hen The WHO gives Covid-19 nutritional guidelines for people with mild and severe symptoms for home-based care and healthcare workers
- The WHO guidelines for preventive measures against COVID 19
- COVID 19 implications to the vulnerable groups and nutrition
- Mild symptoms of COVID 19 with nutritional implications
- Severe symptoms of COVID 19 with nutritional implications
- Diet recommended for mild symptoms of COVID-19
- Dietary guideline for people with severe COVID-19 symptoms
- Dietary Guidelines for COVID 19 ICU patients
- Nutritional and childbirth.
- Nutritional guidance for breastfeeding
- Nutrition guidelines for pregnant women
Coronavirus disease has caused a lot of panic across the world. Researchers are working to discover a vaccine that may be effective against the disease. Currently, there is no cure against coronavirus. However, recent discoveries about the diseases give some hope for this pandemic. Research shows that you can still recover from the illness. To increase your recovery rate and to prevent yourself from contacting COVID 19, experts have recommended nutritional management guidelines.
Keep in mind that the recommendations go hand in hand with the WHO guidelines initially issued. A proper diet plan just joins the WHO containment measures of the coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO guidelines for preventive measures against COVID 19
To remind yourself, these are the measures you can take to protect yourself and family members from contacting COVID-19.
a) Wear masks properly while in any public place.
b) Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water.
c) Keep social distance when in public places.
d) Cover your mouth while coughing.
e) Avoid public gathering.
f) Hand sanitizing.
g) Work from home, if possible.
h) Avoid unnecessary traveling.
i)Avoid crowded places.
COVID 19 implications to the vulnerable groups and nutrition
Coronavirus is more invasive if your immunity is compromised. Older people above 58 years, children under 14 years are among people who are at risk of contracting the disease due to their compromised immunity. Another group of a vulnerable group of people is those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, pneumonia, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, among others. For the specialized category of vulnerable people, it is good to consult licensed health professionals for advice on individualized diet management.
The virus causing the disease is novel. However, discoveries to try to contain the disease are coming out more frequently. Nutritional management of COVID 19 is one of the recent findings. The dietary guidelines described in this article relate to the different symptoms of coronavirus. Signs of the disease vary from asymptomatic to more severe health complications.
Mild symptoms of COVID 19 with nutritional implications.
Slight pain in the joints
Severe symptoms of COVID 19 with nutritional implications
Organs failure, e.g., Kidney impairment
Inflammation of lungs
Acute respiratory disease syndrome
These guidelines are therefore useful for the management of the disease before, during, after recovery from COVID 19. If you still suspect you don’t have the condition, it is always essential to go through the guidelines since you don’t know when the disease can catch up with you. The global statistics show that majority of the population is asymptomatic. Therefore, everyone needs to take care to slow down or prevent community transmission due to person to person contact.
Diet recommended for mild symptoms of COVID 19
a)Drink plenty of water in a day. Taking a lot of water and other fluids is essential for everyone. However, it is also recommendable when you encounter fever symptoms.
b)Avoid refined carbohydrate foods. Examples of this category of food to avoid are sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, sugar, cakes, and soft drinks.
c)Increase the number of times you eat in case of fever symptoms. Fever increases your body’s metabolism. It will, therefore, increase body energy requirements. In each meal you eat, it should be an all-inclusive diet meal with plenty of proteins, fruits, energy, and vegetables. Examples include milk, legumes, and green vegetables.
d)Eat plenty of fruits like pineapples or use honey against coughs. Patients can also manage coughs through the use of chicken soup.
e)Use of oral nutritional supplements. Some nutrients may be present in an insufficient amount in some diets. You can consider using dietary supplements in various food stores, drug stores, or pharmaceutical companies. Examples of supplements you can purchase are vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E or mineral iron supplements like iron, zinc, folate, and fiber. Most of these elements are essential in making proteins needed for the immune system.
f)Avoid anxiety and stress. When you are stressed up, the body function will be affected. It will reduce the efficient use of nutrients you will obtain from your good die. Seek psychological health counseling experts. You can also reach out to religious leaders, personal friends, family members, or trusted person in the community. It will help you to deal with stress so that your health is not compromised.
