Eat Healthy

Nutrition and Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease with potentially devastating consequences. About 80,000 Utahns, or about four out of every 100 residents, have been diagnosed with diabetes. Approximately, another 40,000 have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.

Over 1,000 Utahns die every year from diabetes-related causes. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies for diabetes.

People who have, or think they may have diabetes should see a health care provider immediately. A doctor willl monitor your diabetes control and help you learn to manage your diabetes. In addition, people with diabetes may need to see an endocrinologist - a doctor who specializes in diabetes care; an ophthalmologist for eye examinations; a podiatrist for routine foot care; as well as dietitians and diabetes educators who teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management.

Questions about Diabetes? Ask Ginny!

For more information on diabetes and eating healthy, visit the American Diabetes Association website or call 1-888-222-2542 for more information.

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