injury and appetite

Injury and Nutrition

How does injury affect appetite?

Many of my physical therapy patients in Bozeman, Montana lead pretty active lives. When injury strikes and forces their activity to stop or slow way down, sometimes their appetites drop off.

We might assume this is due to decreased activity, but metabolically speaking it takes time for the metabolism to adjust to decreased activity. Pain itself can affect hunger/satiety levels as can some types of pain medication. Decreased sleep (from pain) can also affect appetite. Injuries also affect our mood, which in turn can affect our appetites.

At the beginning of an injury especially, our bodies need proper nutrition and calorie intake regardless of the changes in activity levels. It's important to keep enough so that your body has the tools it needs to heal.

My general guidelines are for patients to
1) make sure they're eating enough at regular intervals throughout the day
2)  limit processed foods and added sugar
3) focus on making sure to consume adequate protein to help support tissue recovery

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