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nausea and feeding tube

arndog64's picture
arndog64
Posts: 538
Joined: Mar 2011

The past couple of days my husband has been sick to his stomach. He is not vomitting, just feeling yucky. We have been using ensure and boost in his eeding tube. I am trying to get a grant from Visiting Angels so we can get some Jevity. I am looking for some recipes for the feeding tube. Not sure what to use, I am afraid I may clog it up. Plus, he is 6 weeks out today and sleeps all day because he can't sleep at night. But, I am worried because he has no energy to get out of bed, except to use the restroom. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. He used to have alot more energy. Not sure whats up with that???? I told him he needs to move around to prevent blood clots.. I am sure that went to deaf ears.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

Energy or lack of can relate to many things for him....hydration being one. Another as you mentioned nausea, is he taking in enough food (Ensure, Boost, etc...) to give him the calories he needs for the lack of energy?

Plus like you mentioned, just getting up and walking around a little. I know when I don't feel well, and want to lie around... It's like a bad circle...the more I lay, the more tired I am, the less I wanna do, the more I wanna lay around....

Best,
John

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

Check the superthread for a food that I made while using the tube. Boost and Jevity and Ensure are corn syrup and maltodextrin and just not good for anyone but especially not good for someone beaten down by radiation and chemo. It's no coincidence that Nestle is the leading tube food manufacturer. Candy for cancer patients? Sorry you're having struggles. A real food would make a huge difference in how he feels. Also, exercise always helps.

AB

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

AB, not to dispute your opinion/comments, but under the condition of mainly providing maximum calories and added benifit of vitamins and minerals.

And, I know that I'm somewhat unique in the fact that I didn't have a PEG so that may come into play also, being a variable.

But at 350+ calories per can, it would have been hard for me to find any "real food" that I could ingest giving me more bang for the buck calorie wise than Ensure Plus.

In the case of someone with a PEG or having the ability to consume larger quantities of food agreed other sources may provide more calories, still not sure if they would be any better quality calories. So as for comments/opinions of mine, I can offer no first hand experience.

But to me and my opinion, it's just the same in your comments and opinions that those products are just "Candy for Cancer Patients"...

I'm glad that your regime' worked well for you, but it's not the only one out there. To me that's like saying your plan is right and everything else isn't. I think there are a lot of viable menus that provide the needed nutrition during and post treatment.

For me during recovery mainly during treatment, I needed calorie intake...I was more concerned at that point in surviving treatment and the disease... I figured I could worry about a more healthy intake at a latter date...that's all I'm saying. I'm with you 100% in eating healthy and staying healthy.

Best,
John

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

Food may be one thing, but another is to have his Thyroid checked as soon as you can. Just as a precaution.

All the best
Hondo

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

I reached a point where I was so nauseas that everything I put into my tube I would get violently ill. I have no idea what was up with that, because I was fine all through radiation, and then a few weeks after, it all broke lose. I finally got a pump for overnight and I had to put my food in super slow. I had to start with one can over three hours, or id get sick. I would gradually bump up the pump and add more mls per hour each week.

As far as better food going through the tube goes, you should be able to do it. I would mix baby food purée into a can of nutren and put it through my tube. I had mine for 18 months and I never got a clog. On the superthread is adventurebobs tube food, also take a look at Lucy's Real Food. If you make food like this one I will provide, and run it through a vitamix or HealthMaster and then through a chinoise sieve, I cannot see how it would clog the tube.

I provided all the nutrition info for this smoothie, so you can see what vitamins and nutrients you are getting.
 The first number is the amount in the smoothie, the second is what you would need for a 1600 calories per day. I had to do the analysis under my calorie requirements. He will likely need 2200-2400 cals if he is still weak and struggling.  

