1. Short duration fever. Such fever is acute but short in duration, e.g., common cold, cough, throat infection, influenza, measles, pneumonia, etc.
2. Long duration fever. Such fever lasts for longer duration with low temperature, e.g., tuberculosis.
3. Intermittent fever. Such fever occurs in intervals, e.g., malaria, typhoid, etc.
Diet in fever of short duration
The diet in fever depends upon the type, severity of condition and the length of convalescence. Normally, the diet should meet the requirements of the following nutrients: • Energy. Calorie requirement increases approximately by 50% during fever, sometimes even higher.
The calorie needs depend upon the loss of tissues and the temperature. It is difficult to meet the energy requirements of the body during high fever. But as soon as the patient is in a position to eat something, calorie- rich liquids should be given to him, e.g., fruit juices, glucose water, honey water, etc.
To meet the increased demand of energy and to restore glycogen in the body, increased amount of carbohydrates should be given to the patient. For this, glucose, honey, sugar, etc., can be added to the diet. Glucose is the best source of carbohydrates during acute fever because it is easily digested and absorbed in the body.
Fried and fat rich foods should be avoided in fever. But to meet the energy requirements, easily digestible simple fats like butter, cream, etc., should be given to the patient.
Breakage of tissues in fever leads to high requirement of protein. This demand is more in chronic fever as compared to acute fever. 100 gms or more of proteins should be given to the patient to make up this loss.
In fever, considerable amount of salt like sodium and potassium are lost from the body due to the excretion of water. Loss of sodium is made up by adding salt to juices, soups, vegetables, etc. Fruit juices, vegetable soups and milk are good sources of potassium.
Increased amount of vitamin A, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Vitamin B-complex should be included in the diet because of increased metabolic activities and decreased vitamin synthesis due to antibiotics in the body. Ascorbic acid increases immunity in the body.
Two and a half to five liters of liquids per day should be given to the fever patient. For this, plain water, soup, fruit juice, sharbat, tea, coffee, milk, etc. should be given to the patient. Requirement of liquid is more in summer as compared to winter.
Small amount of food should be given to the fever patient at short intervals. High calorie and high protein diet should be given to the fever patient. In acute fever, he should not be forced to eat because either he is unable to eat or there is a loss of appetite. But of patients of chronic fever, care should be take’ in planning meals. The patient must be given full diet by all possible means, otherwise he will become weak.
The diet of a patient should be given liquid, semi-liquid or soft according to his condition. Apart from this, food should be easily digestible. Sometimes excessive use of liquid leads to aversions and nausea in the patient. Soft foods are easily digestible to such patients. Low fiber diet without spices may be given to the patient.
Foods allowed. Soup, juice, milk, tea coffee, barley water, whey water, lemon water, I glucose, honey, porridge, cornflakes, sag bread, rice, biscuits, curd, cream, custa pudding, milk foods, egg, etc.
Foods not allowed. Flour with be whole pulses and cereals, all fruits (juices can be given), fried and spicy foods, nuts, stick” foods, fibrous vegetables, pastries, sweets, etc, On the basis of above facts, diet plan for a day for a patient suffering from fever is given on page 268 and 269.
Diet in fever of long duration
In long duration fever, metabolic rate is low but it increases a bit when temperature of the body raises loss of appetite and digestive disturbances start appearing. Apart from medicines, control through diet is also very important in such fever.
• Energy. In tuberculosis, temperature is not very high as compared to other fever. Therefore weight loss can be prevented by an intake of 2500-3000 calories per day.
• Protein. Protein is very important to replace worn out cells by new cells and tissues. Amount of albumin in serum is reduced drastically. Hence more requirement of protein is there.
• Minerals. Calcium is very important for | healing up wounds in tuberculosis This demand of calcium can be met by taking one liter of milk daily. Intake of iron should be increased if there is blood in sputum.
• Vitamins. In tuberculosis carotene is not converted into vitamin ‘A’ in the body. Therefore foods containing more of vitamin A and less of carotene should be included in diet. For this liver should be added to the diet at least once a week along with vitamin ‘A’ tablet. Requirement of Vitamin ‘C’ is also increased.
To make it, foods rich in vitamin ‘C’ along with a tablet of vitamin ‘C’ should be given to the patient. Vitamin ‘D’ is important for the absorption of calcium. Requirement of Vitamin ‘B complex’ rises in proportion to the requirement of calories. These help in increasing appetite also.
During high fever in tuberculosis, liquid diet rich in protein and calories should be given to the patient. There is a loss of appetite but still he should be given food 5-6 times per day. Food should be simple, digestible and fat free. When the patient have high fever he should be given foods as in case of above mentioned fever.
With the fall in temperature, gradually give soft, semisolid and normal food to the patient. Food should be given in small proportions, a number of times in the day, and in the congenial and comfortable environment.
Water is our lifeline. Two-third weight of embody is constituted with water. It has maximum usages. All the biological and chemical reactions in our body take place in liquid medium dominated by water. Apart from these, water has many domestic, public and industrial usages.