We all know that healthy eating is important. Not only does food change the way we feel and look, it also has a role to play in biological processes such as our immune response. The value of good nutrition for spinal cord injury (SCI) patients cannot be underestimated and plays a vital role in recovery.
This is one area that injured patients can quickly take control of and do something about. It’s particularly important once you realise there is a higher risk of complications and secondary health problems associated with spinal cord injuries.
For instance, research shows that the prevalence of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes is higher in spinal cord injury patients compared to the general population. Maintaining a good diet, therefore, is not just desirable – it’s a prerequisite for a healthy recovery.
Nutritional advice for spinal cord injury patients is available online but individuals should always liaise with their healthcare provider or doctor before making any big changes to their diet.
SCI patients may have to deal with a number of secondary symptoms related to the injury of the spine, including:
A carefully planned spinal cord injury diet will not totally remove all risk for patients but it will certainly help reduce problems and help individuals maintain a healthier lifestyle.
A lot depends on what your diet was before the spinal injury occurred. Those who followed a healthy eating lifestyle probably won’t find it so difficult to continue with this post-injury.
One of the major issues that spinal injury patients face is lack of exercise through their immobility. For many, this means weight gain can quickly become a problem. Even for those who are able to undertake exercise, lowering metabolic rates and inactivity often present further challenges.
Your body may well require fewer calories. For this reason, monitoring weight and adjusting diet accordingly should be an ongoing process. Specific types of food are going to be beneficial. For example, those with an SCI are prone to pressure sores and eating enough protein should help with the body’s recovery process in this area.
Spinal injury patients may also have trouble regulating their bowel movements, so ensuring a healthy diet with plenty of fibre is another important factor. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids is a part of this. Drinking cranberry juice may also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections which have the potential to further complicate recovery.
There is plenty of nutritional advice for individuals with a spinal cord injury available online, so this makes it easier to take time to learn more about beneficial foods and dietary tips.
Spinal cord injury diet considerations are important, especially if the individual in question hasn’t previously focused too much attention in this area of their life. Simple changes to the food they eat can have enormous benefits on the way they feel and help them prevent other potential health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
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