MND Australia
MND Info Line 1800 777 175. 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Maintaining weight for health with MND

Thinking about and deciding what kinds of support, equipment and meals work best for you can help with nutrition and quality of life with MND.

Enjoying meals with MND becomes challenging. Eating and drinking can get harder because MND weakens the muscles that control chewing and swallowing.

But thinking ahead, and choosing the tools, assistance and nutritious foods and drinks that you prefer, helps.

Eating well can help you restore energy, maintain weight and enjoy time with others.

A dietitian, occupational therapist and speech pathologist can answer questions you may have about:

  • meal plans and learning what foods and drinks your body needs for nourishment and to maintain weight
  • adjustable or light weight forks, mugs and other cutlery
  • modifying food and drink to make swallowing easier
  • when to consider feeding tubes
  • preparing for meals in the later stages of MND.

Evidence suggests that people living with MND may benefit from being involved early in decisions about meals and nutrition. When you feel ready, you can talk to your healthcare team about your preferences on what foods, drinks and assistance best meets your needs.

Finding ways to better manage meals could reduce stress, and make you feel more comfortable. Physical activities may also help.

Weight loss with MND can occur for a variety of reasons. Difficulty eating and drinking may limit your body’s ability to receive the nutrition required for healthy weight. Feeling low, and stress, can cause loss of appetite, too. Weight  loss may make daily activities harder, and impact on your quality of life. If you are unable to weigh yourself or stand up, your health care team will need to monitor weight more  closely.

Your health care team can support you and check  your nutrition needs, as they will change over time.

  1. Talking with your health care team, carers and loved ones about your preferences for foods and drinks that help your nutrition
  2. Adjustable or light weight spoons, forks, knives, mugs and other specialized cutlery
  3. Physical activity, like walking, gardening and yoga
  4. Having conversations about how you’d like to manage meals in future, with your healthcare team, carers and loved ones.

Finding ways to enjoy your preferred meals and support for nutrition can help ensure your wishes are respected, for maintaining quality of life, for longer.