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As the muscles for chewing and swallowing weaken, ALS patients will suffer from an increasing difficulty to eat, leading to reduced nutritional intake. A reduced appetite can also be a side effect of certain medications someone might be taking. People with ALS also mention how fatigued they feel when eating large meals or hard to chew food, and are unable to finish it.
These situations can all lead to poor nutrition and weight loss. Diet or nutritional therapy can help prevent poor nutrition by providing menus or suggestions for meals. A dietitian or nutritional therapist can in addition give suggestions for increasing caloric intake and prevent fatigue while eating. As the person loses the ability to chew and swallow, a dietitian or nutritional therapist can be consulted about setting up the procedure to put in a feeding tube.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|