Welcome to the Nutrition Clinic at Circle Rehabilitation.
Correct nutrition is of great importance in the rehabilitation process for those recovering from an operation, and those with chronic health conditions. This is firstly in order that the body gets extra sustenance to maintain or return to a state of good health/repair or maintain itself (Patients who spend a long time in a conventional acute hospital setting after an operation may not receive the nutrition they need for a speedy recovery). Second, research shows that particular nutrients are beneficial in the management of certain chronic conditions, and may play a role in their prevention or slowing their development.
At Circle Rehabilitation, we provide expert nutritional advice as part of a treatment programme that considers all physical and psychological factors in the rehabilitation process. Neurorehabilitation consultant Peter Tun, who has a special interest in food and nutrition, will run a clinic advising patients with a range of conditions on an appropriate balanced nutritional intake for them, including small quantities of vitamins and minerals that could make a substantial difference to their clinical outcome and quality of life. Patients will also have access to Circle Rehabilitation’s multidisciplinary team of neuro physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and clinical psychologist, and to our rehabilitation gym with its range of cutting-edge diagnostic and exercise equipment such as the Nordic Health spinal strengthening kit, the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill and the Hydro Physio aquatic treadmill.
Dr Peter Khin Tun (MBBS 1981, MRCP UK London 1997) is a graduate of the University of Medicine (1), Yangon, Myanmar, and a Member of the Royal College of Physicians and the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine. He has 20 years’ experience in neurological rehabilitation medicine as a staff physician and an associate specialist in UK NHS hospitals, with a special interest in multidisciplinary muscle spasticity management.
Neurological psychologist Rachel Howes qualified in 2005 from Oxford Brookes University and gained a Band 6 post in Neurology at Chase Farm Hospital Barnet. She has also worked in elderly care, a renal unit and other departments at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and with neurological patients in the community, promoting their independence.
Emily Buckle qualified as a physiotherapist from Southampton University in 2010 and her first senior role was at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust in 2012. Her interest in neurological rehabilitation led her to work in the community, where she specialised in stroke and traumatic brain injuries.
The prevalence of MS around the world has been found to correlate with the amount of Vitamin D populations receive, through sunlight or through eating fish, as well as certain genetic factors.
For patients, eating fish and mushrooms rich in Vitamin D helps calcium absorption to make bones stronger. Vitamin D may also have effects on the immune system and help regulate cell growth.
Vitamin B12 – found particularly in shellfish and fish, red meat, dairy products – is needed for sensory functions and co-ordination. A diet low in saturated fat may also help in the management of MS.
Vitamin B1 thiamine, which is found in beef, liver, pork, nuts, oats, oranges, peas and legumes, and which cereals are often fortified with, and an optimal level of magnesium (found in nuts and dark green vegetables or taken in supplements) are needed to reactivate memory function, eg in alcoholics.
Patients with Parkinson’s Disease should eat a diet rich in fibre and drink plenty of water to aid digestion. Vitamin D is important to help them to maintain bone health, and acts as an anti-inflammatory in brain.
Foods high in antioxidants (vegetables including potatoes, peppers and kale; fruits such as berries, apples, pears and grapes, grains, eggs, legumes and dark chocolate) may compensate for damage to cells. Toxic levels in the bloodstream of the amino acid homocysteine, as a side effect of taking one of the common drugs for Parkinson’s, can be treated with folic acid, vitamins B12 and B6, zinc and tri-methyl-glycine.
Magnesium is a natural relaxant which can help sleep patterns, which are often disturbed in Parkinson’s patients.
Healthy eating cuts the risk factors for stroke: poor cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, excess weight. Stroke patients wanting to avoid a recurrence or people with a family history of stroke should eat a diet low in salt, saturated fat (and fats overall) and cholesterol. Probiotics (such as yoghurt and fermented foods) which add beneficial bacteria to the gut can help immune cells defend against the severity of an ischemic stroke.
Hip and knee replacements
Patients recovering from joint replacement need nutrients to help rebuild tissues and boost blood cells – so in the early stage of recovery should particularly choose iron-rich, protein-rich and anti-inflammatory foods. Calcium and vitamin D are also important to help them rebuild bones.
Sports injury patients and patients preparing for a sports events
A balanced diet of carbohydrate, protein and fats is essential to give the body the required energy for both peak performance and endurance. Too low a calorie intake puts an athlete more at risk of injury, and slows recovery after injury. A number of vitamins and minerals, which are needed for the body’s metabolic reactions, are important in recovering from sports injury: zinc deficiency, for example, is associated with poor wound healing. Deficiency in calcium and iron makes an athlete more prone to stress fractures.