How will my diet change after the lung transplantation?
Because of the new freedom to indulge in many different foods, and an increased feeling of hunger due to medications such as prednisone (Deltasone), it is easy to see why excessive weight gain is a common problem for many transplant patients.
To promote healing after lung transplantation surgery, you should eat more lean meat, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. You should include a variety of grains, fruits and vegetables for adequate calories, vitamins and minerals.
Will I have a nutritional plan to follow?
Yes. In order to monitor your weight gain after transplant surgery, a registered dietitian will work with you to develop a nutritional plan. This plan will be determined by your weight, blood work results and medications.
The information below describes some of the dietary guidelines a dietitian may recommend for you. These guidelines cover only some of the changes that may take place in your diet. Your dietitian will plan a nutritional program to meet your personal needs.
Some transplant medications may cause your potassium level to dramatically increase or decrease. This is a serious condition; but fortunately, it usually does not last long. In order to control your blood potassium level, make sure to eat the foods your dietitian recommends.
Food Guide Pyramid
Sodium or Salt
Many people experience high blood pressure or fluid retention following lung transplantation. I
f fluid retention or high blood pressure are problems for you, the dietitian will incorporate low-salt foods throughout your meal plan.
You may need to follow a low-sodium diet indefinitely after transplant.
How can I control my weight and cholesterol levels?
Two common long-term problems for transplant patients are weight gain and high cholesterol levels. The following are suggestions that may help you control both:
The medication prednisone (Deltasone) may cause you to experience an increased appetite, which could lead to excess weight gain. Because you may or may not need to gain weight after your transplant, it is important to discuss this concern with your dietitian.
If you do need to watch your weight, it doesn’t mean you have to eat less food, just be more selective about the foods you do eat.
Your dietitian will work with you to achieve and maintain your ideal weight. In general, you should follow these suggestions:
- Limit foods that are high in fat and calories.
- Include more high fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and pasta in your diet.
- Consult your physician for recommendations on the types of exercise you can include in your daily schedule.
High Cholesterol Levels
- By limiting fat in your diet and eating foods high in fiber, you may be able to control high cholesterol levels.
- If you are overweight, your dietitian will discuss a diet plan that is low in both fat and cholesterol.
How can I make an appointment with a dietitian?
Registered dietitians are available in the hospital, at the Transplant Center and also in the Department of Nutrition Therapy.
If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment with a dietitian, please call 216.444.3046 or 800.223.2273, ext. 43046.
Nutrition Hotline: 216.445.2710.
For More Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 216.444.6996.
We will be happy to answer your questions.