Every patient has the right to receive good care. Good care constitutes comprehensive care that acknowledges the patient’s individual, biological characteristics, health issues, and the reasons and determinants for possible illness. When required, the care also includes medication and nutrition.
Nutritional care is care that targets the reasons for illness, and it is administered as part of other medical care. To achieve good treatment results, the human immune system must be in good condition. Once the system is strengthened by good nutrition, the other forms of care have a better chance of success.
A system in good shape will, for instance, withstand operations better, experience milder complications, and recover more quickly. If medication is required, a good nutritional status will promote the drugs’ restorative effects and can protect you from possible harmful effects.
Nutritional care instructions for health centres, hospitals, and care homes by the National Nutrition Council of Finland (2010). Opening words:
“Good nutrition promotes health, functioning, and quality of life. It prevents diseases, boosts recovery, and decreases the risk of additional illness. Nutritional care is an essential part of patient care.”
Nutritional care is carried out so that the doctor maps the patient’s nutritional status. This includes examinations related to the patient’s diseases, assessment of possible malnutrition, muscle tone analysis, and lab tests to determine micronutrient levels. In addition, a personalised nutritional care programme is designed for the patient, involving a specific diet and essential nutrition for the body. These nutritional factors will rectify certain underlying biochemical disturbances. Good nutrition is a prerequisite for life.
Nutritional care is also suitable for people who wish to take good care of their health proactively.
The Council has also reported that senior citizens have an increased risk of deficiencies regarding vitamin B, vitamins C and D, selenium, zinc, and calcium.
ESPEN (European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism) has stated in their own guidelines that determining the levels of vitamins and trace elements via laboratory testing form an integral part of malnutrition analysis.
The ESPEN membership consists of over 3,000 doctors, nutritional therapists, pharmacists, and other scientific experts interested in nutritional care from nearly all European countries. Read more about the ESPEN guidelines: www.espen.org