Nutrition Diabetes Affects About 23 Thesis

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Nutrition

Diabetes affects about 23 million -- almost 8% -- of the American population (American Diabetes Association). Many Americans may be unaware that they have the condition. Most Americans with Diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is the inability to properly metabolize glucose and produce insulin. Type 1 Diabetes is also the body's inability to metabolize or produce insulin, "a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life," (American Diabetes Association). Type 2 Diabetes is usually preventable and caused by lifestyle and dietary habits. Type 1 Diabetes is usually passed down from generation to generation and is diagnosed in young children.

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Diabetes is related to a number of health problems, including oral health problems. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) diabetes is related to "tooth decay, peridonatl (gum) disease, salivary gland dysfunction, fungal infections, lichen plantus and related skin diseases, infection and delayed healing, and taste impairment." The reason why diabetes can increase oral health hazards is that persons with diabetes cannot metabolize glucose properly and therefore saliva has a high amount of bacteria in it. That bacteria causes tooth decay and gum disease (ADA). Persons who do not brush and floss their teeth regularly are at an even greater risk for developing oral health problems. When teeth are not brushed and flossed regularly, a plaque builds up and later hardens into tartar. Tartar is a calcification, a hard substance that is difficult to remove except by an oral health professional. When tartar builds up on teeth, it can cause inflammation of the gums and infections (ADA). Preventing gum disease and tooth decay depends both on diet and also on hygiene habits.

Thesis on Nutrition Diabetes Affects About 23 Million -- Assignment

Oral health is only one of the possible effects of having diabetes. Diabetes also causes other health problems such as heart disease. Managing diet and especially intake of sugar helps diabetics manage their symptoms and improve overall health. Persons diagnosed with diabetes should avoid refined sugars and simple carbohydrates in favor of small amounts of natural sweeteners and complex carbohydrates. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible, but not too many starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and peas. Fruits and vegetables are best eaten fresh, because canned and frozen vegetables contain additives like salt and sugar that can exacerbate the condition of diabetes. Starchy vegetables are healthy in small portions and best when fresh, too.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is important for the diabetic's overall health, and can also prevent diabetes in individuals who might be at risk. One reason why eating fresh fruits and vegetables improves the health of diabetics and reduces their risk for complications is that those foods are satisfying. Eating large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables helps people feel good about what they are eating and become more likely to eat less unhealthy processed foods. Processed foods are the ones that contain the highest amount of sugars, sodium, and chemical additives. Those are the substances that can cause Type 2 Diabetes or make the problem worse. Another reason why eating fresh fruits and vegetables improves the health and oral health of diabetics is that they are lower in glucose than processed foods. Finally, fresh fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other nutrients that help the body stay healthy. The vitamins and minerals found in fresh foods help the body stay strong and fight off infection. The American Dental Association notes that diabetes already reduces the body's ability to fight infection. Therefore, diabetics are especially at risk for acquiring another disease and should eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.

Nutrition is one of the most important factors in preventing and treating diabetes, no matter what type of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is the hardest type to manage. Hypoglycemia is a common… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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