Module 1: Nutrition Related Focus with ALS Patients

Optimizing Intake For Adequate Intake (orally and/or enterally) #

The main goal is optimizing intake to adequately meet daily nutritional requirements (through oral intake and/or enteral feeds).

Malnutrition plays a large role as a prognostic factor in the survival of AL patients. Malnutrition could be attributed (but is not limited to): physical inability to prepare meals as well as consume meals due to dysphagia, weakness in upper arms/hands and breathing difficulties.

Early recognition of poor intake and weight loss is very important.

Malnutrition is an independent prognostic factor of survival in ALS. Factors that contribute to malnutrition include physical inability/difficulty to prepare and consume meals, dysphagia, UE weakness and breathing/respiratory difficulties.

Early detection of decreased intake and weight loss Is imperative.

Sources and Further Reading #

  • Kasarskis EJ, Barryman S, Vanderleest JG, et al. Nutritional status of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: relation to the proximity of death. Am J Clin Nutr. 1996;63(1):130-137.
  • Clinical Nutrition Handbook, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre: pg 87-99 + references following summary + recommendations provided.
  • ALS Society Canada: ALS Guide: Role of RD, page 26.

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