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Good nutrition is vital if you have a medical problem. Food is not only sustenance - it's medicine. When you have an illness or a medical problem, you may not have the same appetite you had when you were well. Plus, some digestive problems reduce nutrient and vitamin absorption. This puts you at greater risk for nutritional deficiencies. If you have problems swallowing, your doctor may recommend a liquid diet. Fortunately, nutritional products are available to meet your needs.
If you have certain medical problems, you may need to consume a diet that's higher in calories and protein. Protein is important for maintaining lean muscle mass and strength and for a healthy immune system. It may be difficult to get the calories and protein you need from food alone, especially if you don't have an appetite. High-protein complete nutritional drinks may help to fill in where your diet is lacking. These drinks contain as much as 15 grams of protein per serving and are enriched with vitamins and minerals. They come in a variety of flavors you can enjoy as part of a meal or as a snack. Talk to your doctor before drinking a high-protein drink. If your kidneys aren't working properly, it may not be safe to consume large amounts of protein.
If you have diabetes, what you eat matters. Eating too many starchy carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar level. Nutritional shakes specially formulated for people with diabetes are available. These shakes contain small amounts of slowly-absorbed carbohydrates that reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes. This may make it easier to control your blood sugar level.
If you have difficulty swallowing, eating solid foods can be challenging. Certain food and liquid textures may be less difficult to swallow. One way to make liquids and foods the proper consistency is with a food and beverage thickener. These products thicken foods and liquids quickly and make them safer and easier to swallow. Plus, they don't impact the taste of a food or liquid. Also available are already thickened milks, juices and water. Just open and serve. You can still enjoy the taste of real food even if you have difficulty swallowing with already-prepared purees. They're ready to microwave and enjoy. If you have swallowing difficulties, talk to your doctor and follow their dietary recommendations.
If you've undergone bariatric surgery or surgery of any type, your body needs nutrients to repair, post surgery. Specialized nutrition powders are available that may help supply damaged tissues with the nutrition they need to re-build and become stronger. Advanced nutrition drinks enriched with a variety of key nutrients are another way to supply your tissues with the support they need to repair quickly. They may also help with tissue repair after an injury.