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On the Road to Good Health

Essay by   •  May 19, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  3,515 Words (15 Pages)  •  2,270 Views

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On the road to good health

I chose to analyze the nutrition habits of a member of my family, M. The purpose of this paper is to assess M's current nutritional status, discover his nutritional needs based on the food guide pyramid, evaluate whether M's needs are being met, and recommend changes if those needs are not being met. Before taking a look at what the client intakes on a daily basis, it is necessary to delve into his nutritionally-related health history: his past and current medical problems, his food allergies, and special diets he may have been or be on now. It is also pertinent to explore M's family history with regards to medical problems and weight abnormalities. Once his personal and family history have been examined, it will be necessary to explore the beliefs, practices, and socioeconomic factors that may impact M's nutrition and to discuss any supplement use or possible substance abuse. Finally, it will be helpful to perform a quick assessment of his body systems to make sure there are no limitations, which will give an indication of his functional ability. After these steps are completed, it will then be appropriate to analyze his 24-hour food recall and make recommendations to improve his general health. All of these factors make up the total picture of M's nutritional status and play a part in his overall wellness. A recommendation cannot be made without taking into consideration all of the contributing factors. It is also important to note that for the recommendations to be followed, they need to be tailored to what is of value to the client to facilitate compliance.

M had few illnesses as a child. Other than chronic tonsillitis (resulting in a tonsillectomy) and mononucleosis, he only had the occasional cold and flu, a few nose bleeds, and mild hay fever. However, between the ages of 5 and 27, M was injured quite often and spent a good deal of his time in and out of the hospital due to bone injuries. M has fractured his skull, nose, right cheekbone, right and left clavicle, right and left hands, left and right ribs, right femur, left shin, and right ankle. He has also dislocated his right hip and knee, had his lung punctured and part of his intestines and stomach torn. Because a majority of the bone fractures were sustained during his formative years, M may not have developed his maximum bone density as a young adult. Thomas Lehman mentioned that for whatever reason if a child doesn't develop that bone mass early on, then he or she could have significant problems later in life when the bone starts losing mass (2004). Therefore, based on his past, M may run the risk of bone density issues in later years which could result in the development of osteoporosis. This is something that needs to be considered in the nutritional assessment. Food allergies and special diets would also be something to take into consideration in preparing a nutritional recommendation. M denies having any food allergies or ever being on a special diet.

The history of M's family is pertinent in the development of an optimal nutritional plan for him. No one in M's family has had any weight abnormalities. Neither his mom or his dad or their parents were more than a few pounds overweight. However, there were some things to consider on both his mom and dad's side of the family with regards to alcoholism, diabetes, and hypertension. M's mother's father was an alcoholic and his mother is a recovering one. Both are part Cherokee. Native Americans have a reputation for being heavy drinkers. It could be a learned behavior or it may be genetic. Either way, it is a fact that Native Americans (along with Whites) have the highest percentage of people who say they currently drink (71%), the highest percentage of heavy drinkers (12%), and the greatest chances for lifetime alcohol dependence (Chartier and Caetono, 2010). With M's history of his mother and grandfather being alcoholics, it is not a good idea to drink alcohol at all. A second condition that is found in M's family is hypertension. M's mom and both maternal grandparents and his dad and his paternal grandfather have (or had) high blood pressure. Thus, it would be a good idea to tailor his nutritional recommendations toward a lower sodium diet. A third condition that is found in M's family is diabetes. M's maternal grandmother had it and his mother is dangerously close to developing it herself. This should be a concern for M because there is a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes if someone in your family had it. The risk is three times as high if your parents or siblings had it (Walker, Jayanaul, and Walker, 2008). Therefore, keeping highly processed, sugary foods to a minimum should be considered when developing a healthy eating plan for M.

Currently, M's has hypertension, sleep apnea, and low testosterone levels. He has been prescribed Micardis HTC for the high blood pressure and has been given a CPAP machine for his sleep apnea. He is compliant with taking the Micardis but doesn't wear his CPAP because when he used it in the past, it was uncomfortable and he would remove it in his sleep. In addition, M takes Androgel for his low testosterone levels. According to (2011), testosterone can, among other side effects, cause low potassium levels, another factor to consider in his nutritional recommendations.

M's personal and social histories are also influential in his nutritional choices. M states that he is someone who has good health as a goal, and that he believes a majority of a person's calories should come from fruits and vegetables, with a small amount of fat, meat, and whole grains to round it off. M supplements his diet with a daily multivitamin/multimineral, fish and flaxseed oil, vitamin C, and a low dose (80 mg) aspirin. M states that he knows he should drink at least 2 liters of water a day (he gets around 1 to 1.5) and that coffee, soda, and energy drinks are to be used sparingly, if at all. M is a member of the Latter Day Saint religion, so he abstains from drinking alcohol and coffee as part of their health code, which is an excellent idea considering the history of alcoholism in his family. However, M is addicted to chewing tobacco and goes through about three cans a week. He states that quitting the tobacco chewing is something he has struggled with since he was a young adult. He is open to suggestions with regards to tobacco cessation.

With regards to physical activity, something that goes hand in hand with good nutrition, M states that he believes in exercising six day a week for at least an hour per day. He states that an ideal plan for him would be three days a week of aerobic exercise for cardiovascular health, two days a week of weight-bearing exercises for muscle strength and bone density, and one day a week of



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