1 medium apple
1 medium carrot 
1 banana
3 leaves of romaine 
1 tbs almond butter
1 cup milk
1 tbs flax seed oil
1 tbs protein powder

Total Calories (kcals) 597 -  1658
Protein (gm) 17 -  46
Carbohydrate (gm) 76 - 130
Total Fiber (gm) 10 - 25
Total Fat (gm) 29 -  13.3 - 23.2
Saturated Fat (gm) 5.4 < 6.6
Monounsaturated Fat (gm) 10 **
Polyunsaturated Fat (gm) 12 **
Linoleic (omega 6) (gm) 4.1 12
Alpha Linolenic (omega 3) (gm) 7.5 1.1
Cholesterol (mg) 19 < 300
Vitamin A (mcg RAE) 735 - 700
Vitamin C (mg) 32.7 -  75
Vitamin E (mg a-TE) 9.5 - 15
Thiamin (mg) 0.4 - 1.1
Riboflavin (mg) 0.8 - 1.1
Niacin (mg)  4.1 - 14
Folate (mcg, DFE)  148.4 - 400
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.9 - 1.3
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 1.3 - 2.4
Calcium (mg) 486.2 - 1000
Phosphorus (mg) 485 - 700
Magnesium (mg) 152 - 320
Iron (mg) 3.2 - 18
Zinc (mg) 3.1 -  8
Selenium (mcg) 11.7 - 55
Potassium (mg) 1540 - 4700
Sodium (mg) 288   -  1500 - 2300
** Nutrient has no established recommendation

I did this smoothie with regular milk, you can use coconut milk or almond or soy milk. You could also use hemp protein powder to keep it vegan.

MarineE5
Posts: 762
Joined: Dec 2005

Arndog,

How soon after your husband eats does he lay down? does he lay down in an inclined position? Does he take in enough fluid? When taking in the nutrition thru the feeding tube, does he push the nutrition thru the feeding tube with the plunger in the syringe or does he use the gravity method and let the nutrition flow gently into the stomach at a slower pace at roughly 1 can per 10-15 minutes? Doing so by using the Syringe as a funnel with the plunger removed.

I ask these questions because these can be the cause of indigestion/ nausea. Is he experiencing acid reflux?

I hope that you can check off my questions and maybe find a easy solution fast.

How often does he have a bowel movement? again fluids and stool softeners. He might be backing up?

After eating, he NEEDS to do some kind of short walk to get everything working.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

arndog64's picture
arndog64
Posts: 538
Joined: Mar 2011

He just pours it into the syringe thing and let gravity do the work, then he flushes it with some water. He usually just lays back down. More like sitting 1/2 way up and leaning against the pillows. This morning after he ate, he had to snake the toilet and no more than 20 minutes after he finished he was in the restroom throwing up.

arndog64's picture
arndog64
Posts: 538
Joined: Mar 2011

He just pours it into the syringe thing and let gravity do the work, then he flushes it with some water. He usually just lays back down. More like sitting 1/2 way up and leaning against the pillows. This morning after he ate, he had to snake the toilet and no more than 20 minutes after he finished he was in the restroom throwing up.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Did you see my post about the pump, and going slower? The pump would probably be covered thru insurance. Mine was. You could also ask the nutritionist or gastro for a gravity bag to try first and set the drip rate low and see it that works first.

MarineE5
Posts: 762
Joined: Dec 2005

Arndog64,

Unfortunately, I am going to ask you another question, I know, you would rather have answers : ).

Thank you for letting us know that your husband is doing the gravity feed and using the syringe as a funnel and then flushing the Peg tube afterwards.

You wrote above----This morning after he ate, he had to snake the toilet and no more than 20 minutes after he finished he was in the restroom throwing up.

What comes to mind for me is a few things, first, is he really taking in enough fluid. Second, after eating, he really needs to move around a little bit, even if he really doesn't want to, even if he does a few laps in the house from room to room, get the blood flowing. Thirdly and this is often over looked. When taking any kind of medicines, we need to do one important thing, NOT GET CONSTIPATED. If we do, we don't want to eat, we get backed up and if we force feed ourselves, we can throw up. Fluids help stem the constipation, but taking stool softeners bought over the counter in liquid form can really help.

