Over four million people are living with diabetes in UK, so most people will know a family member or friend who has the condition. Yet this serious and complex health condition remains hugely misunderstood, and there are many worrying misconceptions and myths around diabetes.

This Diabetes Week we aim to dispel some of the most common diabetes myths and set the record straight. Left untreated, or poorly managed, diabetes can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, stroke, and amputation making it critical that people with diabetes know the facts to manage their condition well. But it’s not just people living with diabetes who need to be clear on the truth about it; we need to make sure that everyone understands diabetes and the reality of living with the condition.

Living with diabetes shouldn’t stop anyone from living life to the full.

Sadly, almost everyone living with diabetes has a story of a time when misconceptions around their condition have been apparent, not only from strangers but those close to them - their family and friends. These include the belief that diabetics can’t eat sweets, shouldn’t participate in sports, or shouldn’t drive because of their condition. Though well intentioned, such misunderstandings can be hurtful and frustrating for people with diabetes and could, in worst case scenarios, lead to stigma and discrimination.

Living with diabetes shouldn’t stop anyone from living life to the full. But misconceptions and myths around diabetes can get in the way and this is why we have no time to lose in setting the record straight. In addition to a better understanding of diabetes across society, it is vital that people with diabetes have access to the care and support they need including diabetes health checks, diabetes services and education; with the support, knowledge and confidence to manage their condition well people with diabetes can live long healthy lives.