Medical Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes

Topics: Diabetes mellitus, Blood sugar, Glucose tolerance test Pages: 9 (2460 words) Published: July 15, 2010
Medical Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes

By Scott Roberts


Diabetes is one of America’s most troubling medical issues, with over 23.6 million children and adults in the United States currently diagnosed with it. Food and lifestyle choices are fundamental to diabetes care. The role of the dietitian in the treatment of diabetes’ patients is crucial not only while in the hospital, but in the continued management after they are discharged. A thorough nutritional assessment should be at the core of any diabetes’ patient care plan to help reach the goals of the entire multi-disciplinary team. In this paper, we will discuss the factors that go into the medical nutrition therapy of a patient with diabetes and the desired outcomes.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to, insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin enables cells to absorb glucose in order to turn it into energy. In patients with diabetes, the body either fails to properly respond to its own insulin, does not make enough insulin, or both. This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood, often leading to various complications.


There are several types of Diabetes that result in different conditions, but it can mostly be classified into 3 major groups. Diabetes Mellitus Type 1: Once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, this is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin (the hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy). Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or simply doesn’t make enough. Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure, though it can be managed. With proper treatment, people who have type 1 diabetes can expect to live longer, healthier lives than ever before.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin completely. Unlike type 1, type 2 patents don’t always rely on insulin and can take drugs to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.

Gestational Diabetes: This is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Like other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the way your body uses sugar (glucose) — your body's main source of fuel. Gestational diabetes can cause high blood sugar levels that are unlikely to cause problems for the adult, but can threaten the health and life of an unborn baby.


Diabetes Mellitus Type 1: Various factors may contribute to type 1 diabetes, including genetics and exposure to certain viruses. Although type 1 diabetes typically appears during adolescence, it can develop at any age.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: This is caused by a complicated interplay of genes, environment, insulin abnormalities, increased glucose production in the liver, increased fat breakdown, and possibly defective hormonal secretions in the intestine. The recent dramatic increase indicates that lifestyle factors (obesity and sedentary lifestyle) may be particularly important in triggering the genetic elements that cause this type of diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes: During pregnancy, the placenta that surrounds the growing baby produces high levels of a variety of hormones. Almost all of them impair the action of insulin in the tissues, thereby raising blood sugar. Modest elevation of blood sugar after meals is normal during pregnancy.

As the baby grows, the placenta produces more and more insulin-interfering hormones. In gestational diabetes, the placental hormones provoke a rise in blood sugar to a level that can affect the growth and development of your baby. Gestational diabetes usually develops during the last half of pregnancy — rarely as early as the 20th week, but often not until later in the...

Cited: • Forsmark CE. “Chronic Pancreatitis.” In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Sleisenger MH (eds). Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management, 7th Edition. Saunders, 2002.
• Butler SO, Btaiche IF, Alaniz C. Relationship between hyperglycemia and infection in critically ill patients. Pharmacotherapy. 2005;25(7):963-976.
• Van den Berghe G, Wouters P, Weekers F, et al. Intensive insulin therapy in critically ill patients. N Engl J Med. 2001;345(19):1359-1367.
• Van den Berghe G, Wilmer A, Hermans G, et al. Intensive insulin therapy in the medical ICU. N Engl J Med. 2006;354(5):449-461.
• Lacy CF, Armstrong LL, Goldman MP, et al. Drug Information Handbook: A Comprehensive Resource for All Clinicians and Healthcare Professionals, 15th Edition. Hudson, Ohio: Lexi-Comp, Inc., 2007.
• Boucher JL, Swift CS, Franz MJ, et al. Inpatient management of diabetes and hyperglycemia: Implications for nutrition practice and the food and nutrition professional. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107(1):105-111.
• McCray S, Walker S, Parrish CR. Much ado about refeeding. Pract Gastroenteroly. 2005;29(1):26-44.
• Jones MP. Management of diabetic gastroparesis. Nutr Clin Pract. 2004;19(2):145-153.
• Parrish C, Yoshida C. Nutrition Intervention for the patient with gastroparesis: An update. Pract Gastroenterol. 2005;29:29-66.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • diabetes Essay
  • Diabetes Nutrition Essay
  • diabetes Essay
  • Nutrition and Type 2 Diabetes Essay
  • nutrition Essay
  • nutrition Essay
  • Essay about nutrition
  • Diabetes Mellitus Nutrition assignment Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free