It is normal to lose some weight whilst in hospital. Patients often notice that their appetite has changed, as well as their taste buds. This is also normal. If you had an injury your body uses more energy to get better and recover which could lead to weight loss. This is particularly evident if a person spends some time in intensive care and they are fed with a tube, called a nasogastric tube (NG).

When you are sick your body needs more energy and it is thus important to eat all your meals in hospital as you recover.

A dietician may be assigned to you to ensure your dietary requirements are met because nutrition is an essential part of recovering from an injury. The aim is to:

  • help with the healing of wounds and injuries
  • minimise weight loss
  • ensure that you receive all the important vitamins and minerals to fight infections

The dietician will work with other members of the healthcare team to identify people who might need their help. You may be given high protein and high calorie (energy) nutritional supplements or via 'feed tubes'. In the case of swallowing difficulties, the dietician should work closely with the speech and language therapist to arrange liquidised or pureed meals, which may be easier to manage. Should longer term nutrition support be required, the dietician will arrange referral to the appropriate community teams.


Constipation (not being able to open your bowels regularly) can be a problem if you are not very mobile and if you are taking some pain medications. The following suggestions may help:

  • include plenty of high fibre foods including fruit, vegetables and cereals
  • Drink sufficient fluid with the aim to take 3 to 4 pints (8 to 10 cups) of total fluid per day
  • Move about was much as possible within your own limits
  • In hospital you will be offered laxatives if you need them.  If you continue to have problems once you are home, your GP can give you advice and prescribe laxatives if needed.