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Nutrition for Nurses

Chapter Summary

Nutrition for NursesChapter Summary

  • Nutrition plays a fundamental role in human growth and development, beginning in utero and extending throughout the lifespan.
  • Pregnancy-related conditions that can impact the pregnant client’s nutrition and affect the fetus include hyperemesis gravidarum and gestational diabetes.
  • Appropriate nutrition and a properly functioning endocrine system are essential for growth and development through puberty for children and adolescents.
  • During adulthood, the endocrine system works to maintain homeostasis but eventually begins to exhibit age-related declines. Adults must adjust their nutritional intake accordingly to decrease the risk for developing diabetes and other endocrine disorders.
  • During later adulthood, individuals must maintain adequate nutritional intake to counteract decreased appetite.
  • Endocrine disorders develop either from malfunction of the endocrine gland responsible for secreting a particular hormone (primary disorder) or from pituitary gland malfunction (secondary disorder).
  • Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder. Clients with this condition must closely monitor their diet to limit carbohydrates and manage their caloric intake to regulate their blood glucose levels.
  • Clients with thyroid disorders must manage their intake of iodine-rich foods, selenium, and other key micronutrients to help regulate their thyroid function.
  • Clients with acromegaly may benefit from a ketogenic diet.
  • Diet plays a significant role for individuals with endocrine disorders. However, some medications used to treat these conditions can affect nutrient absorption.
  • Clients with diabetes must balance food intake with insulin or oral antidiabetic medication administration to decrease the risk for hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
  • Clients taking levothyroxine for hypothyroidism must take the medication on an empty stomach and avoid certain foods that can inhibit its absorption.
  • Clients taking calcium and loop diuretics are at risk for fractures because these medications decrease calcium and parathyroid hormone levels.

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