DIET AND CLIENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Normally, the human body operates in a state of homeostasis. When the body experiences the trauma of surgery, severe burns, or infections, this balance is upset. The body reacts in an attempt to restore itself to homeostasis.
During its response to physical stress, the body signals the endocrine system, which activates a self-protective, hypermetabolic response. This increases energy output. The intensity of the response depends on the severity of the condition.
Catabolism occurs, causing the rapid breakdown of energy reserves to provide glucose and other substances necessary for the anabolic phase of wound healing and tissue maintenance. Proteins, fats, and minerals are lost in the catabolic phase just when there is an increased need for them to rebuild tissue. When the condition includes hemorrhage and vomiting, these losses are compounded.
Sufficient nutrients, fluids, and calories are required as soon as possible to replace the losses, build and repair tissue, and return the body to homeostasis. Obviously, nutrition plays an important role in the lives of clients undergoing surgery or of those who suffer from burns or infections.