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Tube Feeding: Chemical Crap

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  • Tube Feeding: Chemical Crap

    I'm looking to pick your brains for any info on tube feeding products. My brother suffered a massive stroke recently and is on tube feeding for the next few weeks (hopefully no longer!). I examined the cans of tube feeding formula and was appalled at the crap they are feeding him- PLUS, while I was there they came in checked his blood sugar, and then returned to give him an insulin injection! This is a man who is not overweight and has never been diabetic, so the need for insulin was purely due to the crap they are feeding him. The first 3 ingredients after water are: corn maltodextrin, corn syrup, and canola oil.... And he is supposed to start to heal on this kind of "nutrition"? I would try to come up with my own formula for him, but I live 2,000 miles away, so that's kind of tough. Anyone familiar with any brands of formula that might be less spooky?

  • #2
    So sorry to hear about your brother! How awful.

    As a nurse I have tube fed many many people over the years, and you are absolutely right, that crap that they use is terribly full of rubbish ingredients. If you've ever smelt the liquid, you'll be instantly disgusted, its just awful. I've never seen any brands that contained anything natural or unprocessed.

    It wouldn't be too hard to make your own brew though. The problems I can see with it would be a) figuring out the correct amount of calories/nutrients/fluid for your brothers needs and b) preparation/storage. If you do figure out a brew it would likely have multiple ingredients which would take some time to prepare, so you'd need a nurse or dedicated family member to do this regularly, and most nurses would not have the time to do this. Using your own ingredients would also mean that it would likely need to be refrigerated or made fresh.

    See if you can get a dietician onside with you, preferably one who has experience with tube feeding and one who will support you when dealing with Dr's and RN's who may not be so supportive.


    • #3
      I'm sorry about your brother's condition.

      Please consider talking to the doctor and nurses caring for him however before jumping to conclusions about the tube feeding brew being the only reason for his body not responding and dealing with it properly in respect to needing additional insulin.

      Often there are medications that are administered in such situations that, though helpful for one thing, hinder another... specifically this.
      This is actually very common even when patients are moved to eating solid foods.

      Talk to someone about your fears for your brother's health.
      Ask for a patient advocate.
      There is nothing wrong with being proactive for his health.
      But also understand that sometimes when medications are administered there is a system of weights and measures... it is seen as more important to do "x" in the short term and administer some insulin than risk another possible stroke even for instance.

      I went through the same thing with a relative in the hospital last christmas.
      No history of diabetes, but needing insulin daily... and I (and other family members) was monitoring food choices so he wasn't eating a lot of sugar/bread/etc.
      It was a medication issue, and it was short term.
      Last edited by cori93437; 01-21-2013, 12:37 AM.
      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


      • #4
        Thanks for the input. None of his medications (he isn't on much besides the blood thinner and an anti-depressant) should cause the blood sugar issue, so I still suspect it is the feeding formula. I am trying not to let it get me too worked up-- lots of other patients survive the tube feeding-- it is just disappointing that we feed our sick such junk. Plus, I guess, I'm feeling a little guilty that I can't do more for him from this distance. Truthfully, he had a pretty crappy diet before the stroke. I'm the Food Nazi in the family. He shouldn't have to be on the tube feeding for more than 2-3 weeks more, with any luck.


        • #5
          It's possible the stroke itself could have caused a shut-down in some bodily processes. I'd let the doctors do their job. Modern medicine sucks royally at preventive and chronic care but it excels at acute care.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


          • #6
            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
            It's possible the stroke itself could have caused a shut-down in some bodily processes. I'd let the doctors do their job. Modern medicine sucks royally at preventive and chronic care but it excels at acute care.
            I agree.

            If it's only for a relatively short time (in the span of the rest of his life, I suppose), I would say just let the doctors do their thang and help him with nutrition and recovery after.
            Depression Lies


            • #7
              I will let them do their thing-- it is temporary (please, God!). Hopefully, they will feed him better in rehab! But, again, his diet sucked before this happened....