Being told that you need a feeding tube is without a doubt, terrifying. Most people don’t know much about tube feeding and feel very intimidated by the idea of it. But the truth is that tube feeding can be an integral part of treatment for various conditions and can allow an individual to get the nutrition they need to fuel their body until they’re able to eat orally again. Having a Registered Dietitian will allow you to have the support and medical care that you need as you navigate life with a feeding tube.
Things to note about commercial formulas
When initially starting with a feeding tube, most registered dietitians will prescribe patients with a tube feed order that consists of commercial formulas. Commercial formulas are a great option because they ensure that you get the proper nutrition that your body needs and they support your body’s energy needs.
Commercial formulas are scientifically developed to help you achieve your nutrition goals. They consist of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fluids, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Some common brands of commercial formula include, Real Foods Blend, Kate Farms, Jevity, and Compleat. Consult your dietitian for a recommendation about which commercial formula will help you best meet your dietary goals.
Please follow your registered dietitian’s recommendation for commercial formula! RDs are trained, healthcare professionals who know what nutrients that your body needs to help you achieve maximum health. Following your RD’s advice will also prevent you from suffering from intolerance to a specific formula.
Link to Real Food Blends website here.
How Can a Registered Dietitian Help Me?
Your RD can help you…
- Find a formula that will be well tolerated by you
- Adjust the amount and frequency of the feeding to meet your nutritional needs
- Make sure you are getting adequate nutrition for wound healing
- Monitor your weight change to make sure you are getting the proper amount of feeding
- Tips and hacks to care for your feeding tube and your entire gastrointestinal track
- Coordinate care with your physician, speech therapist and other members of your health care team
- Provide support for family members and caregivers as needed
Signs and Symptoms of Intolerance
Administering formula through your feeding tube shouldn’t cause you severe discomfort. If you are having severe discomfort or pain, contact your dietitian because this could be a sign of feeding intolerance. Your dietitian can help you solve any intolerances including diarrhea, constipation, nausea or vomiting, reflux, bloating, and abdominal distention/ discomfort.
Tube feeding requires patience and healthcare support. Find out how one of our dietitians can help you navigate tube feeding by calling 301-474-2499 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributions to this blog by Ivy Devadas, Dietetic Intern