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FAQ


Some Registered Dietitians are also Licensed Dietitians (LD) or Certified Dietitian/Nutritionists (CDN). What is the difference?

Depending on the state in which the RD works, they can either be an LD or a CDN and in some cases both. For instance in the state of New York the LD is not available, so the CDN is NY’s form of licensing. Either way, the person must be an RD first.

Are you suggesting that I not ever see an RD in person?

Actually, no. In fact in New York, SDC Nutrition is an in person nutrition practice. Depending on your location, whether you have insurance and whether the RD accepts insurance, the option to pay out of pocket is perhaps more than you can handle. The service that SDC Nutrition provides is an excellent, affordable alternative to those in-person office visits.

Is there a differnce between a Registered Dietitian and a nutritionist?

Yes, a Registered Dietitian (RD) has finished their required courses at an accredited university, gone through an extensive internship with over 900 hours of supervised experience where they were trained in clinical nutrition practice, and passed the Registered Dietitian exam. Often when someone calls themself a nutritionist they have not been certified or gone through this process. However, an RD is a nutritionist with the proper certification.

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Diabetes mellitus type 1

Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce insulin. About 5% of all diabetes cases are type 1. It is most often diagnosed in children. In some cases it can also appear later in life. The exact cause is unknown. Genetics and exposure to viruses may play a role.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It keeps our body’s blood glucose levels stable. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Another name for it is sugar. It comes from carbohydrate-rich foods like fruit, bread, pasta, milk, and sweets. The body breaks these foods down into glucose. It then travels into our bloodstream. Insulin picks the glucose up here and carries it to our cells for fuel. When we don’t have enough insulin, too much glucose builds up in our blood. This is called high blood glucose, or high blood sugar. Over time, this can become dangerous. It can lead to nerve damage, eye problems, kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Symptoms may include excessive hunger and/or thirst, blurry vision, fatigue, urinating more than normal, weight loss, and numbness in the feet.

Treatment includes insulin and nutrition therapy. The goal is to maintain blood glucose control. Glucose levels must be checked every day. Carbohydrate intake must be balanced with insulin intake. Nutrition therapy includes carbohydrate counting and healthy eating. Exercise is also important in controlling blood glucose. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. However, those who manage it can still live a healthy life.

Diabetes mellitus type 2

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant. This means that it has trouble using and/or producing insulin. About 95% of all diabetes cases are type 2. The most common causes are excess body weight and poor lifestyle habits. Family history and genetics may also play a role.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It keeps our body’s blood glucose levels stable. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Another name for it is sugar. It comes from carbohydrate-rich foods like fruit, bread, pasta, milk, and sweets. The body breaks these foods down into glucose. It then travels into our bloodstream. Insulin picks the glucose up here and carries it to our cells for fuel.

Extra body weight can make it hard for the cells to receive glucose. They become resistant. The body will work harder to produce extra insulin. Over time, it can’t keep up. When this happens, too much glucose builds up in the blood. This is called high blood glucose, or high blood sugar. This can become dangerous. It can lead to nerve damage, eye problems, kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Type 2 diabetes is often cured by weight loss. This is done by changes in diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits. Nutrition therapy may include tracking carbohydrate intake and learning to make healthy food choices. Exercise can burn calories and build strong muscles. Medication may also be needed to help lower blood glucose.

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Hypertension is when blood pressure is high for a prolonged amount of time. Roughly one-third of adults have hypertension. It can be caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet, alcohol, smoking, stress, and lack of physical activity. Age, race, and family history may increase risk. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes and kidney disease may also contribute.

Blood pressure is the force of blood being pumped through your body by the heart. When it is high, it puts extra pressure on the artery walls. Narrow arteries may also cause higher pressure. It is normal for blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day. Stress or exercise may briefly increase blood pressure. It should return to normal after some time. If it remains high for a long period of time, the pressure can stretch and damage the arteries. The heart can become strained because it is working harder.

High blood pressure is known as “the silent killer.” It develops over a long period of time. There are often no warning signs or symptoms. Complications include damage to the heart, kidneys and arteries. Risk is also increased for heart attack, stroke, and other serious problems.

