What Should I Eat to Help my Pressure Sore or Wound Heal?

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1 What Should I Eat to Help my Pressure Sore or Wound Heal? Information for Patients i Leicestershire Nutrition and Dietetic Service Tissue Viabililty Team University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

2 Introduction If you have a pressure sore or a large wound it is important that you think about what you are eating. There are many nutrients involved in the healing process. If you are not eating the foods that provide them, your wound or pressure sore may take longer to heal. The picture below shows the types and proportions of food we should be eating each day to provide a balanced diet. Eating the right type of food It is very important that you have a balanced food intake to provide all the nutrients necessary for healing. (reproduced by kind permission of the food standards agency) 2

3 Eating the right type of food (continued) 1. Foods from the meat, fish, eggs and beans section are a good source of protein, which is needed for repair. Ensure you have foods from this group every day. (Foods in this group include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses). 2. Foods from the bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods section provide energy. Your body will need extra energy to fuel the healing process. You should include food from this section with each meal. (Foods in this group include breakfast cereal, pasta, bread, rice, noodles, oats, yam and plantain). 3. Try to include (at least) 5 portions from the fruit and vegetables section each day. Many of the vitamins and minerals in these foods are important to the healing process. (Examples of a portion include: an apple, a banana, 2-3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, and a glass of pure fruit juice). 4. Food from the milk and dairy section should also be included each day. These foods can be useful nutritious snacks when your appetite is poor. (Foods in this group include milk, cheese, yogurt and fromage frais). 5. The small section fatty and sugary foods can be a useful source of energy if your appetite is poor, but you must still try to include foods from each of the food groups, not just these. (Foods in this group include spreading fats, chocolate, crisps, biscuits, pastries, cakes, puddings, ice cream, and soft drinks). It is important to ensure you are taking enough fluid. Try to have at least 6-8 cups a day. If there is a lot of fluid loss from your wound you will need more than this. Drinks such as full cream milk, hot chocolate, malted milk drinks and sweet or savoury nutritious drinks, such as Build Up or Complan, can help provide additional nutrients. 3

4 Eating enough to meet your needs It is important that you provide your body with all the building blocks it needs to repair and recover. This can be difficult when you have a poor appetite. The points below may help: 1. Make sure you eat something at each mealtime - breakfast, lunch and evening meal, even if it is only something small - do not miss meals. 2. You may also need snacks between meals, a choice of snacks should be offered with drinks mid morning, mid afternoon and at supper time whilst you are in hospital. These will provide valuable extra nutrition. 3. If your appetite is not as good as usual, try to eat little and often. 4. High protein, high calorie meals make the best choice at this time, while you are in hospital the dishes marked with for higher calories on the menu are a good choice. 5. Do not fill up on low calorie, low fat or diet foods while your appetite is poor. Choose full fat or nutrient dense foods during this time. 6. If your appetite is not as good as usual, try to include nutritious drinks. Try a glass of full cream milk, or you may be offered a Build Up or Complan drink. 7. Friends or family may be able to bring in food you like from home. Examples could include: homemade sandwich with favourite filling, thick and creamy yoghurts, chocolate desserts, crème caramels, cakes or pastries, favourite biscuit or savoury snack and fruit. 4 It is important to discuss this with ward staff first to make sure the foods are suitable, stored correctly, and ward guidelines followed.

5 Eating enough to meet your needs (continued) 8. If you are not managing to eat normal amounts of food, you may be advised to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. This will help to ensure you are getting the nutrients, such as vitamin C and zinc, which are important for wound healing. 9. If you are still experiencing a poor appetite when you go home, everyday foods (such as full fat milk, cheese, etc) can be added to increase the calories and protein in your meals. Get advice to help provide the nutritious intake you need from your ward dietitian or use the links below: pdf Diabetes If you have diabetes then good blood sugar control is important for healing. Make sure you eat at regular intervals and monitor your blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medication may need adjusting by your diabetes team. If you are unsure which are the best food choices, your ward dietitian can advise you. 5

6 If you require further information on the foods you should eat need help applying this information to your diet feel that you are struggling to achieve the advice given here have several different dietary requirements to consider or, need advice on your diet before you go home, you should ask to see your ward dietitian. Useful contact numbers: UHL Nutrition and Dietetic Department (0116) UHL Tissue Viability Team LRI site (0116) LGH site (0116) Glenfield hospital site (0116) Developed and produced by Nutrition and Dietetic service. Crown Copyright University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. September 2012 Access our website at: 6

7 Any questions? If you have any questions write them down here to remind you what to ask when you speak to your consultant. 7

8 If you would like this information in another language or format, please contact the service equality manager on Produced: October 2012 Reviewed: May 2014 Review: May 2016 (Jones) KR NUT (COL)

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