Diabetes Information - Nutrition and Food Services
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Nutrition and Food Services

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Diabetes Information

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020, almost 35 million people of all ages in the US were diagnosed with diabetes in 2018. Consistent with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), diabetes is more prevalent among Veterans compared to the general US population.  Nearly 25% of Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration(VHA) have diabetes. 

Optimizing diabetes management involves a dedicated healthcare team that provides personalized, proactive, patient-driven health care to empower, equip, and encourage Veterans to take charge of their health and to adopt healthy living practices to reduce risks for diabetes-related complications.  The Understand Your Diabetes Numbers Campaign announced by the Secretary of the VA, highlights the importance of Veterans understanding their numbers in order to manage their diabetes, to be safe, and to achieve their personal lifetime goals.  Checking blood sugars, monitoring A1C levels, knowing blood sugar targets, recognizing low blood sugars, and counting carbohydrates are just a few of the ‘numbers’ that Veterans should know.

Diabetes Education Materials
Health care provider educating a patient

General Diabetes Information
Blood Glucose Targets
Know Your Diabetes ABCs

Food and Nutrition
Carbohydrate Quiz 
Carbohydrate Quiz - Answers
Diabetes and Alcohol
Eating Healthy with Diabetes
How to Read a Nutrition Label 
Managing Pre-Diabetes
Managing Sick Days

Hypoglycemic Safety (Prevention of low blood sugar)
15-15 Rule to Treat Hypoglycemia
E.A.T. to Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia and Driving

Partnering with Your Provider Videos
Patient and a provider talking

Tom's Story: Be Aware! - Talk to your health care team to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Joes's Story: Don't Forget! - Talk to your health care team about taking your diabetes medications correctly
Mary's Story: Speak Up! - Talk to your health care team about food insecurity

Additional Resources

Annie App for Veterans - Annie is a VA service that sends automated text messages to Veterans to help them stay focused on their self-care. This might include health related notifications, reminders, or motivational messages.

Diabetes Numeracy Podcasts - Podcasts created by VA clinicians to help Veterans manage their diabetes, and highlight the importance of numeracy in diabetes.

Indian Health Services* - The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

My HealtheVet Veterans Health Library - Provides Veterans, family members, and caregivers 24/7 access to Veteran-focused health information, no matter where the Veteran receives care.

National Diabetes Education Program* - National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) provides culturally  appropriate diabetes education resources for a range of  individuals and groups — ethnic minorities, hard-to-reach populations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and healthcare providers. NDEP materials are provided through a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases* (NIDDK) - NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health, which is the nation's medical research agency.  They provide research findings and health information to the public.

Quality Safety and Value for Veterans - Hypoglycemia Safety Initiative - An initiative that provides Veterans and their health care teams with the necessary tools and resources to improve patient-centered care.

VAntage Point - The officeial blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

VA MobileKidney App - The MobileKidney mobile app is an easy way to track personal health information associated with kidney health. If you are a Veteran, the MobileKidney App also allows you to enter, view and track personal information to monitor your own health between clinic visits and share health information with your VA care team for review at regularly scheduled appointments

VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

VA Virtual Medical Center - A virtual VA Medical Center and Learning Environment for patients and providers.  Available from anywhere, at any time.

*By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.

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