For families who have never had to experience enteral feeding before, it can be a lot to take in. For parents who now have to feed their children in a whole new way, to adults who must now adjust how they get their nutrients, there are a lot of questions that come with starting enteral nutrition. Life Tech specializes in providing support for home-based enteral nutrition. We’re here to answer any questions. Below, you can find the list of the most common questions we receive related to enteral nutrition, as well as our answers. 

What is Enteral Nutrition? 

Simply put, enteral nutrition is an alternative way to provide nutrients to your body when it’s not possible to eat conventionally. Enteral nutrition requires a tube that supplies food or medication directly to a patient’s stomach. Enteral tube feeding can be done through the nose, via IV, or administered by a tube placed directly into the stomach or intestine. 

Who Needs Enteral Nutrition? 

Enteral tube feeding may be required for anyone who isn’t getting enough calories by eating conventionally. Enteral is often necessary for patients who are receiving treatment or recovering from a medical condition, including: 

  • Cancer 
  • Stroke 
  • Gastrointestinal diseases 
  • Serious injury that limits traditional caloric intake 
  • Neurological injuries or disorders 

These conditions can impact patients at any age and may require a doctor or dietary specialist to prescribe enteral feeding to maintain the necessary caloric intake.  

Can Enteral Nutrition Patients Skip Meals? 

No. Patients who require tube feeding depend on eating on a regular schedule so they can get the calories they need. Disruptions to a normal feeding schedule should be avoided unless a patient is feeling sick or bloated. Your doctor should work with you if any changes are needed in feeding frequency or schedules. 

What Does Successful Enteral Nutrition Feeding Include? 

The goal of most enteral nutrition feeding routines is to keep the patient on a regular feeding schedule that allows them to get all the nutrients they need while gaining weight. A successful enteral nutrition regimen involves keeping the patient on a regular schedule that allows them to feel full without feeling uncomfortable.  

The pace of the feeding is as important as the schedule. Giving a tube feeding patient too much food too quickly can cause them to have symptoms like cramps, stomach pain and diarrhea. If food is given too slowly, the patient won’t get enough calories and will start to lose weight.  

At Life Tech, our team specializes in working with registered dietitians and doctors to meet the nutrition needs of enteral patients. Our team is specially trained to meet the needs of pediatric patients. If you’d like to learn more about how we can meet the needs of any enteral feeding patient, please contact us.