Whether you were recently diagnosed with diabetes or a friend or family member has the disease, you're probably interested in learning more about this serious, potentially debilitating disease. As you scour the Internet and magazines, you’re likely to come across good and bad information. That is why it’s important to enlist the help of healthcare professionals so that you get facts instead of fiction.

Here’s a look at three diabetes myths.

Myth 1: Type 2 diabetes is not that serious of a disease. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and many more are unaware that they are at risk for developing it. If not properly managed, diabetes can affect many major organs, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Diabetes also can lead to death. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined.

Myth 2: People with diabetes can never have sweets. If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan and combined with exercise, people with type 2 diabetes can enjoy sweets in moderation. Since sweets often contain empty calories as well as a lot of sugar, which can significantly raise blood glucose levels, it’s important to limit your consumption. For better glucose control, sweets should be consumed only after a low-carb meal. For those who find it hard to only have sweets on special occasions, artificial sweeteners are an acceptable alternative. They have no carbohydrates and do not increase blood glucose levels.

Myth 3: Only overweight people are at risk for diabetes. It’s true that being overweight increases an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a diet high in sugars can contribute to weight gain. However, diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors that are not limited to weight. Diabetes occurs when an individual’s body does not properly use insulin or produce enough insulin, which can occur even if you’re not overweight.

'Medi-Weightloss Clinics® can provide you with nutrition and exercise education to help you lose weight and improve your overall health. For more information on Medi-Weightloss Clinics®, visit www.mediweightlossclinics.com or call 1.877.MED.LOSS.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. You must see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.