since the 1980’s or longer. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a cure one day, just perhaps we shouldn’t attach a specific timeline to it unless we’re 100% sure. 

There are “free foods”

This and other similar myths like, “Vegetables don’t have carbs”, “<10 g carb servings are free carbohydrates that don’t require bolus” can be particularly dangerous. Personally, I can see the effect of 1 g of carb on my BGs and even 0 carb food will affect blood sugar in some way. 

“You can eat whatever you want as long as you dose for it”

It’s true that you can keep normal blood sugar levels no matter what you eat, if you learn to dose correctly for it. That doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and still be healthy. Foods that are unhealthy for normal people are still unhealthy for diabetics, even if we can keep blood sugars steady and in range. Proper insulin dosing is NOT a license to eat all of the chips, candy, cheese, [insert your favorite unhealthy food here], etc. that you want.

“You will be cured with…”

This myth typically comes in the form of “advice” given by non-diabetics who will tell you their aunt’s second cousin cured themselves with diet, exercise, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, etc. None of these things will cause your pancreas to start producing insulin again, and therefore will not cure your T1.

“Change your lancet after every finger stick”

I don’t know a single diabetic who does this. This doesn’t mean you never have to change it, as they will get dull eventually but you can absolutely get more than one use out of it without doing any harm to yourself. Similarly, I’ve been able to extend my sensors longer than the recommended 7 days (I believe other models are recommended up to 14 days but my longest was 21 days with the Guardian) without problems. Check out the diabetes support groups to learn how to do this if you’re interested since I’m not intending to play doctor on the internet.  

Timing myths like..

“You have to eat everything you bolus for in 30 minutes”, “Don’t stack insulin”, “Don’t correct a high until 3 or 4 hours later”, etc. Some of these things may help to keep you safe early on but can often actually lead to high blood sugars. As you learn how to manage your diabetes more effectively, you can throw some of these timing rules out the window and have much better control because of it. Check out my Tips & Tricks page for more information on this.

Photo Credit: Joe Longo

What are your favorite T1 myths? Let me know in the comments!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

Published by Jenny Nat


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