Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disorder that comes with deteriorating muscle weakness. In addition to that, there is a limitation of nerve cells that are responsible for seamless movement. You should know that there are gastrointestinal and nutritional complications with SMA. The problems are mainly constipation, difficulty breathing, and undesirable reflux. There are various kinds of SMA that include type 1 that is severe, type 2 intermediate, and type 3 mild.
Read on to know the ideal diet for SMA patients:
1. Calcium and vitamin D
Calcium is an essential mineral that helps to strengthen weak muscles in the body. On that account, it is vital to give people with SMA some milk and yogurt as well. Yogurt contains probiotics that help with gastrointestinal health. When it comes to vitamin D, it comes from sunlight and food alike. Some of the best meals should include fish, eggs, and cereals. The foods boost bone sturdiness as they are packed with amazing vitamins. With sufficient calcium and Vitamin D, patients can avoid injuries caused by low bone density. They will feel more vibrant, and healing will go on progressively.
2. Complex carbohydrates
A diet that incorporates carbohydrates is mandatory to give the affected massive energy. They include pasta, wholemeal cereals, bran, and brown rice. Ensure that they are solid/semi-solid foods to make chewing much more manageable. Plus, the state of the meal will ward off any aspiration due to thin fluids.
3. Lean protein
Protein is necessary to have a balanced diet to boost the health of someone with SMA. For this reason, lentils, peas, beans, beef, and shrimp are the ideal foods to eat. You can also add egg whites, pork loin, and cottage cheese to the meals. They will build and also maintain the muscle mass that helps in seamless mobility. For the best portions, a specialist will use the weight, height, age, and sex to prescribe the right amounts.
4. Low fats
Essentially, a low-fat diet is imperative to ensure that the weight issue does not arise, especially for type 2 and 3 SMA. The patients already have nutrition challenges that need to be closely monitored. Therefore, foods with low calories qualify to be the best diet that you can give your loved one. Some of the examples include flaxseed, canola oil, and soybeans. You can also get them in herring, salmon, tuna, and trout. They contain omega-3 fats that are utterly beneficial for bone growth.
5. Foods to avoid
For starters, you need to avoid foods with high fat content as it leads to more complications. The primary reason is that SMA patients have poor digestion. Thus, the absorption rate of fatty foods will be such a challenge. Plus, since they are dense in calories, they will lead to excessive weight gain as well. It would help if you also kept off from junk foods as they don’t carry any nutritional value. They include fries, soda, hamburgers, tacos, and pizza, among others. They contain no fibers that aid digestion, which is a critical aspect for SMA patients. Additionally, they are high in fat and have too much sugar that will harm the individual.