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Dr. Zack Debunks Diabetes Myths

Diabetes is a Serious Disease Which Carries Myths and Stigmas. Knowledge is Power in th Management of Diabetes

Diabetes is a Serious Disease Which Carries Myths and Stigmas. Knowledge is Power in th Management of Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which is intended to education the public about the disease. There are many myths, misconceptions and stereotypes associated with this disease, which leads the public to see a picture of diabetes that really isn’t completely accurate. Most people do not consider diabetes to be as serious a disease as it really is. In fact, diabetes can be a serious and often deadly disease if not managed properly – complications cause more deaths annually than breast cancer and AIDS combined – and statistics report that 2 out of 3 diabetics sufferer from heart disease or stroke. Dr. Zack would like to share information about diabetes to shatter the myths for good.


Myth: You can catch diabetes from someone else.

Fact: No. It is not contagious, but there may be a genetic link involved, particularly for Type II diabetes.


Myth: You will develop Type II diabetes at some point if you are overweight or obese.

Fact: It is true that obesity is a risk factor for developing this disease, but there are other risk factors which also contribute to the potential for Type II diabetes, such as age, heredity and family history, and ethnicity. There are many diabetics who are of normal weight or with a borderline BMI, and the disease does not arise in the majority of overweight people. If that were the case, according to the CDC, approximately 69% of the population in the U.S. would develop diabetes.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: This myth is not totally true, nor is it totally false. Type I diabetes has no relationship to lifestyle – the onset is triggered by genetics and still unknown factors, and in actuality weight loss is one of the symptoms, so for Type I diabetes the myth is false.  However, both lifestyle and genetics contribute towards Type II diabetes. Although it does not cause the disease, the risk for developing Type II diabetes does increase when a person is overweight. For many of those who are overweight, a high calorie diet from any type of unhealthy food choice – sugars, processed carbs, fast foods, and high fat content – contributes to weight gain. Research has indicated a direct link between Type II diabetes and sugary drinks, which raise blood glucose levels and add hundreds of calories (equivalent to 7 to 10 teaspoons of sugar) in just a single glass!


Myth: You can’t eat chocolate or other foods with processed sugar if you have diabetes.

Fact: This applies to everyone, diabetic or not – the key to consuming foods containing added sugars is this: eat them only on special occasions; only eat a few mouthfuls and then take it away; focus on filling up during the meal with more healthful foods.  If candy, sweets and desserts comprise just a very small part of an overall healthy meal program combined with an exercise and weight lossplan, people with diabetes can tolerate them. Bottom line – everything in moderation for everyone.

Myth: Diabetics need to limit eating starchy foods like bread, potatoes and pasta.

Fact: Again, portion size is key to consuming foods high in carbs. Foods with higher carbohydrate content can be consumed in moderation when paired with a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fat, moderate in salt and sugar, heavy on lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruit. Think no more than 45-60 grams of carbs per meal for diabetics, depending on your individual management plan.

Myth: You are at higher risk of getting a cold or flu if you have diabetes.

Fact: False. The potential for catching such illnesses does not increase. However, the risk of developing sometimes serious complications with any illness is increased with diabetes due to a reduced ability to fight infection. Dr. Zack advises everyone to get their immunizations.

Myth: If you need to use insulin with Type II diabetes you aren’t managing your diabetes properly.

Fact: Type II diabetes tends to be progressive disease and over time the amount of insulin produced by the body can continue to decrease despite proper management with oral medication, diet and exercise. At that point, use of insulin to restore blood glucose levels to a healthy level is not an indication of neglect. It can be a lifesaver.


Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder and knowledge is power in the management of the disease under Dr. Zack’s medical supervision and treatment. Johns Creek Dermatology and Family Medicine encourages all current and prospective patients with concerns about diabetes to make an office appointment. Our office is conveniently located for patients residing in greater metropolitan Atlanta, including Alpharetta, Cumming, Roswell, Suwanee, Dawsonville, Duluth, and Johns Creek.

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