Nutrient needs may be altered because of long-term medication use and lack of ambulation. Use of drugs such as anticonvulsants and/or Phenobarbital for epilepsy, antacids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and laxatives can interfere with calcium and vitamin D absorption, which negatively affects bone metabolism. Likewise, those with spinal cord injury or those who cannot ambulate are less likely to place weight-bearing stress on the bone, or absorb calcium and vitamin D properly, which can affect the onset of osteoporosis.
Look for an increased intake of calcium and vitamin D to help prevent the onset of symptoms. Eat non-fat and low-fat dairy products, eggs and egg whites, spinach, and leafy green vegetables as part of a regular diet. Aim for 5-a-day: 5 fruits and vegetables every day. Some shopping and preparation tips include looking for weekly produce sales and asking about a reduced produce section (where fruits or vegetables might be ripe or overripe, but still edible and full of healthy vitamins and nutrients at a lower price).
Increase fiber intake to assist in preventing additional secondary conditions such as heart disease. Fiber can assist in moving foods through your system and prevent constipation, which is often a side effect of medications. Focus on whole grains, 5-a-day of fruits and vegetables, as well as brown rice or pasta, and high-fiber cereals (bran and oatmeal).
Simple tips for losing weight include avoiding eating while not hungry; increasing fiber intake, which increases feelings of satiety; and participating in daily physical activity.