Evidence-Based Review of Stroke Rehabilitation

Nutritional Interventions Following Stroke

Norine Foley MSc, Robert Teasell MD, Marina Richardson MSc, Sanjit Bhogal MSc, Mark Speechley PhD
malnutrition, nutritional markers, hypermetabolism, increased catabolism, gastrointestinal function, enteral feeding, oral supplementation, dysphagia, parenteral nutrition, feeding tubes

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Nutritional Interventions Following Stroke


Nutritional status following stroke can have a negative impact on functional recovery and mortality. Complications associated with malnutrition include a greater incidence of infections and pressure sores, and longer lengths of hospital stays. Clinical nutritional management requires effective methods of assessment, an understanding of the underlying causes of nutritional deficiencies, and effective methods of administering nutrients via feeding techniques and supplementation.

In this review, the incidence of malnutrition post stroke is evaluated and markers used to identify deficiencies are discussed. A summarization of potential causes of nutritional deficiencies is provided including hypermetabolism, increased catabolism, and gastrointestinal and food intake issues. Interventions including enteral feeding and oral supplementation are then discussed as well as treatments for dysphagia.

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