Nutrition & ARD
Good nutrition is particularly important with asbestos related lung disease. Asbestos related lung disease is a chronic condition that may make your body more susceptible to infections.
Maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle will help your body’s immune system prevent infection and repair damaged lung tissue.
Good nutrition helps you to breathe easier for longer, get more enjoyment from physical activities and preserve energy for those activities important to you!
Food is the fuel for your breathing muscles
When our bodies do not have adequate nutrition from our diets, we start to lose muscle in order to meet our energy needs. Do not “burn up” your breathing muscles, this causes the body to have to work even harder to breath.
Tips for managing shortness of breath
Many people with chronic lung disease do not eat properly because they are short of breath while eating.
- Rest before eating- digesting your food will take energy.
- Cook when feeling most energetic.
- Frequent small meals will increase comfort level if you are short of breath.
- Always eat while sitting up. Eat slowly. Take small bites and chew slowly, breathing deeply. Try putting your utensils down in between bites.
- Choose softer foods that are easy to chew if you feel short of breath.
- Wear your cannula while eating if continuous oxygen is prescribed. Eating and digestion requires energy and your body may need oxygen.
- Liquids can make you feel full or bloated during a meal. Try drinking liquids at the end of a meal or between meals.
- Avoid gas-forming foods and carbonated beverages that may make you feel bloated. Ex) cabbage, onions, celery, beans.
- Avoid foods that trigger attacks or worsen your respiratory symptoms. Ex) Dairy products may increase phlegm production
- Eat protein – Our bodies use protein to repair and build cells
- Control your salt (sodium) intake – This causes water retention that can worsen breathing
- Calcium – Important if using steroid medications, helps build bones and regulate blood pressure
- Potassium – Important for muscle contraction, blood pressure control, and the nervous system
A professional dietary plan can help you manage lung disease. Call CARD today for a referral.