g)Avoid alcoholic drinks. Many people have thought that alcohol works like ‘sanitizer’ when they consume it. It is not the case. Alcohol is known to increase health complications that make one vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Also, avoid tobacco products.
h Have enough sleep. Having enough sleep is one of the best health practices. Enough sleep makes your body to utilize nutrients consumed from the food you eat effectively. It also helps work with stress.
i) Exercise regularly. Exercise is closely related to nutrition. Both are health fitness strategies. With training, you will avoid complications like acquired diabetes that may increase your risk of being infected by COVID-19.
j)Take traditional foods and herbs. Every culture embraces some foods or plants as medicinal. Most of the herbs, such as culinary herbs like sage, oregano, cinnamon, Moringa, garlic, among others, are recommended. These herbs are rich in antioxidants, which boosts the body’s immunity.
Nutritional guideline for people with severe COVID 19 symptoms
Coronavirus disease puts one at sever health conditions by causing various body complications. Still, at this stage, there are high chances of recovery. According to WHO guidelines, if you adhere to diet recommendations below, it may help in the recovery process in addition to other containment measures. We are going to discuss the following symptoms concerning nutritional guidelines.
1. Pulmonary infections
2. Kidney failure
- Nutritional guidelines for managing pulmonary infections
a) One of the severe pneumonia-like symptoms of COVID 19 is fatigue. To manage fatigue;
i) Avoid alcoholic products
ii) Increase intake of nutrient supplements rich in vitamins and mineral salts. It is beneficial for patients with a deficiency of a specified vitamin.
iii) Eat adequate frequent meals.
iv) Avoid overfeeding.
b) Another sever pulmonary symptom of COVID-19 is shortness of breath. It can be managed nutritionally by;
i) Eating protein-rich foods such as lean meat.
ii) Avoiding excess feeding. Reducing the quantity of meal intake but compromising the nutrient content of the meal.
iii) Lowering the consumption of fats and carbohydrates. Avoid sugary foods like sweetened beverages, soft drinks, cake, sweets, among others.
iv) Eat plenty of fruits like avocado, sunflower and corn oil
c) Consider the following diets to manage pneumonia symptoms associated with coronavirus;
i) In addition to prescribed medication, use warm water.
ii) Use honey, vegetables, and fruits like lemon
iii) Take frequently. It is recommended to take a wholesome diet but in small amounts.
iv) Take oral nutritional supplements like Vitamin A, B, C, D, or mineral supplements like iron, zinc copper, folate, among others.
v) Take appetite-improving supplements to improve daily food intake and energy consumption.
d) In case of weight loss symptom, increase intake of foods rich in proteins to build worn out tissues of the muscles.
e) Patients with vomiting symptoms should follow the following recommendations.
i) Correct posture of eating. The patient should eat while seated. The patient should seat at between 40-90 degrees.
ii) Do not lie down immediately after eating. You should take some time before that.
iii) Consume small frequent meals but rich all nutrients.
iv) Take food and fluids at different times.
v) Consume dry foods.
f) Patients who are secreting abnormal sputum can consider the guidelines below.
i) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables such as avocado, spinach, tomatoes
ii) Avoid allergic foods. Consult your physician on these types of foods that can lead to increased mucus production as a result of allergic reactions. There is inter-individual variability on the kinds of food they can cause allergy. Some foods that can lead to allergic reactions are peanut, wheat, shellfish, soy, wheat, among others.
iii) Consider the consumption of warm drinks.
iv) Drink plenty of soups with no cream
v) Take warm decaffeinated tea.
vi) Eat plenty of fruits like citrus and green leafy vegetables like kales or spinach.
g) In the case of anemia, the patient can follow nutritional guidelines below;
i) Consider taking iron-rich foods like citrus fruits, iron supplements, among others
h) Patients with fluid retention can consider taking nutrients rich in potassium or sodium, depending on the type of deficient hormone or nutrient in the body after prescription.
