Most people realise that when it comes to health nutrition is important. They know that eating a healthy diet, taking some exercise and maintaining a healthy weight lowers their risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many other serious diseases. However, a surprisingly high number of people do not really consider or understand the role of nutrition when it comes to actually fighting disease. They do not make the connection between good nutrition and their body's ability to fight disease.
Why Nutrition Is Important for the Chronically Ill
In order to fight disease the body needs access to basic materials to build a strong defence mechanism. These materials come in the form of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Most of which the body cannot produce on its own. It can draw on reserves held within the body, however, the majority of what the body needs is derived from what is eaten. Poor nutrition leads to low reserves and an inability to fight disease effectively.
For someone who is chronically ill it is easy to quickly enter a downward spiral. The body loses the ability to fight infections effectively; its reserves are depleted making that person even more prone to infection.
Luckily, this situation can be reversed with the intervention of medical professionals. Increasingly, doctors are testing the levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their patient's bodies. When they find certain deficiencies, they are encouraging patients to address them via their diet or supplements.
However, for some patients this level of intervention is not sufficient. Some patients are too sick to eat much food, or the food they do eat is not properly absorbed. In these cases, the medical profession is increasingly turning to advanced medical nutrition products.
Advanced Medical Nutrition
These products, such as those made by Nutricia Nutrition, deliver high levels of nutrition. They have been developed specifically for patients who cannot eat much, so are unable to consume sufficient calories and nutrients to maintain good health. Many of them are designed to be consumed orally, but not every patient can eat in this way. For them, products that can be delivered directly into the digestive system, which is called enteral nutrition, are available. It is also possible to deliver limited nutrition intravenously and this is called parenteral nutrition.