Recently, the Toronto Star featured an article surrounding the importance of nutrition for those who have a spinal cord injury. It referenced a book titled, Eat Well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury & Other Neurological Disorders.
This book was penned by Joanne Smith, a registered nutritionist who has a spinal cord injury, and Kylie James, a nutritionist and occupational therapist specializing in neurological disorders. In the book they examine the value that diet and nutrition can have with assisting different health complications that can arise in those with spinal cord injuries. This book was proudly sponsored by Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers.
Q & A with Joanne Smith and Kylie James regarding some key issues surrounding nutrition in those with spinal cord injuries, this Q&A is excerpted from the Toronto Star article – “Nutrition For People With Spinal Cord Injuries.”
Q: What’s the connection between diet and spinal cord injury?
A: You’re susceptible to secondary health complications, like bladder infections, lower immune system, bowel dysfunction, respiratory infection, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis. These can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle, which includes good nutrition. If you have these conditions already, it can help manage them.
Q: Does it pertain to spinal cord injury only?
A: The recommendations in the book are specific for spinal injury, but there is a great crossover to anybody with any kind of neurological condition, whether it be Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, acquired brain injury.
Q: What’s the incentive?
A: If you can maintain your health and prevent a lot of these secondary complications from developing, it's saving yourself and the health-care system money down the road. We are also dealing with greater susceptibility toward weight gain, lower energy, sleep difficulty, so just trying to enhance your day-to-day function can make a significant difference.
Q: Can you give an example?
A: Pressure sores are something that people with spinal cord injury are vulnerable to from the acute-care stages throughout their lifetime. You maintain skin integrity by eating the right amount of protein every day, getting things like vitamin A and vitamin C into your diet, as well as boosting your immune system to keep the infections at bay.
Q: How much difference can food really make?
A: Making small changes in your diet every day can make a big difference in terms of function and independence. It's like a little insurance.
If you would like more information on this topic, please purchase this book, Eat Well, Live Well. It will provide you with more in depth insight, nutritional facts and recipes.
By: Barbara Turnbull, Living Reporter