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Questions About PEG Tube Feeding

Posts: 33
Joined: Mar 2013

Happy Easter to all !

I have been holding out on using my PEG tube, but the time has come to where I think it is time to use it in combination with feeding by mouth.

I am able to get food down if I take some medicine prior to eating but the taste/pain is so crappy after a few bites that I tend to give up on it.

I have lost 8 lbs. over the last 10 days which is not good since I still have 15 more rad and 3 more chemo treatments to go. ( 3 weeks)

I suppose I should not be a cry baby and continue to eat what solid food I can regardless of taste and pain and just be glad I can get them down at all. I am on the fence with this. Maybe I will try a combo. ???

Anyway, I had a question or two for those using the PEG (or have used).

How fast to feed yourself ? I clear my tube each morning by injecting about 60 cc of water and I just push it  right in, no hesitation. Do I handle the Ensure, etc; the same way ?

Just press the stopper down and shoot it in ?


Does it matter if it is hot or cold ?


I would appreciate any tips !






Posts: 24
Joined: Dec 2010

you have to get at least a certain number of calories a day(2k-3k). you have to experiment to see what works for you, and you have to keep swallowing as long as you can even if its water. I got sick injecting formula so i used a gravity feed to get all my calories and did'nt have a choice to swallow as i had a trach for a couple of months.

just take it one day at a time.eat when you can and and use everything at your disposal to get all the cals you need. there is no set way to do anything with this beast, just make yourself comfy as possible, "think out of box" if you will this does not last forever

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 820
Joined: Dec 2005


All good questions, I will attempt to answer them the best that I can.

1- I am glad that you are flushing the tube daily to keep it clear, but you need to do this at least twice a day if possible, morning and night is what I did when I was able to eat orally.

2- The nutrition should be at room temperature, so should the water that you use to flush. Mainly so you don't get stomach cramps from the sudden change of temperature in your stomach.

3- I used my syringe as a funnel when feeding myself with my nutrition. After flushing before feeding with 2 syringes of room temperature water, I would sit by a table, remove the plunger and have 2- 8oz. cans of nutrition ready to use. I would fold over the end of the tube so no leakage would accur, pop the cap and insert the syringe. Raise the tube and syringe ( with the hose straight now) to just above the level of the PEG and slowly pure my nutrition into the syringe. I would try to go no faster then 10 minutes per can as I would get indigestion if I went any faster. It is basically a gravity fed method and I could control the speed by raising or lowering the height of the syringe/ funnel. I would then again flush the tube with 2 more syringes of room temp water.

4- I tried to at least eat some scrambled eggs with allot of sugar free Log Cabin syrup on them so I could keep my swallow motion and sip water during the day. I hope this helps.

5- Whatever weight you need to maintain, multiply that weight by 12 and that is the number of calories you need to take in each day. Try to go above that by a little bit.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4323
Joined: Mar 2012

tube and swallow, then you have the best outlook in both worlds.  You can keep your swallower going AND get enough calories to minimize weight loss. 

I did gravity feeds, also...take the plunger out of the syringe, and use it as a funnel.  Pour the nutrition in, hold the tube up as far as it will go and let it flow slowly into your stomach.....keep doing this till the can is empty.  You're switching now to taking in more by tube than by mouth....but still taking in some by mouth every day.  You can control the flow by how high you hold the tube.


CajunEagle's picture
Posts: 368
Joined: Oct 2009

Just be sure the liquid used in the tube is at room temperture.  It's a really strange feeling in your tummy when something is added that is too warm or cold.  This peg tube thing takes some practice, but one gets the hang of it after making a few mistakes like forgetting to crimp it off when removing the syringe.  What a mess !!



Posts: 33
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for the replies !

I noitice when I go to flush the tube in the morning ( I will do it twice a day now) that it is generally half full of stomach contents. After I flush, it fills back up with water very quickly so I have to be carefull to pinch the hose off until I can re-cap it.


How will the gravity feed work against the pressure generated by the fluid coming back out of my stomach and up the hose ???


I hope I am making sense.



MarineE5's picture
Posts: 820
Joined: Dec 2005


When you are about to do the feeding. You can either stand up during the feeding, or sit up straight in a chair, don't slouch in the chair. Holding the tube/hose above the PEG insert also keeps the stomach fluids from running out of the hose. It may take a feeding or two the get the feel for it, but I did it the whole time I had to use it. The first time I fed at home after the hospital, I was given the tree and bags to feed with. It took 1 1/2 hrs for the one can to go in. Way too long in my view, so I switched to the method of the syringe and gravity feed.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4323
Joined: Mar 2012

half way at the end of the feeding, just like when you flush....having "stuff" in the first 8 inches or so is par for the course.  Flush right before you feed yourself, and right after to keep it clean.  I poured in coca cola every day, also....Coke keeps it squeaky clean and minimized blockage from stuff building up.  I know, I thought the same thing....but heard about it here, and it works!! Laughing 


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 3482
Joined: May 2012


I had 2 PEG's one good , one bad.

I always drank 1 meal a day when on the PEG.

I used the Jevity with the gravity drip system, hang it high and in full speed and relax in the recliner (but not to reclined).

For me not much real food went down my mouth for 7 months.  I could not stand the texture and feel of most foods, but I loved my smoothies.  My parents could not understand, I once put a can of Crisco shortening on the table and said this is what food tastes and feels like.  The point being, no matter what the food was or how good it was I was likely to have 1 or 2 bites (or none) and drink a smooothie.  I always was trying foods, always.

Then one day (at 7 months) the bad feel just disapeared and I was back in the game.  My taster is at about 20% on a good day, but I am eating everything (including spicy).  I still can not taste ice-cream.

happy chowing down,


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1506
Joined: Nov 2011

I had my feeding tube (peg) for 7 months.


I used it both ways. Shot it straight in a less than 2 minutes as well as set up a gravity bag and let it drip for 20 minutes.  Sometimes it depended on where and what I was doing, others, how senstivie my stomach was for the day.


Ensure plus was a bit rich for me, so I would mix it with skim milks...let'r drip or just shoot straight in.  The first week I had the thing in I had to take it slow.  I guess it was bc my stomach did not like the foreign intrusion...but I don't know for sure.

Take care...and get that protein!


wolfen's picture
Posts: 1278
Joined: Apr 2009

My hubby actually has a "Kangaroo Joey" pump to deliver the canned food to his system. It is electric or battery run(when it needs to be portable). It delivers the food at a much slower rate and is time consuming. He was not able to tolerate the "bolus" or syringe feed. I don't see many here that have/had a pump, but being fairly new to it all, we just went with what the doc prescribed.

Best of luck with your chosen method.



dlygoblue's picture
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2012

Dennis, like Wolfen, I used an electric/battery operated pump PEG system that I used to deliver nutrition overnight while I slept, and then I ate (or tried to eat) soft foods like scrambled eggs and cheese, soups, pudding, yogurts, etc. during the day.  Leave everything at room temp.  You can adjust these pumps to deliver gradually or more aggressively.  However, the pump takes time, and the harware can be cumbersome (I almost had my tube ripped out by one of my dogs running through the house).  The syringe injection works great if you’re short on time.  Either way, it takes the stress and PAIN away from having to eat by mouth all the time.

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