Nutritional Tips for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients
Making some changes to a patient's diet is necessary, especially when they are first diagnosed. Those with muscular dystrophy can make a big difference in their life by altering their diet to include the nutrients that they need.
This is a list to help muscular dystrophy patients and caregivers have the proper nutrition to improve their symptoms and quality of life.
What to include
Fiber is very beneficial to the body. People who deal with constipation or are suffering from diarrhea are often advised to eat foods that are rich in fiber since it helps in maintaining normal bowel movements. Also, as it helps in regulating blood sugar levels, and people who have diabetes can benefit a lot from it. A high-fiber diet can also help when patients suffer from GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux.
You can get vitamin D from sunlight, but it isn't the only source. Foods like liver, salmon, and eggs also have vitamin D. It is also important for Duchenne patients as it helps restore their calcium level, which is essential to their muscular and skeletal health. Also, vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis, which is caused by the weakening of the bones.
Duchenne patients should also eat foods that are rich in antioxidants like kale, spinach, and tomatoes. By eating antioxidants, the body can better fight infections. Green tea and GTE are also a great source of antioxidants. It is believed that antioxidants reduce oxidative stress that then leads to muscle degradation. However, its intake should be monitored by a healthcare professional as it can result in toxicity to the liver.
Consuming oils and fats is actually not a bad thing for Duchenne patients as long as the oils and fats that they consume belong to the “healthy category,” like salmon and nuts. On the other hand, fatty meats like pork, lamb, and even beef should be avoided as much as possible.
The intake of proteins is very important for Duchenne patients as it plays a vital role in the growth, repair, and regeneration of the muscles. Some examples of foods that are rich in protein are beans and fish. Fish can be a great substitute for meat.
Calcium strengthens the muscles. However, some of the food may not have enough calcium needed by Duchenne patients. In this case, taking supplements may help. One should be mindful of the amount of calcium that they take because consuming too much of it is not good for the body.
On the other hand, before taking any supplement, the patient should consult with their physician first to know the proper dosage and ideal time to take them. Also, it is important to know that there are some supplements that should be taken on an empty stomach while some should be taken after a meal.
Read on to learn more about the foods that muscular dystrophy patients should have and avoid for a proper diet.