Did you know that a little less than 10% of the population has diabetes? In New Mexico alone, more than 120,000 people struggle with diabetes. While genetics and nutrition are the primary risk factors for diabetes, your HIV status can also increase your risk for getting diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
When someone has diabetes, their body cannot properly convert food into energy. This is caused by the breakdown of glucose after eating. When glucose is not properly broken down, it causes blood sugar to rise to an abnormally high level, which can cause stress on the nerves and blood flow.
There are three types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes resists insulin production in the body, but occurs more gradually than type 1. Type 2 diabetes is more common among overweight individuals.
The third type of diabetes is known as gestational diabetes. This form of diabetes affects the mother during her pregnancy, but usually goes away after the birth.
Why HIV+ Individuals Are More At Risk
Due to antiretroviral treatment and nutrition concerns, HIV+ individuals are more at risk for developing insulin resistance, also known as type 2 diabetes. While diabetes does not affect the progression of HIV, it is a very serious disease that needs to be managed in order to avoid complications.
If left unmanaged, diabetes can cause kidney problems, nerve damage, and blood pressure issues. Every HIV+ should know the symptoms:
- Unusual increase in thirst
- Weight loss
- Increased urine output
- Decrease in vision
UNM Truman Health Services can diagnose and treat diabetes if you have HIV. We are committed to helping you live the best quality life possible and provide a multitude of resources for people living with HIV, including nutritional counseling.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes With Proper Nutrition
You can do your part to prevent diabetes by eating a balanced, nutrition diet. At UNM Truman Health Services, our nutritionists specialize in providing diet plans for HIV+ individuals. We can help you set up a nutrition plan that minimizes your risk for diabetes and helps you feel better every day.
Contact us today to set up an appointment with our nutritionists!