A person with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) needs to maintain an optimal nutritional status for healthy living. Nutrition is an important aspect that needs no overlooking. Rather, it should be placed as first-line treatment for an optimal and successful recovery from a spinal injury.
A well-rounded diet is essential to provide all the necessary nutrients needed for a recovery. Intake in the right amounts is equally important. Deficiency of these nutrients might cause malnutrition complications that are excessively costly to treat. They also present detrimental effects on the lean body mass, significantly slow down wound healing, and increase vulnerability to diseases. Aggressive nutrition is a great way to minimise post-injury complications and optimise neurological and medical benefits. The post-SCI complications cannot be avoided but controlling is certainly easy through a healthy and balanced diet.
A change of lifestyle for a person who has endured spinal injury is necessary. Proper diet is vital in maintaining the physiological mechanisms. This article discusses several nutritional practices, programs, and plans that effectively promote and prevent the risks of malnutrition
It is important to note that foods with high calories and low nutritional value must be avoided. The excess calories are unnecessary for people who engage less in any type of physical activity. A person might gain unwanted fat and stand the risk of coronary heart disease or even diabetes. Homemade meals are preferred to pre-made foods that have excess fat and cholesterol.
Lower protein can be a limiting factor in attaining healing of pressure sores (or ulcers) and ultimately a full rehabilitation. The occurrence of pressure ulcers in SCI patients is common and can be a devastating experience. The body cannot withstand excessive pressure on one point for a long period. Pressure on any body part deprives blood supply to the region resulting in a sore. Availing the appropriate nutrients for the body reduces chances of pressure sores after a spinal injury.
Nutritional intervention through guidelines on the dietary management for an SCI subject results to improved clinical outcomes. It also reduces chances of nutritional deficits to occur.
Manageable exercises are also recommended for SCI survivors. They should be done with the assistance of rehabilitation experts or physiotherapists. Through appropriate exercises, the muscles release mood-boosting endorphins and burn calories. Adherence to the provided nutritional guidelines is a way to combat the potential development of metabolic syndromes, cholesterol, and diabetes. These physical activities are advised to SCI survivors in reversing numerous negative adaptations. A customised therapeutic plan can be created to fit specifically a particular patient.
Spinal cord injury subjects are required to keep a proper diet plan and keep away from poor eating habits that may be detrimental to their health and quality of life. Therefore, assessment and monitoring to prevent weight gain and weight loss beyond normal are advisable.
A comprehensive dietary approach is necessary to make certain that the normal body functioning is not compromised. This helps to achieve full athletic, recreational, and rehabilitative potential of a patient.
Impaired movement causes loss of muscle tissue, limbs paralysis, weak bones and muscles, conditions that people do not have control over. However, nutrition is essential to help avoid such medical conditions and prevent their further development.
On their road to recovery, SCI patients experience struggles in staying active and engaged. With limited means to work these calories off, a person can easily gain weight when they consume high-calorie meals with low nutritional value.
A low fat and high protein diet are vital for the maintenance of the right levels of metabolism and nutrition. Protein helps in healing existing sores and reduces chances of new ones appearing. The pressure sores appear because of being confined to a bed or wheelchair. Additionally, proteins preserve the lean body mass. Meat, eggs, beans, fish, and poultry are among the foods that meet the protein and caloric needs. Failure to adjust macronutrients and caloric intake may washout the anticipated positive effects of exercising.
Incorporating fiber into one’s diet is a helpful and natural solution for anyone with digestive and constipation issues. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains contain fiber that helps lower the blood cholesterol. It minimizes the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes among SCI patients. These patients experience slow digestion than able-bodied people. Vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruits help to keep this in check and maintain a healthy skin. Adequate Vitamins aid in the strengthening of bones that consequently decrease the risks of fractures. Bladder and bowels can easily function with the help of these foods. It is worth noting that meals need regular spacing out throughout the day.
Drinking copious amounts of water every day keeps one hydrated and prevents urinary tract infections. On the other hand, alcohol is a beverage packed with empty calories and taking it in limited amounts is highly recommended. Avoiding sugar-packed beverages and sugary foods is advisable as they are not good for the body. A patient’s menu can be tailored in a number of ways to cater to personal needs.
Getting the right information on nutrition is the first step towards healthy living. It demands a modification from the regular eating habits. Poor dieting has a negative impact on the general health of an individual. It can cause medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Making healthy choices when shopping for food or drinks is wise for the better good of the patient.
The role of nutrition in SCI subjects cannot be overlooked. Be sure to incorporate all the six major nutrient classes that include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, minerals, and water for a balanced and quality diet.SCI patients need to be aware of the risks that are brought about by poor nutrition. A properly planned diet protocol helps SCI survivors achieve established goals.
New spinal cord injury survivors can make use of patient advocates for themselves and their caregivers too. A standard diet program coupled with an exercise routine designed to eliminate muscle hypertrophy present an effective intervention and promising future for the spinal cord injury population.
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