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The importance of nutrition in autoimmune diabetes

Spoon with sugar

Glucose is our body's main source of energy. It is distributed through the bloodstream to organs and tissues, but what happens when this energy is not distributed correctly? How does it affect our vital functions?

The entry of glucose into the bloodstream is regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. This organ is therefore vital for our survival and yet it is one of the most important organs in the body. causes major health problems worldwide.

Diabetes is, in general, a disease that defines the inability of the pancreas to produce and control insulin production. According to the WHO, diabetes is one of the seven leading causes of death worldwide. Why is this? There are different types of diabetes and each is manifested by a combination of different factors.

In fact, the diabetes melitus is a type of diabetes characterised by insufficient insulin production. (type 1a is a autoimmune disease(diabetes 1b is an idiopathic disease) while type II diabetes is a metabolic disease that prevents the body from using insulin correctly and is more lifestyle or overweight related.

In any case, nutrition is a determining factor both for prevention and to support treatment.The food we eat can help us to control blood glucose intake and thus compensate for poor insulin production or regulation.

In particular, how can diet help in autoimmune diabetes?

Diet in the treatment of autoimmune diabetes

Autoimmune diabetes - diabetes 1a - is a pathology that arises because of the pancreas is damaged by the body's own defence cells. The blood glucose level rises because the pancreas loses its ability to produce insulin.

This accumulation of blood in the body, hyperglycaemia, can lead to damage to various organs - especially the kidneys, feet, eyes, heart and arteries - which is why it is so important to control this disease. To the pharmacological treatment, which is based on the supply of insulin, We can help with dietary regulation and healthy habits.

As with other autoimmune diseases, there is a genetic predisposition to the disease, but the causes are not known. However, the regulatory treatment with insulin has to be accompanied by treatment of the causes of the disease, with a integral vision such as the one we have at Biosalud Day Hospital.

The physiological factors, lifestyle and emotional factors must cooperate to treat this disease which requires care and regular daily monitoring - some people have to measure their blood insulin levels several times a day.

Diabetic dietary guidelines

In addition to the control of insulin, blood cholesterol and triglycerides and blood pressure, are important factors to take into account when developing an appropriate diet for the person with diabetes.

The data that tells us the capacity of a food to deliver more or less glucose to our body is the glycaemic index - a figure obtained by comparing this capacity with that of the same amount of glucose - if this index exceeds 70, it is considered a high glycaemic index.

  • The first food-related guideline is the elimination of rapidly absorbed sugars from the dietall those that are added to food. Our recommendation is to eat as naturally as possible, eliminating all processed foods. If we look at the labels of the packaged products we buy in a grocery shop, most of them contain added sugars.
  • The slow-absorbing carbohydratesHowever, they also raise blood glucose but more slowly: vegetables and pulses and, to a lesser extent, potatoes or pasta, are recommended. In any case, a medical dietary guideline should always be followed.
  • Diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Thus, it is important to be careful with the intake of fats and foods of animal originfrom red meat to high-fat sausages or even butter.
  • The alcohol consumption should also be moderated or restricted if advised by a specialist.
  • We must also controlling the consumption of "dietetic" products. In themselves they are no better or worse and, in fact, they are processed foods that may contain fructose, a substance with high sweetening power and therefore used in smaller quantities, but their metabolism is like that of sugar.

As can be seen, feeding patterns, as part of treatment, should be established within an overall framework. comprehensive treatment protocol and incorporate them within the habits of each person.

Mariano Bueno

Dr. Mariano Bueno and his team

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