Dietary and nutritional management help children with healthy growth and development with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Children suffering from malnutrition due to SMA requires a dietician to check the adequate calorie intake and nutritional intake is meeting their growth needs. Also, nutritionists require to take anthropomorphic measures to monitor the child’s growth. A patient suffering from chronic SMA may require external supplementation due to their inability to intake oral feeding.
Here are dietary changes required to deal with malnutrition in SMA –
- Ensure intake of nutritional foods – Patients with SMA are observed to have nutrition deficiency of Vitamin A, K, E, and D. Essential minerals are also deficient in Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron. Include lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and cereals, and healthy fats. Ensure intake of appropriate calories and that there is no calorie deficiency.
- Avoiding prolonged fasting – SMA patients tend to suffer from malnutrition and prolonged fasting can lead to further nutritional deficiency. Patients with severe SMA may high risk of hypoglycemia, hyper ketosis, and metabolic acidosis during prolonged fasting hence should be avoided.
- Ensure Adequate Hydration – Water is the most forgotten nutrient, and it is very essential to keep the patient with SMA well hydrated.
- Foods Rich in Quercetin – Quercetin is a flavonoid that has many health benefits such as antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory. Foods high in quercetin are considered to be safe and healthy. Foods rich in quercetin include blueberries, tomatoes, dried cranberries, kale, red onions, chia seeds, and buckwheat.
- Maintenance of Electrolytes – It is very essential to maintain the correct electrolyte balance including calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and certain acids. Electrolyte balance is extremely essential for maintaining the health of nerves and muscles. Hence it becomes very essential for the maintenance of Electrolyte balances for SMA patients.
- External Supplements – Patients with SMA tend to go through malnutrition due to feeding difficulties. To overcome concentrated nutritional supplements can be provided. But ensure to take supplements either prescribed by Dietician Doctors or Healthcare professionals.
Over To You –
Dietary changes are extremely essential to deal with malnutrition in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Malnutrition impacts the growth and development of patients further and hence it is essential to increase the nutrient-dense diet.