Nutrition is key to effective diabetes control

Published April 3rd, 2010 - 08:28 GMT

First-ever regional summit on diabetes nutrition launched – Total Nutrition Therapy program for Diabetes brings together regional and international experts

Dubai, UAE, 3 April 2010 --- Diabetes-specific Nutrition, as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to managing diabetes is key to the effective control of the disease.  This was the central theme of the first-ever regional medical summit aimed at creating awareness among physicians about the importance of diabetes nutrition for management of diabetes, a growing pandemic in the region.

Under the patronage of the Dubai Health Authority, the summit highlighted the introduction of Total Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes, a unique nutrition education program for physicians developed specifically for diabetes, by diabetes nutrition experts.

The summit was facilitated by a panel of regional and international diabetes nutrition experts, and attended by key endocrinologists, internal medicine practitioners and clinical nutritionists. The summit highlighted the sharing of new insights on diabetes nutrition, providing physicians with nutrition management tools and techniques on how they can use nutrition as part of overall diabetes care.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide affecting, over 200 million people. According to present statistics, one-fifth of the adult populations in the UAE have diabetes, where many have developed diabetes-related complications due to lack of control of their disease. 

“Unlike other diseases, the treatment of diabetes is not just about compliance to prescribed treatment medication. It is also about engaging patients in physical activities and providing them with sufficient nutrition. People with diabetes have specific nutritional requirements. Meeting those requirements is a critical part of the treatment and is the essence of the Total Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes,“ said Dr. Wafaa Ayesh, Director, Clinical Nutrition Department, Clinical Support Sector at the Dubai Health Authority.

In type II diabetes, the most common form of the disease, the build-up of sugar in the blood (known as hyperglycemia) can, over time, lead to diabetes complications. Over the long term, poorly controlled hyperglycemia can impair function of the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves, and lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness, lower limb amputation, and death.

But people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications. One of the important components of the Total Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes program is the recommendation of clinically proven, diabetes-specific formulas that improve glucose control, lipid profiles, and gut health in people with diabetes. Such formulas come in unique blends of slowly digested carbohydrates and key ingredients scientifically designed to help manage blood sugar spikes, help the body’s own insulin work better and meet the nutritional needs of people with diabetes.

Prof. Patrizio Tatti, keynote speaker at the summit and Chairman of Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, National Health Service Reviewer, Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews in Rome, Italy urged people with diabetes to learn more about the benefits of diabetes-specific nutrition, and to incorporate it into the daily management of their disease.

“Food choices can be difficult for individuals with diabetes but by incorporating diabetes-specific nutrition into their daily diets, blood sugar control is more easily achieved. The new insights presented at today’s meeting shows diabetes-specific nutrition, when used as part of a diabetes management plan, can help people with diabetes manage their disease better,” Prof. Tatti said.

Total Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes Summit is supported by Abbott, the global healthcare company.

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