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Diabetes

Medical nutritional therapy is an important component of diabetes management. The dietician offers nutritional advice to such patients based on their age, personal choices, lifestyle, and medical factors. Further, the dietitians also consider eating patterns, culture, beliefs, and food availability while developing customized nutritional strategies. Adequate nutrition is crucial in lowering blood sugar levels and weight management. In addition, adherence to a diabetes-friendly diet significantly lowers the likelihood of diabetic complications.

"Nutrition"

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  • Prediabetes: Nutritional interventions play a crucial role in slowing the progression of prediabetes to diabetes. After being diagnosed with prediabetes (blood sugar level between 100 and 125 mg/dL), the person should consult with a dietitian expert to provide a diet chart to patients with abnormal blood sugar levels.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: In this condition, the pancreas of the patients produces no or very little insulin. In patients with type 1 diabetes, diet and insulin therapy play an important role in maintaining blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of diabetic complications.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: The cells become resistant to insulin in type 2 diabetes. Sugar in the blood is not utilized by the cells, leading to an increase in its level. Medical nutrition therapy assists in managing existing diabetes and lowers the rate of developing diabetic complications.
  • GDM: It is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). It occurs due to the inability of the cells to use the sugar in the blood because of the hormones secreted from the placenta. After delivery, the symptoms of gestational diabetes usually disappear. However, careful control of the blood sugar level with medicines and nutrition is important to prevent complications for the baby and the mother.

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Some of the complications of diabetes are:

  • Nerve damage: Patients with prolonged uncontrolled sugar levels may experience numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. It may be because of damage to the blood vessels that nourish the nerves.
  • Kidney damage: Diabetes may also damage the kidney's filtering system. Patients with kidney dysfunction may also develop high blood pressure.
  • Eye diseases: The eye may also have complications due to diabetes. The most common part affected is the retina, which leads to diabetic retinopathy. The patients may have partial or complete vision loss due to diabetes. It is recommended that diabetic patients get their eyes checked at least once a year.
  • Skin and mouth complications: There is a higher risk of fungal and bacterial infections in patients with diabetes.
  • Foot complications: Patients with diabetes may also have foot complications. It may be due to reduced blood supply leading to nerve damage. Patients may also have an ulcer in the foot that may lead to foot amputation.
  • Cardiovascular conditions: Patients with diabetes are also at increased risk for cardiovascular conditions, such as stroke, atherosclerosis, and heart attack.
  • Other complications: The other complications of diabetes include Alzheimer's disease, hearing impairment, and depression.

Genetics plays a crucial role in developing diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. However, it is not the only factor. Several other factors contribute to the risk of developing this condition.

Some of the measures that can help in reducing the risk of diabetes complications are:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Consume medicines as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Schedule regular doctor's appointments and don't skip them.
  • Undergo routine eye and kidney examination
  • Get all the vaccines at the appropriate time
  • Manage blood pressure and cholesterol level
  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Take care of your feet and teeth
  • Incorporate exercise and healthy food into your daily routine