Nutrition NCLEX Practice Questions

Nutrition is a three-step process that gives the body materials needed to make the body grow and function. The process begins when food is ingested. Chemical reactions in the body then break down food into molecules that enter the bloodstream and are distributed to different parts of the body where they are used to sustain life.

Following Practice Questions are based on Nutrition.

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Nutritional Support Therapy Practice Questions.

Some nutrients are used for cell growth and cellular functions. Other nutrients become involved in enzyme activities and carbohydrate-fat-protein synthesis. Nutrients are used to contract muscles and help wounds to heal. They also play a critical role in the integrity of the GI tract and in the immune system. Think of nutrients as fuel for your car. Fuel is used as you drive your car. The same is true about your body. Your body uses nutrients to go about daily activities. And just like your car, your body can continue to operate without a full complement of nutrients—that is, without a full tank of gas. A healthy, wellnourished  person has a nutritional level to last 14 days before they begin to show signs of malnutrition. That is, your full tank of gas will last 14 days.

However, there comes a point when your performance sputters—the level of nutrients fall below the level needed to sustain your daily activity. You simply run out of fuel and become fatigued, irritable, and exhibit an abnormal appearance. This is referred to as a nutritional deficit. A nutritional deficit can occur from a number of situations. The most obvious is not eating a balanced, nutritional diet. However, there are less apparent reasons that cause a nutritional deficit. These are surgery, trauma, malignancy, and other illnesses that break down (catabolize) the body.

The effect of a nutritional deficit can be dramatic. The body needs nutrients to recover from trauma and disease. A nutritional deficit prolongs healing and severe cases can prevent total recovery. Critically ill patients have sufficient nutrients to sustain them for a few days to a week before they begin to show signs of nutritional deficit. Healthcare professionals provide nutritional support therapy for patients who are at risk for nutritional deficit. Nutritional support therapy replaces nutrients that the patient has lost and thereby provide the patient with the fuel needed for a full recovery.

A nutritional deficit is called a negative nitrogen balance, which means that the patient lacks sufficient nitrogen to fight infectious disease. Healthcare professionals treat patients who are at risk for negative nitrogen balance by providing the patient with nutrients before the imbalance occurs. The patient is then able to fight infectious diseases.

A common misnomer is that dextrose 5% in water (D5W), normal saline, and lactated Ringer’s solution provide nutrients to the patient. However, these intravenous fluids are not forms of nutrients. These are electrolytes and fluids.

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