Treatment involves changes in diet and lifestyle. Losing weight and staying at a healthy weight have been shown to lower blood pressure. Nutrition therapy focuses on decreasing sodium intake and eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Increasing physical activity is also important. Medication may also be used to help regulate blood pressure.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys lose their function over a period of time. It is divided into five stages. The most common causes are diabetes and high blood pressure. Family history of kidney disease may also increase risk.

The kidneys filter excess water and waste out of the body. They are released in the urine. Diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys. This makes it hard for them to do their job. Over time, fluid and waste build up in the body. This can cause problems such as swelling, high blood pressure, anemia, heart disease, and kidney failure.

Chronic kidney disease cannot be reversed. Early detection and treatment can slow or stop it from getting worse. Symptoms include fatigue, poor appetite, muscle cramps, swelling, numbness, and frequent need to urinate. If untreated, it can lead to end-stage kidney disease. This is also known as kidney failure. At this point, dialysis is needed.

Treatment involves treating the main causes of the disease. Following a healthy diet is important. Nutrition therapy may include reducing sodium intake and watching blood sugar levels. A low-protein diet may reduce stress on the kidneys. Increasing exercise and quitting smoking may improve quality of life. Medicine may also be prescribed.

Weight loss and weight management

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Various factors can influence weight. It is most directly related to lifestyle factors, including diet and activity. Environment, family history, genetics, and hormones can also play a role.

Body mass index, or BMI, is a measure used to determine health risk. For adults, weight is divided into categories. BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 is considered normal. BMI of 25 – 29.9 is considered overweight. BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Special growth charts are used to measure BMI for children and teens.

Weighing too much can impact quality of life. Daily activities may be harder to do. It can also have harmful long-term effects on health. Risk is increased for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Weight loss and weight management can improve quality of life and reduce the risk of health problems. Weight loss requires changes in diet and lifestyle. Nutrition therapy focuses on behavior change such as making healthy food choices and portion control. Regular exercise, stress management, and getting enough sleep are also key parts of weight loss. In severe cases where these treatments fail to work, weight loss surgery may be needed. Once weight loss goals are achieved, weight management is needed to keep the body at a healthy weight. Commitment to living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to see long-term success.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose drops too low. This is also called low blood sugar. It is most commonly seen in those with diabetes.

Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Blood glucose levels rise and fall throughout the day. Hormones in the body keep it within a safe range. However, this system does not work well in those with diabetes. The body has a hard time returning blood glucose back to normal levels.

Hypoglycemia happens suddenly. Symptoms include fast heartbeat, sweating, shaking, hunger, dizziness, confusion, and weakness. It must be treated right away by eating or drinking a small amount of sugary food. This will bring blood sugar levels back up to the normal range. If untreated, this can be very dangerous. Symptoms can worsen and lead to confusion, fainting, seizures, and coma or death.

Further treatment should be sought if hypoglycemia occurs multiple times in one week. Changes in insulin or medication may be needed. Nutrition therapy is also important. Carbohydrate counting and regularly scheduled meals and snacks can help the body maintain healthy glucose levels. While exercise is a suggested part of diabetes management, it can cause blood sugar levels to drop. It must be monitored well.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant during pregnancy. This means that it has trouble using and/or producing insulin. Testing is done around the 24th week of pregnancy. Risk may be higher in those who are overweight, have prediabetes, or have had gestational diabetes before.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It keeps our body’s blood glucose levels stable. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Another name for it is sugar. It comes from carbohydrate-rich foods like fruit, bread, pasta, milk, and sweets. The body breaks these foods down into glucose. It then travels into our bloodstream. Insulin picks the glucose up here and carries it to our cells for fuel.

Hormone and weight changes during pregnancy can cause insulin resistance. This leads to high blood glucose in the mother. If uncontrolled, the baby will develop it too. The mother will be at greater risk of preeclampsia, c-section delivery, and depression. Problems for the baby include being born very large, having very low blood glucose, jaundice, and a greater chance of type 2 diabetes later in life.

Gestational diabetes can be treated with diet and exercise. Nutrition therapy may include carbohydrate counting and a healthy meal plan. Blood glucose must be checked often. Insulin therapy may also be needed. If managed properly, the condition often resolves after birth. However, there is increased risk for type 2 diabetes after birth and gestational diabetes with the next pregnancy.