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nutrition for psych

Psychiatric   (1,151 Views 3 Comments)
by regglynn regglynn (Member)

regglynn specializes in General Surgery & Open Heart Teams; NICU.

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I have yet another project for psych.

I have to make a presentation of alternative therapies for psych with nutrition.....

My psych textbook only covers nutrition as basic good nutritionand not for any specific disorder. My instructor wants me to find some nutrition based ideas for some disorders. She did'nt give me any specific disorder.

Can someone give me some ideas about how nutrition can help a psych pt. For example, isn't there a connection bewtween red meat and some disorders??????

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I'm not sure what your instructor is asking for, but I work in an community OP mental health center in NC, and many of our patients do not eat very nutritious meals because they have very limited incomes. Some of our patients with chronic Schizophrenia (and even those with other diagnoses) lack skills needed to choose the right foods at the store and end up buying frozen pizzas or prepackaged foods that they can microwave, because they don't know how to cook either. They don't eat alot of fresh fruits or vegetables, and choose foods like crackers, Spam, potted meat, and vienna sausages. Soft drinks are cheaper than juice, so that's what they buy. AND many of their medications cause weight gain, and most will develop diabetes if they do not already have it. Plus, they get high cholesterol, and all the other disorders that come from obesity. So, patients need education as to proper diet, how to buy the right foods at the store, and how to plan and prepare meals.

Sometimes a person who is very depressed lacks energy or motivation to prepare nutritious meals, and I've seen Bipolar patients who can't focus or concentrate long enough to eat nutritious meals if they remember to eat at all. Sometimes, finger foods or foods they can eat "on the run" are appropriate as long as they are healthy. Most psych meds also cause constipation, so there is another problem. They need education to teach them to increase water intake, and to drink less tea or soft drinks, as well as adding high fiber foods to their diet. Nutrition is a big issue for psych patients. I don't know of any alternative therapies, they need good basic nutritional therapy.

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KellNY is a RN and specializes in High Risk In Patient OB/GYN.

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Here are a few little tidbits I've learned--not much, but if you research them, it should be helpful

-For someone in an acute manic episode, you want to offer healthy finger foods, as they may not be able to sit down and carefully slice and chew a pot roast and potatoes.

-There is evidence that increasing intake of fatty acids, esp fish oil can help with depression.

-Increased water intake is usually a good idea for those on multiple heptotoxic and renal toxic meds. Helps flush the system, and hydration is a plus.

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