EXPERTS say diabetes is one of the most misunderstood health conditions. So to clear up any confusion about what is and isn't true, Diabetes Victoria has launched the Bust a Myth campaign, debunking the top five myths around living with diabetes.
"Diabetes-related stigma is a very real issue," said Diabetes Victoria chief executive Craig Bennett.
"Being questioned whether or not they can eat certain foods or being blamed for developing diabetes only adds to the pressure of managing and living with this complex health condition.
"Our Bust a Myth campaign gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about all types of diabetes and the myriad of misconceptions surrounding each."
Mr Bennett said people from all walks of life can develop diabetes.
"We need to ensure these people are supported - instead of being stigmatised - because we too often hear things about diabetes that are simply not true."
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational.
"Each type of diabetes has different underlying causes and may be best managed with different strategies," Mr Bennett said.
"However, once you develop diabetes, you will have to manage the condition every day for the rest of your life. There is a great need to raise awareness about this, in particular."
Five diabetes myths:
Myth 1: People with diabetes can't eat sugar
Fact: People with diabetes can eat what everyone else can eat. People with diabetes do not need "special foods" and there is no need for a zero-sugar diet.
Myth 2: People with diabetes can't play sport
Fact: As well as keeping fit and having fun, exercise is good for people living with diabetes, as it can help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Myth 3: People with diabetes don't live long lives
Fact: Once diabetes has been diagnosed, you will have to manage the condition for the rest of your life. But this doesn't mean it will be a short life.
Myth 4: People only get diabetes if they are overweight
Fact: Being overweight can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but people with diabetes look like everybody else - they come in all shapes, sizes, ages, gender identities and ethnicities.
Myth 5: People with diabetes can't do certain jobs
Fact: Some decades ago, there were many restrictions on the careers that people with diabetes could have. But times have changed, and so has diabetes management.