Howdy folks! I’m excited to introduce you today to Adam Bruk. Adam is currently the Outreach and Philanthorpy Coordinator for Socks4Life. If you don’t know about Socks4Life, it’s time to check them out. Socks4Life is – you guessed it – is a sock vendor, but they offer so much more than that. I first met Adam when he reached out for feedback on putting together a diabetes resource guide for their website. Besides providing a host of diabetes-friendly socks, Socks4Life has also created valuable, thoughtful, patient-driven resources for people with diabetes, found here on the their website. In addition, Socks4Life is committed to diabetes research and support of diabetes organizations. Adam tells us “…we’re a proud sponsor of the American Diabetes Association and were very active in fund raising for the local Step Out walk here in Indianapolis. We also just recognized World Diabetes Day on November 14th by donating 10% of our proceeds to diabetes research. The Diabetes Resource Guide is just one part of our efforts – we’ll continue to participate at a local and national level (monetary and non-monetary) to do what we can until a cure is found.”
We truly appreciate the fact that Socks4Life really “walks the walk” (every pun intended), and truly shows support for their customers through providing these resources. In honor of Diabetes Month, Adam and his crew also put together the cool logo you see below – it was designed to bring some of the more sobering facts about diabetes to light, but to also remind us that with good control, we don’t have to be part of the scary stats. (Get the logo here) The logo was also created to help dispel some of the most common diabetes myths, something all of us with diabetes have to deal with. In support of kicking those stereotypes to the curb, Adam was kind enough to write a guest post for us about some of the most common myths people with diabetes, and especially Type 1s, deal with. Do you have a relative who’s constantly asking “can you eat that” that you’ll see tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner? Might be a good time to print out this guest post as an FYI for them :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all! Many thanks to Adam and Socks4Life for the guest post!
The Truth Behind Diabetes
By Adam Bruk
Spreading awareness of the facts surrounding diabetes should be done every day, not just during national diabetes month. Despite hundreds of reputable resources on the internet that provide the facts, myths and misconceptions still spread like wildfire, especially ones related to type 1 diabetes. Here are a few of the popular myths my team repeatedly came across when conducting research for our diabetes guide:
People develop type 1 diabetes due to lifestyle factors
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Considering the audience I’m writing to, you know that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body is unable to produce insulin on its own. Lifestyle factors play no role at all in determining whether one develops type 1. In fact, lifestyle factors aren’t as big of a factor as many believe it to be in determining whether one will develop type 2 diabetes. Think about how many people you know that are overweight, yet don’t have diabetes. Genetics and family history play a stronger role in determining whether one will develop type 2 diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes can’t eat any sugar
A good friend of mine and childhood neighbor Michael has type 1 diabetes and used to get annoyed by this myth. When our friends would host parties, they would have a separate plate of sugar free foods for him. When I was home a few months ago, we went to a barbecue where the hostess told him she had a sugar free selection of desserts specifically for him. He politely thanked her, but told her that he could eat the regular desserts. She then asked him if he would be ok with doing so and feared he would develop hypoglycemia! He chuckled a bit and politely said that he would be ok.
People with type 1 diabetes are likely to pass it along to their children
Simply not true! The JDRF states that 80% of people with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the disease. You should monitor your child’s blood sugar levels, but don’t put off pregnancy because you don’t want your child to have the disease. This is the worst myth we came across. Imagine how you would feel if you were dating someone and your significant other said they couldn’t be with you because they wanted to have kids without diabetes?
Those of us that are knowledgeable about diabetes get a small chuckle from hearing these ridiculous myths and misconceptions. I remember when Michael used to get annoyed when people asked him if he was sure he could eat sugar, and now politely says its ok and laughs it off. But when I put myself in his shoes, I don’t know how he has the patience to politely correct people several times and inform them of the facts. He’s mentioned to me before that it does get annoying after awhile, but he’s learned to deal with it. It’s important for everyone, regardless of whether you have diabetes or not, to help spread the truth behind diabetes here.