Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Immunocompromised Diet

Adequate nutrition is essential for the body to fight infections in those with immune system deficiency. An appropriate diet will provide the body with energy, protein, and nutrients it needs.

There are two main goals for an immune system deficiency diet:

  • Achieve and maintain a reasonable weight.
  • Prevent and correct poor nutrition.

Strategies for evaluating weight loss and anorexia include:
  • Determine symptoms that might cause loss of appetite.
  • Learn what foods stimulate the appetite.
  • Provide nutritional and dietary counseling.

Practical dietary guidelines:
  • Atmosphere does make a difference: an attractively set table can help take your mind off a poor appetite.
  • Aromas may also help stimulate the appetite, such as freshly baked bread and cookies.
  • A glass of wine or beer prior to meals may stimulate the appetite.
  • Avoid foods that do not interest you.
  • Discuss your eating problems with your doctor.
  • Give food a chance: food that sounds unappealing today may sound good tomorrow.
  • Stay away from raw eggs and raw meats.
  • Take advantage of a good appetite.
  • Eat when you feel hungry: do not wait for mealtime.

Benefits of proper nutrition:
  • Improves your tolerance to therapy: a well-nourished body is stronger and more resilient than a poorly nourished one
  • Increases the effectiveness of therapy
  • Regulates your weight
  • Speeds recovery from treatment

Continue to Immunocompromised Taking Control

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Immunocompromised References
  1. Mayo J, Collazos J, Martinez E. Fever of unknown origin in the setting of HIV infection: guidelines for a rational approach. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 1998 May;12(5):373-8. [11361973]
  2. Perrone J, Hollander JE, Datner EM. Emergency Department evaluation of patients with fever and chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. J Emerg Med. 2004 Aug;27(2):115-9. [15261351]
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