19 Facts Most People Don't Know About Type 2 Diabetes

    Let's talk about one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world.

    Before we talk about the myths, let's define type 2 diabetes.

    1. There are many different risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.

    2. Type 2 diabetes is not a deficiency or absence of insulin.

    3. Insulin resistance isn't just caused by eating too many sweets.

    4. Genetics play a small role, but a family history doesn't mean you'll definitely develop T2D.

    5. You don't have to be overweight to develop T2D.

    6. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes aren't mutually exclusive. You can actually have both.

    7. You can get T2D pretty much any time of your life.

    8. Many women develop diabetes during pregnancy, even if they didn't have it before.

    9. For most people, the first line of treatment involves lifestyle changes.

    10. Tweaking your diet can really help with managing diabetes.

    11. Exercise can actually help blood sugar and insulin requirements, too.

    12. Insulin shots don't instantly relieve symptoms or make it better.

    13. There isn't one strict diet for people with T2D.

    14. But yes, most people with T2D will have to drastically reduce the amount of added sugar in their diets.

    15. Ideally we would catch prediabetes before it progresses to T2D, but that's not always possible.

    16. You can't cure type 2 diabetes, but you can reverse it.

    "You can reverse type two diabetes to the extent that you have regulated blood sugar and you don't need as much or any medication," Fink says. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it's completely cured as people still have to monitor their diabetes status and health for the rest of their lives.

    "Even if you somewhat reverse it, you are always at very high risk because you still technically have T2D and can develop serious symptoms again," Fink says. But a combination of medication and insulin, a diabetic-friendly diet, and exercise can help tremendously to lower blood glucose down to around normal from a hyperglycemic state. "It's not easy and takes a lot of hard work so every patient still needs to find the best lifestyle treatment option for their own needs and daily life," Fink says.

    17. Even though it's a chronic and often unnoticed condition, T2D can still be very serious and even fatal.

    18. Socioeconomic factors can also affect your risk of developing T2D.

    19. T2D is a complex diagnosis — not something that's "your fault."