• Sep 01, 2016
  • by Jenneke van Hemert

For someone managing a chronic disease, anything that can provide relief or comfort, is desirable. Strategies often include medication, alternative health interventions such as acupuncture and massage, or physio-therapy. Nutrition therapy, or also called therapeutic diet, does not immediately come to mind.

Why is that?

Why are we not thinking of therapeutic diets as the first line of defense? I get it, taking medication is fairly easy. It is quick. Acupuncture, massage therapy and physio therapy brings immediate, noticeable relief after treatment.In contrast, the impact of nutrition therapy is not immediate, and it requires effort.

The impact of eating a therapeutic diet according to your specific requirements happens over time and the health benefits are nothing to sneeze at. Your immune system works better, so you get sick less often. Your moods are better, so you can better cope with your health challenges. You are stronger, because your muscles are better maintained by eating sufficient protein and energy. Your balance and gait is better, so your chance of injury is lower. In short, a well suited therapeutic nourishes and supports you to stay at home independently.

Malnourishment; which is not eating enough, eating too much, or eating the “wrong thing”; has a negative noticeable effect as it results in immediate discomfort at some level. The longer you are in a malnourished state, the chance of your condition getting worse get significantly higher. Long term malnutrition can lead to losing your independence, and needing institutionalized care.

So how do you recognize malnutrition? You may have lost weight, or muscle tone. Your appetite may have declined. Not eating and drinking enough result in a merit of symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, headaches, nausea, poor mood and even fainting spells. Eating too much results in uncomfortable bloating, burping and cramps. Eating the “wrong thing” results in feeling nauseous, irritable mood, and irregular bowel movements with the entire spectrum from constipation to diarrhea. If you suffer from mysterious back aches, that is a symptom of constipation.

Now, for the effort requirement part of therapeutic diets, there is a solution for that. A specialized food service company can create meal plans for you, even cook the meals for you. So go ahead, eat well and feel better. Contact us at jenneke@therapeuticmeals.com.