It is important that children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy eat a well-balanced diet. Children on steroids, and those with reduced mobility, tend to put on weight, which in turn can add pressure to already weakened muscles.

A high protein diet is recommended. Care should be taken to avoid fatty meats like beef, lamb or pork, instead some dieticians suggest that there should be an emphasis on protein in the form of fish, leaner meats like chicken, or vegetable protein like beans or soya.

As for all children, it is suggested that refined foods such as white bread, sugars and pasta are reduced or excluded.

Constipation can be a problem, caused by a combination of weak stomach muscles and immobility, so a high fibre diet - rich in fresh fruits and vegetables - is suggested. It is important too, to keep hydrated.

Some people use supplements including calcium and vitamin D to keep muscles and bones strong.

Dietary considerations when starting Corticosteroids

Duchenne patients using corticosteroids like prednisone or deflazacort, and those with heart problems, may need a low salt diet.

They may also experience gastroesophageal reflux (GORD). A low-fat, high-fibre diet that's heavy on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats may help.

They are also at risk of osteoporosis - a thinning and weakening of the bones. Vitamin D, calcium supplements and bisphosphonate infusions can help with this. Foods naturally high in vitamin D include fatty fish, liver, and egg. Vitamin D is also made naturally when skin is exposed to sunshine. Foods containing calcium include dairy products, green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, figs, oranges, salmon, sardines, soya and almonds.