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Nutrition

Nutrition immediately post stroke – ‘acute phase’


After a stroke, weight changes may occur for many people and it is important to monitor this as it may impact on recovery. Some people lose weight because they eat a lot less than normal due to difficulties with swallowing, loss of appetite, taste changes, low mood, physical difficulties with feeding oneself and psychosocial problems associated with eating amongst others. It is important at this time to assess a person’s underlying nutritional status while dealing with problems quickly to speed up recovery, prevent pressure sores and help to build up the support system. The dietician may recommend food fortification, taking extra snacks and/or special supplementary drinks and puddings, making the diet high in energy and protein. For some people, in order to meet both nutritional and fluid requirements, nutritional support via tube feeding is used in the short or long term. If overweight, weight loss in the longer term may be advised however, it is not appropriate to make deliberate efforts to lose weight in the initial period after a stroke.


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