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Five diabetes myths, busted
June 24th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

Five diabetes myths, busted

David Kendall, M.D., is the chief scientific and medical officer of the The American Diabetes Association. The group’s 71st Scientific Sessions begin Friday in San Diego, California, with presentations of the latest research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes.

Each year diabetes accounts for more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is ever more manageable because of advances in medication, a better understanding of blood glucose monitoring and new technologies for delivering insulin, uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes still remains the leading cause of blindness in adults, kidney failure and amputation.

There are many myths about diabetes - myths that can do much harm. Many believe that diabetes is “just a touch of sugar,” or only something we develop in later life.
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With diabetes, don't focus on blame
April 15th, 2011
11:20 AM ET

With diabetes, don't focus on blame

David Kendall, M.D., is the chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association

One of the most common misconceptions about diabetes is that the people who develop the chronic disease somehow brought it on themselves. Many believe that people develop type 1 diabetes because of eating too much sugar. Similarly, many believe that people develop type 2 diabetes as a result of overeating and being overweight or obese.

The simple fact is that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes develop as a result of both human factors (genetics and family history in particular) and environmental factors. Scientists have shown that certain genes predispose a person to develop diabetes, while a variety of environmental factors contribute to (or trigger) the development of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes results when the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes develops when the cells of the body become resistant to the effect of insulin, and the insulin-producing cells ultimately make less insulin than is necessary.
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