About 30.3 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes, making it the most common form of diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes are resistant to insulin and cannot create enough of it to compensate.

Here are five myths about type 2 diabetes that are widely believed but are definitely not true:

People with type 2 diabetes must avoid sugar entirely

Having a healthy diet with a minimal amount of sugar is obviously important, but not all sugars are bad as long as you are regulating how much you eat.

For example, fructose is a natural sugar that is found in fruit juices, fruits, a few vegetables and honey. It contains fiber, vitamins and minerals, which are good for you when eaten in proper amounts.

Only people who are overweight can get type 2 diabetes

Although people who are obese are highly prone to getting type 2 diabetes, people who are not overweight can also develop diabetes.

About 12.5% of adults who have type 2 diabetes are not obese or overweight. In reverse, some people who are obese or overweight do not have diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin

Whether or not you need insulin depends on multiple factors; just because you have diabetes does not mean you have to take insulin.

Your doctor may ask you to maintain a healthy diet and get regular exercise in the beginning instead of starting you off with insulin right away. In addition, other treatment options — such as oral medication — are available.

If you take insulin, you do not have to change your lifestyle

Some people with diabetes believe that taking insulin or oral medications gives them a “free pass,” which means they do not need to change their diet or exercise patterns.

This is not true — maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to regulating your diabetes. Insulin is an added treatment on top of having a proper diet and exercise routine.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms are obvious

Symptoms include but are not limited to increased hunger and thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, infections, weight loss and frequent urination.

However, despite the symptoms, some people live without even realizing they have type 2. Many times, you will have a slow development of these symptoms or no symptoms at all. One out of four people with type 2 diabetes do not even know they have the disease.

Author: Julie Kang

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