Role of Medical Nutrition

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Medical Nutrition is increasingly understood as a useful and sometimes essential component in the management of patient health. Medical nutrition is not intended to treat disease, but is widely used by docotors and dieticians as a complement to traditional drug therapies, and as a means to support patients to better fight their condition or maintain their strength.

Many medical conditions can be better managed when a patient is receiving a specialised diet adapted to their unique circumstances. Sometimes the constraints to appetite may be physical, as in the case of stroke patients who may find it difficult or impossible to swallow, or of young children with neurological disabilities. Sometimes the problem may simply be insufficient intake, caused by the loss of appetite that is so common among cancer patients or the very elderly. Medical nutrition brings solutions and support to these cases across a broad range of care settings - in the hospital, in the care home, or in the community.

In special cases such as severe cow's milk allergy in infants, or some rare patients with inborn errors of metabolism, compliance with a specialised diet under medical supervision may be not only beneficial but also vital to continued good health. A hypoallergenic formula may be the only way to manage the distressing symptoms of CMA in babies, and a highly specialised amino-acid formulation might be the key to maintaining the right metabolic balance - over a lifetime - in a consumer with PKU or MSUD.

Whether in combatting general malnutrition, or in bringing more specialised support in disease areas as diverse as diabetes, sarcopenia, COPD and decubitus - or even in neurology - Medical Nutrition brings doctors more options in the management of those in their care, and offers the opportunity of a better quality of life for patients everywhere.