About the Book
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most traumatic events an individual will ever experience. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime, and at any age. In a split second, every aspect of your life and your family’s life is changed, forever. We know what you’re going through because it happened to both of us.
We are nutritionists whose lives have been personally touched by spinal cord injury. Joanne sustained an L1 paraplegia in a car collision
at the age of 19 and Kylie’s nephew Cooper sustained a C3-4 tetraplegia when he was just one and a half years old.
After spinal cord damage, not only is your body suddenly forced to cope with the direct impact of paralysis, but it must also deal with the psychological stress, physical pain, biochemical changes and hormonal imbalances that take place. Together these factors can contribute to the development of many common, recurring and potentially life-threatening secondary health complications, such as pressure sores, arthritis, osteoporosis, pain, fatigue, impaired respiratory and immune function, bladder infections, chronic constipation, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
It is common for individuals with spinal cord injury to experience multiple nutrient deficiencies. These secondary health complications then place additional demands on your body for increased calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, eating the right foods becomes even more crucial to meet your body’s increased nutrient needs right after injury, during rehabilitation and throughout your life.
Food has the amazing ability to help restore balance in your body and enhance your body’s inherent healing potential. Practicing good nutrition, along with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, can help protect you from developing secondary health complications. When we learned of the high risk of developing life-impairing, post-injury complications, we sought out SCI–related nutritional research and information. Disappointingly, we found that despite the prevalence, awareness and negative consequences of these secondary health complications, there is limited information available focusing on nutrition and its impact on preventing, addressing and managing them. We knew that if we were having trouble finding this information, so were others. That’s why we decided we needed to research and write this book.
Eat Well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury is a comprehensive, practical nutritional guide written specifically for individuals with spinal cord injuries, as well as their families, friends, caregivers, health and medical professionals.
It is our hope that this book will focus attention on the important therapeutic role nutrition plays in the lives of individuals with SCI, and inspire future research in the area of nutrition and SCI. Most importantly, however, we hope this book will help empower you to have greater control over your health and enhance your independence in an easy, practical and cost-effective way.
The funding for Eat Well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury was
generously provided by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Read more...