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Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease, Coursework Example

Pages: 3

Words: 934

Coursework

Introduction

Medication administration for patients requires nurses to have a high level understanding and acknowledgement of the different types of medications, their purpose, their impact on patients, their side effects, and other potential complications. Nurses must be able to demonstrate their ability to protect patients from unnecessary medication challenges whenever possible and also be cognizant of the risks associated with medications for specific patients. There must be an effective strategy in place that will demonstrate knowledge of these medications and how patients might be protected from unnecessary risks or harm related to medication at all times. Patients may not effectively respond to specific types of medications under some conditions and circumstances may also require patients to consider other alternatives with respect to nutrition and other therapies. Therefore, it is necessary for patients to be provided with as much accurate information as possible that will enable them to make informed decisions regarding their self-care when not under the direct supervision of a physician. The following discussion will address some of these concerns as related to patients who face the risk of complications associated with medications and diet, for example. This scenario will be explored further and will also consider the role of drug holidays and how they impact patients in different ways.

Analysis

For a patient with Parkinson’s disease, it is necessary to evaluate all possible medication alternatives in order to minimize the risk of symptoms and other complications. This includes the opportunity to refrain from taking medication for periods of time as conveyed by the physician, otherwise known as drug holidays, with the intent to reduce side effects and complications associated with drugs such as L-DOPA (Life Extension, 2015). Under these circumstances, it is possible for patients to experience improved dopamine receptor sensitivity when they take a controlled break from the drug, thereby improving their potential for greater quality of life (Life Extension, 2015). Therefore, it is important to address these circumstances and to be aware of the risks related to drug holidays to prevent any additional damage beyond that which has already been incurred (Life Extension, 2015).

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (2015), it is important for all patients to consume foods with a balanced approach in order to prevent further complications, while also addressing other concerns that will have a lasting impact on patient care and wellbeing. Dietary guidelines should include a variety of foods for regular consumption from the different food groups, including fruits and vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy products, under reasonable circumstances (Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 2015). These nutritional guidelines will provide additional support for patients who are also taking one or more medications, as this will facilitate a more balanced approach to the treatment plan that will have a lasting impact on patient outcomes (Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 2015). It is known that “People with PD are at increased risk for malnutrition; yet, with attention to diet, you will feel better, ward off nutrition-related diseases, and prevent hospitalization (Holden, p. 1). This process requires nurses to provide guidance and information to patients regarding their nutritional needs on a regular basis in order to provide opportunities to achieve the best possible health outcomes and quality of life as related to the condition (Holden). This process also supports bone strength and the prevention of osteoporosis in many patients, who face a high degree of vulnerability to this condition as a result of the disease (Holden). These options require nurses to be proactive in working with Parkinson’s patients in an effort to sustain their overall health and wellbeing and to be effective in communicating their needs on a continuous basis in order to prevent further risk or harm to their already fragile health (Holden).

Patients with Parkinson’s disease must be able to identify the importance of nutrition in promoting their overall health and wellbeing and in supporting a framework that will demonstrate their ability to respond effectively to medication as prescribed (Brandabur). It is believed that this process will provide patients with a greater opportunity to evaluate their own health and a means of understanding the risks associated with the disease upon which nutrition could play a role (Brandabur). It is known that for patients with Parkinson’s disease, poor nutrition may contribute to or exacerbate other conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes (Brandabur). Therefore, patients must remain apprised of their nutritional habits and recognize that the foods that they consume may help or hinder not only their Parkinson’s condition, but also other health concerns (Brandabur). It is believed that these factors require patients to consume foods that have significant nutritional value and that support a positive nutritional framework throughout the treatment process to prevent additional complications for these patients (Brandabur).

Conclusion

The complex nature of Parkinson’s disease requires a strong and meaningful nutritional profile for all patients that includes a balanced diet across all food groups. This practice will encourage patients to take all possible steps to minimize their symptoms and to be proactive in addressing their condition on a continuous basis. This process requires a high level of support from nurses in treating patients effectively and with the appropriate amount of attention to encourage positive health and wellbeing. In addition, when recommended by a physician, a controlled medication holiday may minimize the risk of complications and provide greater control over the disease. These alternatives will support the development of methods to manage the condition as best as possible.

References

Brandabur, M.M. Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease. Pp. 1-4.

Holden, K. Parkinson’s Disease: nutrition matters. National Parkinson Foundation. Pp. 1-72.

Life Extension (2015). Parkinson’s disease: conventional medical treatment. Retrieved from http://www.lef.org/Protocols/Neurological/Parkinsons-Disease/Page-02

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (2015). Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease: What Matters Most?  Retrieved from http://www.pdf.org/en/winter06_07_Nutrition_and_Parkinson

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