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Question about feeding tube

fishingirl's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Nov 2009

I still have my feeding tube in, plus I am eating most foods. The problem is, is I'm not gaining any weight. Do I have to keep using the feeding tube untill I get to a certain weight.

And do you gain weight faster by eating real food as oppossed to the feeding tube. Like if the feeding tube was gone and all I could rely on was "food", would I go downhill?


MLC53's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

It's great that you are eating most foods! Some doctors won't pull the feeding tube until they feel a patient is at a satisfactory weight. