Diet for a burn patient

Written by andrew sheldon
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Diet for a burn patient
Burn patients can help recovery by eating a healthy diet. (fire image by Fotocie from Fotolia.com)

Burns occur when your skin is exposed to heat, electricity, chemicals or radiation. Regardless of the origin, it is important to follow a proper diet following the injury so you make a full recovery. The burn diet is one high in calories and protein, which provides your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself.

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Purpose

The purpose of a specialised diet for burn patients is to provide the necessary calories and nutrients needed to recover from the injury. The diet for a burn patient must focus mainly on calories and protein. Calories provide the body with the energy it needs to function. In addition, protein is vital in building new tissue. A high-calorie, high-protein diet will enable the body to perform the physical functions it needs to, while also providing enough protein to repair the damaged tissue affected by the burn. Once the body has healed, you can resume a normal diet.

Protein

Protein is an extremely important part of your diet if you have suffered a burn. If burned, your body will lose protein in two ways. First is directly from the wound itself. Your body’s tissue is damaged from the burn and must be repaired. The second form of protein loss is from muscle breakdown. To provide energy for itself, the body will begin to break down muscles, which are made of protein. For these reasons, it is important that you follow a high-protein diet. This will help you rebuild damaged tissue and prevent muscle breakdown.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Because the body’s energy needs are elevated following a burn, carbs are an important part of the diet. When carbs are digested, they are converted into glucose. Glucose is used for energy by burn wounds. In addition, by acting as the body’s fuel source, carbs allow protein to rebuild muscles instead of being used as energy.

Fat

Fat can be used to provide extra calories. However, just as in a normal diet, fat intake should be limited. Excessive amounts of fat can cause the immune system to become weak. The University of Rochester Medical Center recommends getting no more than 30 percent of your daily calories from fat.

Considerations

Consider taking a daily multivitamin supplement to help meet your nutritional needs. Look for supplements containing vitamins A, C, E and minerals magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Eat foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, and avoid refined foods like white breads and pastas. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day.

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