Did your hospital stay cause malnutrition?

Undernutrition is an issue that could develop or become worse if you have an extended stay in the hospital. This problem requires addressing quickly to avoid further health issues.

Merck explains that while you may eat less or not be as hungry in the hospital as you typically are, it is up to the professionals treating you to ensure you get adequate nutrition.

Issues you should note

Not all nutritional issues stem from bad care within the hospital. Some instances may be things that you or those caring for you do not realize. For example, if you have religious food restrictions, the hospital may be unaware. You can speak up, and usually, the dietician can adjust your menu to allow for your needs.

You should not feel bad about speaking up if you feel you are not enjoying the food or you know that you are not eating enough. You can discuss it with those provisioning your care to figure out a good solution.

Issues for medical professionals

Those taking care of you should also watch out for potential issues that could lead to malnutrition. For example, if your doctor puts you on a restrictive diet, he or she should only do so for a short time if possible.

If they notice an issue, they should work with you to figure out a solution. While medical professionals may be very busy and understaffing is a problem, it is still their job to ensure you are healthy. They should not ignore your needs.

If your situation is serious and all attempts to fix it fail, then the doctor should take additional steps, such as a feeding tube.

Ultimately, it is up to the medical providers to make sure you do not fall into worse health due to nutritional issues while in the hospital for an extended time.

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