for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Diet Therapy Considerations for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Nutrition is important for HIV/AIDS patients since they have to manage the body changes attributed to both changes in the medication and the condition itself. Patients need to pay critical attention to proteins, carbohydrates, calories, vitamins, and fat intake. Therefore, people living with HIV/AIDS need to consider some diet therapies to enhance their quality of life.
One of the dietary therapies consideration is the consumption of a diet with a high quantity of legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables (., 2020). The second consideration is the inclusion of carbohydrates, little fat, and proteins in all meals. The third consideration entails limiting the quantity of foods containing added sugar, soft drinks, and sweets. Healthy diets ensure that the person living with HIV/AIDS remains healthy and the body can effectively fight any infection despite the body immunity being adversely affected by the condition.
It is imperative for people living with HIV/AIDS to adhere to strict dietary therapies since the condition reduces the quantity of food intake through disruption of appetite. Some symptoms, such as vomiting, deter one from eating. In most cases, patients have limited financial resources to purchase sufficient food (FAO, 2002). The health condition adversely affects the rate of food absorption within the body. The absorption is limited since it takes place through gut walls damaged by the infection. Besides, symptoms such as diarrhea take place through the gut, which also reduces nutrients absorption.
Failure of people infected with HIV/AIDS to adhere to dietary therapy have adversely affected their health outcomes. Reduced food intake leads to malnutrition and loss of weight as the body will use reserve energy stores from muscles, proteins, and fats. As the reserves are depleted, ones health becomes more vulnerable due to overall body weakness and advancement of the condition. Hence, an infection can easily pass on due to body weakness.
To facilitate adherence, different strategies can be considered. One needs to have a written timetable for reference purposes. Another strategy is to join a support group that reminds the people living with HIV/AIDS about the essence of maintaining a by physical exercises and observing the dietary requirement.
FAO. (2002). Special eating needs for people living with HIV/AIDS. https://www.fao.org/3/y4168e/y4168e06.htm#P196_27560
Pasdar, Y., Hamzeh, B., Moludi, J., Mehaki, B., Darbandi, M., & Moradi, S. (2020). Dietary intake and risk of depression among male and female with HIV/AIDS.Eating and on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity,25(4), 1029-1038. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00726-4
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