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Sepsis refers to an infection of the blood and can be a result of any infection in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza or urinary tract infection. It is a serious condition that takes time to heal and regain your strength. People who are suffering from this condition may experience consequences such as weight loss, lean muscle mass loss, dehydration, etc. It is possible to manage these complications and regain your strength with some dietary changes. In this article, you’ll find some dietary recommendations to help your recovery after having sepsis.

  1. Dietary interventions to manage the complications of sepsis
  2. What to eat while recovering from sepsis
  3. What not to eat while recovering from sepsis
  4. Indian diet plan for post-sepsis recovery
Doctors for Diet for post sepsis recovery

Following are some of the complications you may experience from having sepsis as well as dietary solutions to these problems.

Weight loss

Weight loss is very common in cases of sepsis. Consuming a calorie-rich soft diet may be easier to digest and help with recovery. The patient can have milk or salted porridge, suji or paneer kheer, mashed potato, mashed rice, scrambled eggs, lentil or vegetable soup, vegetable stew and fruit and nut smoothies. As this weight loss can take time to recover from, so it's best to consult a nutritionist with all the vital reports (height, weight, BMI, lab reports, health conditions, medical history) and design a customized diet plan with their help.

Lean muscles loss

Muscle loss is a serious complication of this condition. Protein is a building block for muscle mass. Studies suggest having 1.2-2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight to recover muscle mass, so the requirement can vary from person to person. Consult a nutritionist to find out what your total protein intake should be during this time. Otherwise, try to add one high-protein food item in each of your meals. Some options to choose from are eggs, milk, yogurt, roasted chana, lentils, chicken, soya and paneer. If you are not able to reach your protein requirement by your natural diet, you can discuss dietary supplementation with your doctor.

Dehydration

Due to fever and infection, dehydration can be noted during the post septic recovery phase. To maintain hydration, try to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water (2.5-3 litres) in a day. If you are not able to drink plain water, you can try detox water, soup, fruit juices or have it with glucose. Coconut water and buttermilk are rich sources of electrolytes and can help treat dehydration by resolving the electrolyte imbalance in the body.

Weak immunity

Boosting immunity to avoid reinfection and promote recovery is one of the most important considerations at this point. By adding vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your diet, you can give your immune system the boost it requires. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids are nutrients that can help with this task; include them in your natural diet for better absorption. You can include carrots, pumpkin, papaya, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, fatty fish, cod liver oil, nuts and seeds in your diet.

Turmeric and green tea are also known as antioxidant-rich foods. Turmeric has curcumin, which helps our body to fight inflammation and infection, and green tea has catechin, which prevents our body from further cell breakdown and helps in recovery.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is commonly associated with post-sepsis. A person who suffers from this condition may experience nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth and a lack of energy to eat. To fight it, split your day into 6 meals, 3 major and 3 small ones. Try to have energy-dense meals to complete your energy requirement. Opt for small meals only, such as fruit and nut milkshakes, homemade nutrition bars, fruit salads with honey and roasted seeds, paneer or chicken sandwich, etc. To avoid nausea, have lemon water with your meals.

As a person is unable to eat much but needs high quantities of nutrients to recover in such cases, try to cook colourful and tempting dishes that they usually enjoy. Otherwise, you can add some herbs as a seasoning to increase the appetite such as carom seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, oregano, etc.

Some other foods can also help your recovery along:

  • Glutamine-rich foods: Glutamine is known as an immunonutrient that helps our body fight different types of infections (such as pneumonia, bacteremia and sepsis) and helps in fast recovery. To add this nutrient to your diet, try to eat chicken, fish, cabbage, spinach, tofu, lentils, beans, etc regularly.
  • Thiamine-rich foods: Evidence shows that consuming thiamine during and post sepsis can play a significant role in recovery. Having thiamine through natural sources can increase the absorption rate of this nutrient and aid recovery. Oranges, tomatoes, whole grains, leafy vegetables and milk products are rich sources of this nutrient. Try to add them to your daily diet. 
  • Vitamin D: Many research studies have suggested the importance of vitamin D during the treatment of sepsis. This nutrient is also known as an immunity booster. For better absorption, try to sit in sunlight for 15-20 minutes daily. As egg yolk, mushroom, fatty fish and cod liver oil have some amount of vitamin D, you can include them in your diet as well.

There are some food items that can worsen the complications of sepsis and slow down the recovery. Following are some foods you should avoid:

  • Raw and uncooked foods such as fruit juice, milk, meat, egg, etc can carry different types of microbes that can be the cause of recurrent infections and slow down recovery.
  • Many studies have suggested that processed food can increase inflammation in the body, which has a direct relationship with recovery. Try to avoid them.
  • Oily and greasy foods are not easy to digest and can result in indigestion and discomfort during this time. Try to take a soft diet, cooked in less oil and salt.

If the patient suffers from any diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc, it can slow down the recovery process from sepsis. Discuss any dietary changes and plans with your nutritionist first in such cases. Following is a sample diet plan, designed to aid recovery in sepsis patients:

  • Early morning: Warm water + almonds (8) + soaked raisins (10-12)
  • Breakfast: Wheat porridge (1-2 bowl) + full cream milk (1 cup) / boiled egg (1)
  • Mid-meal: Mango smoothie with nuts (1 glass)
  • Lunch: Khichadi (1-2 bowl) + palak kadhi (1 bowl)
  • Evening tea: Turmeric tea (1 bowl) + roasted makhana (1 bowl) / paneer sandwich (1-2)
  • Dinner: Mashed rice (1 bowl) + split moong daal (1bowl) + mashed potato (1 bowl) + any seasonal vegetable (1 bowl)
  • Bedtime: Turmeric milk (1 glass)

Find Nutritionist in cities

  1. Dietician in Delhi
  2. Dietician in Delhi
Dt. Sonal jain

Dt. Sonal jain

Dietician
5 Years of Experience

Dt. Rajni Sharma

Dt. Rajni Sharma

Dietician
7 Years of Experience

Dt. Ayushi Shah

Dt. Ayushi Shah

Dietician
2 Years of Experience

Dr. Yogita Johar

Dr. Yogita Johar

Dietician
1 Years of Experience

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