CSN Login
Members Online: 15

Ensure not setting well

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

David is having alot of problems with the tube feedings. First he was very nauseated and now it just always sounds like a thunderstorm erupting in his tummy. He says he feels terrible. He is supposed to have 6 cans a day, but the most he has tolerated is 3. Any recommendations.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3620
Joined: Mar 2012

are different ways of feeding. Some folks have a bag on a pole and do gravity feed, which can be controled on how fast it goes in...and there is also a pump to do the feedings which is also controled to how fast the food goes in....Sometimes just slowing down how fast it goes in helps.

Is he doing all things thru his tube...meaning water as well as Ensure? He has to stay hydrated no matter what...Maybe try some plain whole milk and see how his tum does on that...it at least has some nutrition, and it helps hydrate.

p

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

LOL, please forgive me for laughing Vivian but what you described, fits me to a T. I have the exact same problem. In my case, I think it is due to excess air getting into my system during the feed. It gets expelled at a different place and time (no smart comments, Skiff!). It is a bit unnerving and when it builds up, you really can't tolerate any more liquid. I wouldn't worry about it unless he never expells the air.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Vivian,
I had the same problem and ended up with a pump and it made all the difference in the world. We also changed my formula which helped too. Ask the GI about those options. He really needs the calories and the hydration so you have to figure out something that works before too long. If you can't get on the pump before the weekend, do very slow feedings, really slow and see how that does.

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 226
Joined: May 2012

I felt terrible while drinking ensure...I realize it's "balanced" and lots of people do fine on it but I try to avoid HFCas much as possible and ensure is loaded with it. See if your grocery store has Bolthouse shakes. Usually they are with the produce. They have different varieties, some are high protein, etc. see if he can tolerate those. They are more natural and he can still get his calories and nutrients through them. I never had a tube personally, I continued to take all my nutrition through my mouth( with the help of my friend Lidocaine) during treatment. So if his stomach is getting upset because it's going in too fast then my suggestion might not help, but I just know I felt 100x better on theBolthouse vs with the ensure. Just my two cents. Hope you get this figured outand he starts to feel better!

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2828
Joined: May 2012

Vivian,

Are you shooting the 3 cans down the PEG by syringe? Like Phrannie said many of us used gravity (2 cans Jevity 1hour 45 minutes). Some people pump while sleeping.

I never had problems until my first PEG failed, but the second one worked great, 2 cans of Jevity at a time, twice a day. Also, one meal by mouth every day (smoothie, ensure, boost)

You must keep swallowing, drink water!

Best,

Matt

If you got to f_ _ t, rip a good one.

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

He had tried through the syringe and was miserable. He has been doing the gravity bag a couple of days and not much better. He was on the pump for the first few days in the hospital and did much better with that. I know he doesn't like that the main ingredient is sugar. The smell nauseates him when he is pouring the can in the bag. Has anyone tried the wholefood stores nutrition drink. It was supposedly formulated with cancer patients in mind. My insurance pays for the ensure, but I am willing to pay for something that will sit better.

tuffenuff's picture
tuffenuff
Posts: 273
Joined: May 2012

i never had any gas whatsoever. actually my stomach felt healthier than ever on the feed tube. there are so many things to try, i dont think ensure is the most well rounded nutritional option so it might be the wrong thing for him. i used Jevity. it smelled yuck but it worked like a charm. you mght just need to try something different.

tuffenuff's picture
tuffenuff
Posts: 273
Joined: May 2012

oh - and i poured mine right in the syringe.a complete meal in under 5 minutes. just got my tube out today.

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

there are also "prescription" formulas, such as Jevity and Osmolite (both from Abbott).
I use Osmolite, six cans/day.
tried to increase to 7, but the medical supplier wouldn't sell me extra without a new prescription. I was baffled, not realizing that it can make some people nauseous.
talk to your doctor/nutritionist.

Osmolite ingredients:
Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium & Calcium Caseinates, Soy Protein Isolate, Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Medium-Chain Triglycerides, Calcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Phosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Carrageenan, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Phylloquinone, Cyanocobalamin, and Vitamin D3.
Contains milk and soy ingredients.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Fiber source which is from Nestle and it is RX. There are many RX brands that your ins should pay for. Don't hesitate to ask them.

cureitall66's picture
cureitall66
Posts: 841
Joined: Aug 2012

Hope you can get it figured out soon. I think I'd call the doctor or facility and see if you can make different arrangements. I hate to hear that he has to suffer with one more issue.

Oh....and CIVILMATT's comment (last sentence at the bottom of his post) just made me belly laugh right out loud!! I really needed that. Thanks Matt. ;)

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1834
Joined: Jun 2012

I had a g-tube and used Ensure, Boost or Wal-Mart brand. Always took it sitting up (took about an hour) and had instructions not to lay down for 30 minutes or an hour. I recall the 2 weeks in the hospital with a feeding tube in my nose, they also made me sit up for feedings and not lay flat for 30 minutes following. Once I started drinking it by mouth, the only brand I did not like was Walgreens.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5636
Joined: Apr 2009

I too had a lot of problems with the boost and Ensure, just makes me feel bad when I take it, just too rich for my body. What my Wife caregiver has been doing is to make my food herself. I can eat through the tube any food that she can eat thanks to the Health Master Blender. Last week on my way home I picked up a Fish sandwich and French fries and gave it to her, she put it all in the blender with some Veggie Broth and there it was Peg Tube food. She makes my Lunch and puts it in a thermal bottle that keeps it warm for me so at lunch time I just break it out and down the tube it goes. I love beans and rice and Avocado and Mexican food, I can again eat them all.

Hope this helps in giving you some ideas
Hondo

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

Your husband needs more than just Ensure if he relies totally on tube feeding. Ensure, Boost, and the like are supplements. They are meant to supplement his regular food intake. Some of the formulas other people have mentioned are more appropriate. I use Isosource which is also made by Abbott Labs. They are designed to give your husband the full daily requirements his body needs. Ensure and Boost are not. If your insurance pays for Ensure, it should pay for other formulas too.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network