I don't know if this is the solution, but I am just throwing these thoughts out there to remind eveyone. Each thing that we do or don't do has a reaction and can multiply other complications.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

mls351w
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2011

I don't think is useful to say a product or method is no good. The "candy for cancer" thing kinda pissed me off. The main thing is caloric intake. When I relied strictly on the tube, all I ingested was water and Ensure Plus. At least 4 a day.
I think the rate that you feed your tube is very important. I simply pushed a can through as fast as I could and always had severe heartburn. Wish I would have known to slow down.
Not recommending any product or method, just saying get all the calories you can and energy level should go up. Have faith.
By the way, my malady was ssc bot.

arndog64's picture
arndog64
Posts: 538
Joined: Mar 2011

I am trying to get all the calories in, but he is still steadily loosing weight. His rad doctor said not to worry, he seem in last Wednesday.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

It's pretty much a given that most any method or nutrition he uses to ingest he will still lose weight...other than one certain abi-normal girl I know, LOL....

The target or goal is to try at minimally get in enough to maintain as best as possible. To take in enough to not be sick, to have some strength, rest, and recovery to allow your body energy to get through the treatment side effects.

At least in my opinion....

Best,
John

Rubytoos's picture
Rubytoos
Posts: 45
Joined: May 2011

My doc recommended Isosource 1.5 Cal - it's by Nestle Nutrition. You can google it to read the nutrition info. I agree with John, it makes a difference how quickly you injest it or pour the liquid into the tube. I would get so impatient and hold the tube up to make the stuff go in asap. Yeah, it made me feel a little nauseous. So I slowed it down, much much better. By the way I get a case (24 cans) of the Isosource at a Walgreens disrict office place in Wilmington, NC for $23 per case. The invoice itself reads: Walgreens Home Infusion, (OptionCare), 2197 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674. The phone number is a N Carolina area code: 910-791-7885. Just info if you want to check it out.

My best to you,
Ruby

Daddisgrl's picture
Daddisgrl
Posts: 119
Joined: Feb 2011

There is a site called the Oley foundation- they have a classified section where people give away or sell formula/supplies cheap. I listed about 8 cases but no one took me up on it :( roselvr@gmail.com if you want the site.. I had trouble finding it

Next; a case of Isosourse is cheaper @ $80 then buying the same amount of Boost/Ensure. We had to pay out of pocket some times. When they gave him the tube they should have written a script for formula. We had issues getting it covered at 6 weeks out. The ENT or Dr that put the tube in knows how to get around this; tell them to deal with it. For us it was the ENT that helped; the general surgeon that put it in was useless. Also; call the social worker; they may know of someone that has extra cases.

My hub could not do formula alone; I used to blend 2 packets of oatmeal- brown sugar; cinnamon- what ever he likes. Then I'd boil water & make it runny. In a blender; I dumped 2 cans of Isosourse formula; the oatmeal; about a cup of pastina (I'd make a box every week to use as filler); I'd also use either pudding cups (choc/vanilla) or make instant pudding- add a cup of that; Karo syrup (to help bowels); wheat germ.. peanut butter is great with calories. Look in your kitchen to see what else would work with the mix; if I used apple cinn oatmeal; I would throw applesauce in & would not use choc pudding; but vanilla. Banana works great. Scoop of ice cream can't hurt. The calories on this batch were high- from memory over 1500/2000- I measured everything I tracked the calories for the day. He'd use the mix during the day & at night I would mix a different batch with 1 can formula & veggies; chicken; steak; pastina- no potatoes it gets too thick. If we had chicken; I would boil some to make home made broth to put in the blend instead of water.

Baby food gets expensive. You can steam & puree your own stuff.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

I just brought up the baby food, to show that I had put it through my tube with the formula, and never had a tube clog on me. My nutren was covered by insurance when I had it, then I had to work out a payment plan when I didn't, which I'm still paying on. As for making my own baby food or even tube food while I was sick, that wouldn't have happened since I was alone, and could barely get out of bed to even feed myself.

Daddisgrl's picture
Daddisgrl
Posts: 119
Joined: Feb 2011

Sorry; it wasn't directed at you.. it was more so in addition to what I wrote plus she mentioned she's the only one working. Was trying to help her save some money..

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