You will have fewer dietary restrictions than before your transplant, but you still may need to make some changes and ensure optimal nutrition. You will need to eat wholesome, nutritious, clean and preferably mostly home cooked food.
Your diet for the first few weeks (90 days) after transplant surgery must optimize your protein and calorie intake to help your body repair and heal, fight infection, build muscle and provide you with strength and energy that you need. This is especially important since it is during this period that you might experience loss of appetite, weight loss and may have an altered sense of taste. Your medical team will ensure that you are meeting your nutritional requirements and will calculate which nutritional supplements that will be incorporated into your diet to ensure that your needs are met.
Once your transplant is working well, your appetite and sense of taste will improve. Your medication (immunosuppressants and steroids) can cause increased appetite, hunger and cravings causing unwanted weight gain. Other side effects of your medication are also raised blood sugar, fluid retention, digestive upsets, raised cholesterol and triglyceride levels, fluid retention, increased muscle breakdown and loss of bone density. Your diet is important to counteract and manage these side effects.
Whichever phase you are in, work closely with your Dietitian to ensure that you are optimizing your nutritional intake which goes together with taking your medication correctly and an overall healthy lifestyle which includes keeping active, managing stress levels and getting enough rest and hydration.