Spinal Cord Injury: Dietary Issues
People with Reference spinal cord injuries (SCIs) Opens New Window may have special nutritional needs, such as needing protein to prevent Reference pressure sores Opens New Window or increased fiber to help with bowel care. A Reference registered dietitian Opens New Window can help you plan a diet to meet your nutritional needs.
- Reference Fiber Opens New Window helps move stool through the intestines. Better movement in the intestinal area may make your bowel management program easier. Eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day. Foods high in fiber include whole-grain foods (such as bran cereals or whole wheat bread), fresh fruits, dried or stewed fruits (such as prunes, raisins, or apricots), and raw or root vegetables (such as carrots, turnips, or potatoes).
- Fluids keep the stool soft and can help prevent Reference urinary tract infections (UTIs) Opens New Window and Reference kidney Opens New Window or Reference bladder Opens New Window stones. They also keep mucus watery and easy to cough up, which can help prevent lung problems. Water is always the best choice for fluids. Try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of liquid [8 fl oz (250 mL) each] every day. Check with your doctor, since your bladder program might affect how much fluid you can drink.
- Reference Protein Opens New Window contributes to tissue and muscle growth and helps prevent their breakdown. So protein can help prevent pressure sores and help them heal more quickly. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are the best sources of protein. Other sources include legumes, nuts, and milk and milk products.
You may want to limit how many high-fat foods you eat, as these types of food may make it harder to control your bowel program.
For more information on a healthy diet and weight, see the topics Healthy Eating and Weight Management.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 16, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation