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Dietary Teaching For the Diabetic Client

When patients are diagnosed with diabetes, their world changes dramatically. Now they must monitor their glucose before eating and at bedtime, they must watch the sugar they eat and be aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and know what to do. This is a lot of information that can be processed for diabetics of any age. Type 1 diabetes patients tend to have diabetes in adolescence. Type 1 shows that they depend on insulin to control their blood sugar. Type II diabetics usually have diabetes later and they are given oral hypoglycemic agents to control their blood sugar.

A healthy diet can have a positive impact on the life of diabetics. Knowing what foods to eat and what foods to avoid are the basics for managing diabetes, as well as strict glycemic control. Therefore, nutrition intervention is the responsibility of the nurse, to help promote the health and well-being of the patient. Dietary recommendations for diabetes are similar to the National Cholesterol Education Program.

In diabetic patients, insulin production (an enzyme required by beta cells on Langerhan Island in the pancreas) is insufficient. In diabetes, insulin deficiency occurs at an early age, whereas in type II diabetes the insulin deficiency persists. Insufficient insulin allows the production of large amounts of glucose in the bloodstream.

Insulin is given subcutaneously or through a pill form, helping to transfer glucose from the bloodstream to the cell. Normal blood glucose levels range from 70 -120 mg / dl, although some literature suggests levels up to 145mg / dl as usual. Excessive amounts of glucose in the bloodstream can cause many health problems. Diabetes is directly related to the following diseases; Kidney disease, hypertension, peripheral neuropathy, glaucoma and heart disease. Therefore, it is important for diabetics to better understand what foods will benefit them.

Suggestions include choosing carbohydrates from cereals, fruits and vegetables. Consistency of carbohydrates eaten regularly for snacks and at meals is an important factor in glycemic control, more than the type of carbohydrate consumed. Diabetics who receive insulin or Lantus (long-term insulin) at night should be instructed to eat a snack in the middle of the night to avoid a dramatic decline in blood sugar at dawn.

Hypoglycaemia can be as dangerous as hyperglycemia. The signs and symptoms of each state mimic the other. The practical rule is to treat the beginning with either a quick-acting source of glucose, such as hard candy or fruit juice, and then check your blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can cause coma.

The brain is the only organ in the body that uses pure glucose. Therefore, by reducing only the brain food source, the brain will stop functioning. So, it's best to treat it with a quick-acting sugar first. This will not improve your blood sugar if your blood sugar is high. However, if people have low blood sugar, adding sugar can quickly save their lives. Of course, in a hospital setting, the nurse will immediately check the client's blood sugar with a glucometer.

Sucrose can replace starch without dramatically affecting blood sugar levels. Clients need to make a list of commonly used foods to eat on a regular basis and with the help of nurses restructuring their diet with choices from the food pyramid. Let clients choose the foods they want to replace. This will be their diet of life, and it is very important that they become the ones who shape how and what they eat. Patients should provide a password on the benefits of food and what type of sugar the food refers to.

Once patients can express their diet plans, and what kinds of foods are beneficial compared to foods that are just empty calories, patients will feel encouraged and become more involved in their blood glucose monitoring.

References: Dudek, Susan G., Nutritional Needs for Nursing Training Ed. Ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, copyright 2006



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