The incidence of diabetes has risen sharply in modern times, mainly because of changes in diet and more sedentary lifestyles. Not all the ‘facts’ floating around about this disease, though, are actually based on reality. Here’s a sampling of opinions that are downright incorrect.

1. Thin people don’t get diabetes. It’s true that about 85% of people who have Type2 diabetes are either obese or overweight, but even people with a healthy weight can become diabetic. Genes play a big role in occurrence, so if there’s a history of the disease in your family, you should get your blood sugar tested every couple of years to make sure you haven’t inherited it.

2. Diabetic people should not exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone should exercise, diabetes notwithstanding. Studies show that a regular exercise routine helps in managing and improving blood sugar levels. You need to find, in consultation with your doctor, an exercise regimen that is right for you.

3. Diabetics catch infections quickly. In fact, people with diabetes are no more likely to catch colds, flu or other infections than the next person. However, if you’re diabetic, it can be more difficult to control illnesses once you get them. Keep yourself protected by getting flu shots once the cold season begins.

4. There are no symptoms for diabetes. In fact, there are several indicators that are early warning signs. Feeling dehydrated in spite of drinking enough fluids, feeling lethargic and fatigued all the time, getting hunger pangs, losing weight without any change in diet, are all red flags you should pay attention to. They indicate that you should get a diagnostic blood test for sugar levels in your body.

5. Sugar is absolutely prohibited for diabetics. With both Type1 and Type 2 diabetes, total abstinence is neither advisable nor ever recommended by doctors. You just have to reduce and regulate your sugar intake. A consultation with your doctor will help you make the necessary adjustments in your diet that will ensure good health.