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4 Key Dietary Considerations for Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Matt H Jul 26, 2019
A healthy diet can surely play a very important role in the recovery process for anyone who is recovering from a spinal cord injury.
Maintaining a well balanced, healthy diet is important for anyone who wants to take care of their body, but for individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury, it is arguably even more important to follow certain nutritional guidelines.
Individuals who have reduced mobility after injuring their spinal cord will find it harder to spend their energy and will easily gain weight.

There are also complications following a spinal cord injury, like pressure sores and urinary tract infections, which can be managed by healthy eating.
There are many useful resources available online that offer nutritional tips to those who have sustained spinal cord injury, but professional medical advice should be sought before any dietary changes. Explained here are 4 spinal cord injury diet and nutrition tips.

4. Importance of Fibre

Bowel regulation can be an issue for individuals with a spinal cord injury, so a diet high in fibre is recommended. Whole wheat bread, beans, legumes, fruit and vegetables can be great sources of fibre.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is recommended for everyone, not only those with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Because SCI patients can be at a higher risk of urinary tract infections (UTI), being hydrated at all times is even more important, as it can help prevent UTIs.

2. Protein for Pressure Sores

Pressure sores can be an issue for those with a spinal cord injury. They can be caused by sitting or laying down for long periods of time, leading to pressure on the skin and damage by lack of blood flow. Protein-rich diet can prevent pressure sores from occurring as well as healing existing lesions.

1. Be Mindful of Portion Sizes

Adequate portion sizes is useful to manage weight. For individuals with a spinal cord injury, this can be even more important, due to the lack of mobility as a result of the injury. Burning off the calories consumed can be harder, so careful monitoring of portion sizes is recommended.

Importance of Healthy Eating

After sustaining a spinal cord injury, it can be difficult for the individual in question to remain active and expend a sufficient amount of energy.
Gaining too much weight can increase the risk of additional medical complications such as diabetes and obesity, but it's also very important to ensure that enough of the right nutrients are consumed.
Secondary medical complications associated with spinal cord injuries can also be managed (and potentially avoided altogether) if a healthy, well balanced diet is followed.
However it's essential that the individual seeks professional medical advice before making any dietary changes.