The client assigned, named Glenn, is an active individual with a busy life style. He is a nurse at a local hospital who is on feet a lot during the day, but still makes time to exercise regularly. He enjoys running, hiking, and all things active with his family and friends.
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He has twin toddlers to chase around as well, but he has been struggling with fatigue recently. Although he has been struggling with fatigue, he has still made it a priority to keep up his active lifestyle. Since he does not want his fatigue to increase or effect his lifestyle anymore, he has reached out to a nutritionist to find out if there could be something in his diet that could be causing it. We asked to document his food for 7 days to see what we could find. He does his best to incorporate vegetables and watch what he eats, but his diet is lacking in some areas.
Glenn is 5 feet and 10 inches and weighs 150 pounds, making his body mass index 22.2. He falls into the normal category for his body mass index, which reflects his active lifestyle. In the seven days he recorded for us, he exercised 6 of those days. His exercise routine consisted of 3 days of weight training with running 25 minutes and 3 days of running for 45 minutes. In reviewing his full nutritional analysis, we found several deficiencies that could be attributing to his fatigue. In reviewing his overall macronutrient intake, he was deficient all categories nearly every day.
Glenn’s vitamin intake for the week showed a deficiency of Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid. See Figure 2 for a view of his vitamin c intake for the week. Finally, for his mineral analysis for the week, he was deficient in his potassium, calcium, and iron intake, but was in excess with his sodium.
We discovered two minerals that could be impacting Glenn’s health. The first mineral that we found to be the most significant to attribute to Glenn’s health was sodium. In the week we observed, he was in excess for sodium every single day. Hypertension does not typically have any symptoms, but having a high sodium intake is a risk factor for it (Drenjan?evi?-Peri?, et. al 2010). To counteract the effect of his high sodium intake, he consumed a lot of water at around 3 liters a day. The combination of a high salt diet and a high water and fund intake could pout pressure on his arteries by increasing the volume in his blood. With greater volume, his cardiac output will be higher, therefore causing him fatigue. If this happens over a period of time, Glenn’s diet long term could cause him to have hypertension. Another point the group made was that increase sodium in an individual’s diet might lead to stomach cancer later on (Consumer Reports 2017) and a major symptom of cancer is fatigue. We would suggest that he reduce the amount of chips, fries, and prepackaged desserts in his diet.
The second mineral we found to be significant to his health would be his calcium intake. We found that he was deficient in calcium over the 7 days he recorded. Our major concern with his insufficient calcium intake would be osteoporosis. Again, this is something that does not normally cause symptoms until there is a fracture. Calcium in needed in the diet to help produce the salts in teeth and bone and a deficiency in this could eventually lead to osteoporosis (Peterlik 2013). With Glenn’s active lifestyle and consistent running, osteoporosis could cause him to have a stress fracture later on. Wen would suggest that he add in more dairy products or drink calcium fortified orange juice.
In reviewing his vitamin intake, he was deficient in vitamin C. Glenn’s only complaint was of his fatigue, and one of the first and main symptoms of vitamin C deficiency is fatigue (Johnston, et. al 2014). One of the 7 days he recorded only had 14% of his daily recommended value. Over time, scurvy could develop and lead to periodontitis (Pussinen, et. al 2003) and severe fatigue. Glenn would like to stay as active as possible, so chronic fatigue would negatively impact this. We suggest that Glenn add in more citrus fruits, peppers, and broccoli to his diet.
Although it appears he did not meet his recommended daily allowance, the major impact on his health of his macronutrient consumption was a deficiency of protein. A deficiency of protein could lead him to muscle loss (Khan, et. al 2017). As Glenn does not want to lose weight, including muscle mass, he should increase his protein intake by eating more meats. This in combination of his calcium intake and his activity level, this poses him at risk of weak bones.
For Glenn’s overall caloric intake for the week, he was under his caloric recommended amount for the week. In combining his active lifestyle and caloric intake, this could cause him to have unintentional weight loss. He wanted to stay at his current weight, which allows him to fall under the normal weight category of his body mass index. When in a caloric deficiency, an individual loses weight. Unintentionally being in a caloric deficiency over a long period of time could cause him to actually lose his muscle mass (Hord, et. al 2016). Losing muscle mass leads to weight loss which puts him at risk to fall in the underweight body mass index category. Muscle tissue helps support bones, therefore if he loses his muscle tissue, this could leave his bones less protected. With this in mind, I would recommend Glenn to take up more weight lifting and to run a little less. This will help keep his muscles strong and prevent them from atrophy.
Glenn leads a an active life and tries to watch what he eats as best as he can. However, his nutrition does fall short in a few categories. The first recommendation for Glenn would be to reduce his sodium intake. We found this to be the most important for him to change first. Second, we suggest that he add in more vitamin c to hep with his fatigue. Finally, we recommend that he eat more protein and run a little less to prevent muscle and unintentional weight loss. With these changes to his diet, it could improve his overall health and wellness, and decrease his fatigue so he can enjoy his active lifestyle.
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