How good nutrition can help patients with wounds
Good nutrition plays a key role in the management of wounds as your body needs increased amounts of energy (calories), protein and specific vitamins and minerals, to support wound care. Your dietitian or healthcare professional may recommend an eating plan with optimum amounts of energy (calories), protein, fluids, vitamins and minerals to suit your specific needs.
Energy: If your intake of energy is less than your requirements the management of wounds could be inhibited. The main sources of energy in the diet are carbohydrates and fat.
Protein: protein is required by the body to make new skin and muscle. Arginine is an amino acid (basic block of protein) which is important in wound care. A lot of protein is lost from the wound each day, so your body needs more protein than usual during the management of wounds.
Fluid: the skin requires increased intake of fluids to manage wounds. You should aim to drink a minimum of 1500ml or 6-8 cups of fluid a day – this can include water, milk, juice, squash, soup, tea or coffee. If you are on a fluid restricted diet, please discuss with your doctor or dietitian how much fluid you should take per day.
Vitamins and Minerals: vitamins, particularly vitamins A and C, and minerals, especially zinc, are important for wound management and normal function of the immune system.
Vitamin A is found in milk, cheese, eggs, oily fish, dark green vegetables, orange and red fruits and vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, carrots and peppers).
Vitamin C is found mostly in fruit and vegetables, such as oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc is a mineral found in red meat, fish and shellfish, milk products, poultry and eggs.
Types of wound
A wound is any break in the skin and can be caused by injury, surgery, pressure or force. As the skin acts as a protective barrier for the body, any break to it can increase risk of infection.
There are broadly two types of wounds- acute and chronic wounds. Acute wounds usually heal in a timely manner whereas a chronic wound generally develops over a longer period and can take an increased amount of time to heal. Examples of chronic wounds include pressure ulcers (also called bed sores, pressure sores or pressure wounds); leg ulcers and diabetic wounds (such as diabetic foot ulcers and diabetic ulcers).
How oral nutritional supplements, ONS, are used in the dietary management of patients with chronic wounds
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic wound and you are unlikely to get enough of the key nutrients in your diet, your healthcare professional may have recommended that you take an ONS specifically designed for use in the dietary management of chronic wounds. For more information, please speak to your Healthcare Professional.
Cubitan is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of patients with chronic wounds and must be used under medical supervision.
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