The importance of eating a balanced and healthy diet is well known. For people with conditions like haemophilia, a nutritious diet is even more important because of their heightened need for a sufficient nutritional intake. Although there is no specific diet for people with haemophilia, it is well-known that certain vitamins and nutrients are particularly good for improving blood clotting. Most notably, these are foods high in calcium and Vitamins C and K.
Here are five nutritional tips for people with haemophilia.
1. Eat a healthy balanced diet
Eating a healthy balanced diet is essential for someone with haemophilia. A good diet will keep your body functioning at its best and will also help you to maintain a good bodyweight. This is important because extra weight can put additional pressure on your joints and cause bleeds. A healthy balanced diet needs not be a boring diet and it’s ok to eat foods that are high in fat and sugar, as long as they represent a small percentage of your overall daily intake.
2. Eat foods high in the right vitamins and minerals
Certain foods are high in calcium and Vitamins C and K and should be included in your diet in ample amounts. All three help to improve blood clotting and each has extra benefits for people with haemophilia. Calcium also supports platelet formation; Vitamin C stimulates collagen production which may reduce bruising severity; and Vitamin K has been found to improve the production of glycogen which improves liver function.
3. Watch your diet when you are recovering from a bleed
People with haemophilia are at risk of gaining weight faster than usual when recovering from a bleed. According to statistics, young people with haemophilia are nearly twice as likely as the general population to become overweight. This could be due to the sedentary lifestyles they lead when recovering from bleeds. When you are recovering from a bleed, think about what you eat, your portion sizes and your overall caloric intake. If you are not as active as usual you don’t need as many calories you ordinarily would.
4. Consult your local haemophilia center before taking herbal remedies
There are now many herbal remedies which supposedly work wonders for people with haemophilia, but the problem is that most have not been proven to work. In fact, some may actually do more harm than good. Yarrow, for instance, reduces bleeding severity but some researchers believe it may actually increase it. There is also no evidence that stinging nettle improves blood clotting but there is proof that people with kidney disease should avoid it, as there is evidence that grape seed extract should not be used in conjunction with certain medications.
5. Pay attention to food nutrition labels
If you want to make good eating choices pay attention to food nutrition levels. To help you watch your caloric intake and eat foods high in calcium or certain vitamins, the food nutrition labels on packaged foods will tell you what you need to know.
This article was written on behalf of www.haemophiliahealth.com.au by Caroline Hardy. Caroline does not have haemophilia herself, but has nearly twenty years’ experience volunteering for charitable organisations that help people diagnosed with chronic medical conditions. As an active individual with a love of sports and outdoor activities, especially hiking and skiing, she enjoys blogging about nutrition and healthy lifestyles, but has also written numerous blogs on topics as diverse as finance, travel and public relations.