2. Nutritional management of Organ failure symptoms of COVID-19.
Organ failure is one of the severe symptoms of COVID-19. Multiple organ failure varies from one patient to another. Therefore, perform nutritional therapy after accessing the level of multiple organ failure. Kidney failure is the most common type of complication caused by a coronavirus. Some of the dietary measures that may be effective following chronic kidney failure are;
i) Measuring and adjusting the levels of mineral ions like potassium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus
ii) Enteral nutrition therapy in case of renal failure. However, this should only be an option if intestinal function permits.
iii) Development of individualized nutritional management
iv) Adjusting body protein intake rate depending on the renal function assessment, dialysis losses, and catabolic rate of the patient.
Nutritional Guidelines for COVID 19 ICU patients
Coronavirus can cause extreme medical complications to an individual. Critically ill individuals need extraordinary management. From the global statistics, only a few numbers of patients recover from ICU status. The WHO gave out the following guidelines for ICU patients.
vi) Eating-aid techniques like enteral nutrition can be an option for patients who cannot eat orally.
vii) Use of appetite boosting supplements to increase the desire of the patient.
viii) If the patient cannot swallow the food or supplement, enteral nutrition can be an option.
ix) Avoid administering glutamine dipeptide in case of multiple organ failure like renal and kidney failure.
x) For any patient in ICU, the healthcare worker should opt for medical nutrition therapy. It should be for at least two days.
xi) If the patient is still in stable condition to eat, oral administration of food should be a better option.
xii) Only consider parenteral nutrition if the patient is unable to eat orally.
xiii) Early enteral feeding should start immediately, but after three to seven days.
xiv) Avoid bolus enteric nutrition. Instead, perform continuous enteral nutrition.
xv) Start nutrition support immediately when the patient is thermodynamically stable.
vi) Avoid administering antioxidants unless the deficiency is determined.
Patients at a critical level should have individualized nutrition with regular measurement of the standards of the crucial elements in the body. You need to elevate the levels of mineral salts, vitamins, and ions.
Nutritional and childbirth.
In case a COVID-19 positive mother gives birth to a child, there are precautionary measures to prevent the baby from being infected. Winnowing is vital for a child because it boosts the child immunity. Breastfeeding to be done the infant throughout their infancy stage. Mother milk is always a good source of antibodies that protects infants against infections. In addition to precautions of IPC, below are infant feeding guidelines recommended;
i) Mothers should practice personal hygiene all the time. During breastfeeding, the mother should put on a protective mask. Practice hand washing before and after breastfeeding or being in contact with the child.
ii) For mothers who have undergone the cercarian section, it is impossible to start breastfeeding immediately. Such mothers should be supported to breastfeed immediately w they are capable of doing so.
iii) Babies born to mothers who are COVID-19 positive or have symptoms of the disease should be given standard breastfeeding guidelines in addition to IPC precautions.
iv) Infancy breastfeeding should go up to six months. After six months, use nutrient-rich supplements in addition to continuous breastfeeding.
Nutritional guidance for breastfeeding
There is a possible transmission of COVID-19 from mother to child during breastfeeding. The WHO, therefore, gave out additional guidelines for pregnant and breastfeeding parents. Below are special nutrition requirements for pregnant women.
Breastfeeding women are encouraged to take extreme measures to prevent their children from COVID-19. It is because children are very vulnerable due to their weak immune systems. All breastfeeding women who have recovered from the disease or have had contact history with infected patients should seek safe breastfeeding practices. Breastfeeding mothers should consult for possible alternative ready-made milk that may substitute the normal breastfeeding in case there is a risk of infecting the baby.
Nutrition guidelines for pregnant women
The guidelines for pregnant women are similar to those of breastfeeding women. They should consult their healthcare providers on safe ways of breastfeeding and personal measures they should undertake during pregnancy.
Nutrition is essential to boost one’s immunity to coronavirus disease. Please consult with licensed healthcare providers for guidance on how to choose a correct diet plan.