A new study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, indicates that Americans have approximately a 40 percent risk of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Many amputees already have diabetes, and many more are at increased risk for the disease due to a sedentary lifestyle. Nutrition counseling provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can help reduce the risk of diabetes and its related health problems through lifestyle and dietary changes, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Health professionals are in agreement that nutrition services are one of the first treatments individuals should receive to improve conditions such as diabetes and its related complications,” said Angela Ginn, RDN, certified diabetes educator, and Academy spokesperson. “Research has shown that weight loss through moderate diet changes and physical activity plays a significant role in reducing a person’s risk of diabetes and its complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and other health problems,” Ginn continues. “A registered dietitian nutritionist is one of your best resources for developing a plan to make these lifestyle changes….For those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, an RDN can create an eating plan tailored just for you, taking into account your weight, medicines, lifestyle, and other health problems you may have. The expert advice of an RDN can help you manage your diabetes while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs.”
RDNs often work as part of a medical team in hospitals, physician offices, private practice, and other healthcare facilities. According to Ginn, insurance plans may cover nutrition counseling for chronic conditions or health concerns such as diabetes or prediabetes.
If you are interested in exploring medical nutrition therapy, consult your doctor. He or she can determine if it’s right for you and provide the appropriate referral to an RDN near you.
This article was adapted from information provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.