Some tips on cooking and food
We should know what we
are capable of doing physically and plan our
activities according to it. There is no point
in frustrating ourselves with goals that are
too hard to meet. An energy-saving plan is also
needed in the kitchen. One way to save energy
is to shop wisely, minimising the number of
trips to the market without resulting in a shopping
basket that is too heavy to carry. We should
have enough rest between household chores and
cooking. Learning to pamper our joints is useful
especially if we have arthritis. Using the right
kitchen tools is important. Blunt knives waste
energy and cooking pots that are not well balanced
on the stove may topple and pose a danger.
of convenience foods is useful. Our homes should
be well-stocked with foods that are easily prepared
for those days that we don’t feel well.
These include canned food, canned soups, instant
noodles and porridge, eggs and biscuits.
we do when we don’t feel like eating? We
should remember that food is important for our
bodies even though it does not appeal to us. We
should try to eat something. Making food more
fragrant may stimulate our appetite. When our
mouths are painful or dry, frequent sips of water
can help (it’s fashionable to carry small
bottles of water around anyway). Non-sugared and
sourish sweets may help to stimulate saliva flow.
We should avoid too much sugar because of weight
gain and dental caries.
we feel like vomiting and have a poor appetite.
Since we need to eat for energy, we must devise
means to overcome this. Eating small amounts of
simple foods can help. We should avoid milk, very
sweet foods or large meals.
is another common problem. When it is due to excessively
hard stools, we should plan to eat less fibre
(as found in vegetables, fruits and cereals) and
drink more water and juices. Stool softeners like
lactulose can help (this has to be given by your
doctor). Inactivity can also lead to constipation,
so we should remain active and spend less time
in bed or on the couch.
diarrhoea is simply due to too little fibre in
our diet and can be remedied by eating more of
it. If it persists, we should consult a doctor
to ensure that it is not due to infection or other
diseases of the intestines like irritable bowel
syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.
may be treated by taking smaller meals and avoiding
food just before bed. Smoking and obesity predispose
to heartburn too. In addition, do not wear your
belt too tightly! Medical treatment is needed
if simple measures are not sufficient.
There are a few things about
food and diet we have to watch out for in relation
to certain medications. Steroids, including prednisolone,
methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone,
when ingested or injected (not usually not when
applied on to the skin) can cause one to have
a great appetite. It is not surprising that many
people who are on steroids put on weight.
is often used to treat SLE especially when the
disease is harder to control. When it is administered
as a monthly injection, it can cause nausea and
vomiting about four to six hours after the infusion.
When this occurs, let your doctor know and he
can prescribe another medicine to prevent this.
like Ponstan or Honstan (mefenamic acid), Indocid
(indomethacin), Oruvail (ketoprofen), Voltaren
(diclofenac sodium), Synflex (naprosyn), Clinoril
(sulindac) and others are best taken after meals
to reduce gastric irritation. Panadol (paracetamol)
is quite kind to the stomach and need not be taken
the market are drugs that can strengthen the bones
in people with osteoporosis. These medicines (like
etidronate or alendronate [Fosamax])are poorly
absorbed when mixed with food. They are best taken
half to one hour before foods. Since they can
harm the initial portion of our intestines (the
gullet or oesophagus), it is advisable to remain
upright for an hour after taking them to ensure
their rapid passage into the stomach.
SLE is not caused by foods,
and it cannot be cured by eating a special selection
of foods. The majority of lupus patients can enjoy
a healthy normal diet. Sometimes, special dietary
restrictions are required, for which the service
of a Dietitian is invaluable. We also recommend
a few simple measures to ensure that eating and
cooking remain pleasurable. A few highlights about
food and medicines are mentioned.
by: Dr. Leong Khai Phang