Explore Nutritional Strategies and Health Concepts to enhance and address current and popular health issues with at-home care toolkits & plans.
*Disclaimer: The suggestions expressed here are for educational purposes and modified to fit various diets and based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. The suggestions should not replace medical advice. No patient-practitioner relationship is formed.
AT HOME COVID-19 CARE
Author: Rose D.
The nutritional risks associated with COVID-19 are numerous and individual. They are dependent on an individual's baseline health status, available resources and access to food, and severity of the disease process.
A nutritional assessment should be conducted by a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian or qualified Certified Nutrition Professional (to provide guidance but not Dx or provide Medical Nutrition Therapy) to accurately assess for and meet individual needs, especially as it pertains to an individual or acute health concerns; such as Diabetes, COPD, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Kidney Disease etc.
Nutritional concerns related to the general public are based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. The new guidelines account for dietary individualization.
COVID-19 affects the respiratory system in humans. The etiology can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) associated pneumonia. The domain found on spike proteins (S-protein) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is similar to the receptor-binding domain of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) cells.
ACE-2 cells are found in arterial and venous endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells in all organs. The cell types and tissues that contain ACE-2 cells are contained in tissues and organs like the lungs, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, and the lining of the intestines. Due to this etiology and the severity of COVID-19 and the variety of symptoms are representative of the various areas of the body that contain ACE-2 cells.
Individuals affected by COVID-19 present clinical symptoms such as non-productive cough, fatigue, fever, and dyspnea. Respiratory distress is a primary concern and respiratory symptoms are extremely taxing on the body from an energy cost perspective. This means that the body may need more caloric needs to address the COVID-19 disease process, for those with mild/moderate symptoms, this can vary from minimal to substantial.
Nutritional Risks associated with Mild/Moderate COVID-19 could include:
Dietary Intake- appetite, taste changes, early satiety (anorexia)
GI Problems (if symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting)
Muscle Wasting or areas of Fat Stores (prolonged disease process)
4.) Mineral/Vitamin Deficiencies
Electrolyte Imbalances (fluid losses through diarrhea or vomiting)
5.) Over the Counter Medication Risk (Acetaminophen/NSAIDs)
Liver Risk (those with impaired liver function, should be cautioned/warned, not to take or only take under
strict guidance, Acetaminophen)
Kidney Risks (impaired kidney and liver function can be exasperated by Acetaminophen and NSAIDS)
Nutrition Care Notes:
1.) Hydration is extremely important during moderate/mild symptomatic disease; as fever, increased metabolic processes, and body temp acclimatization can affect body fluid volume. This can be further exasperated by vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to electrolyte imbalances.
2.) Malnutrition due to nausea, vomiting, and generalized malaise, and fatigue can affect appetite which can lead to diminished food intake and nutritional deficiencies. Clear broths made from homemade quality bones can be especially beneficial in reference to COVID-19 etiology and destruction of epithelial cells. Collagen Type I and III are abundant in the lung parenchyma and provides most of the structure to the alveolar walls. Collagen protein obtained from quality bone broth can provide the necessary collagen concentration to assists with repair. It can also provide the necessary minerals and vitamins depleted during the disease process.
3.) Dark leafy greens; starchy vegetables like sweet potato; and bright-colored vegetables and fruits; can help maintain Vitamin C and other water-soluble vitamins which are packed full of plant pigmented polyphenols that provide powerful antioxidants to help fight oxidative stress caused by inflammation from the disease process.
1.) Get a lot of Rest.
2.) Coordinate with other family members to drop off food and drinks, left at the front and the bedroom door, as you quarantine and heal.
3.) Keep all items from COVID-19 positive individual separate, so that discarding or cleaning is easier.
4.) Keep individual precautions, including gloves and mask, cleaning, and sanitizing.