ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a complex neuro disorder in which the brain is no longer adept to communicate with body muscles through the motor neurons. This leads to a condition of paralysis and gradually, the motor neurons and muscles start deteriorating and breaking down, leading to an inability of normal voluntary activities like walking, eating, swallowing, talking, and in severe cases, breathing. The main symptoms of ALS are Stumbling, Slurred Speech, Muscle cramps and stiffness, Worsening body posture, Loss of movements.
Although recent scientific research on stem cells has given a relevantly positive boost to ALS treatment, having an adequate healthy diet remains an area of concern for ALS patients due to their progressive loss of motor functions. Therefore, ALS patients are at a high risk of malnutrition with excessive fatigue and hypermetabolism, leading to further wasting of muscle and severe weight loss.
Here are some important tips for providing an adequate amount of nutrition to ALS patients:
- One should choose soft foods like rice, hummus, or pudding, which requires less chewing, for ALS patient’s diet.
- It is always advised to lubricate the food with dips or sauces to help the patient swallow their food easily without spending their energy on swallowing or chewing.
- One can blend healthy foods like fish, meat, fruits or vegetables with milk, water or soup to make a puree for the ALS patient’s diet.
- Milkshakes or smoothies are highly appreciated with the patient’s preference of fruits or vegetables and other calorific foods like almonds or butter.
- Dietary supplements or protein stock can be made a part of the patient’s diet with proper medical consultation and advice.
- One of the swallowing techniques practiced by ALS patients is the chin tuck posture where the patient tucks their chin and take small bites or sips of their food to avoid being tired while eating.
- For ALS patients, fatigue is a marker for poor health and so one needs to decrease meal timings by serving small food amounts in more frequent timings in order to match up the nutritional intake requirements.
- A good trick for ALS patients to have their medication and add some calories to that, is to take medicines using milk or apple sauce. Furthermore, for more calories, ALS patients can be fed avocado butter, boiled sweet potatoes, cream cheese and ice cream.
- Every ALS patient should be advised by their doctors regarding the necessary fluid intake as being hydrated is very important for their body metabolism and also drinking is much easier than chewing or swallowing food.
- Last but not the least, if an ALS patient is suffering from swallowing inability or is having difficulty in consuming their fluids and food, a feeding tube may be suggested and that can help as an additional way to reach one’s required nutrition mark.
Taking care of the nutritional requirement for patients suffering from ALS is a basic necessity besides gifting them the hope of cure with regenerative medicine treatment which has shown immense promise to not only prevent nerve and muscle damage but also to rejuvenate the tissues subsequently. For more information on ALS treatment, you can always consult Advancells at firstname.lastname@example.org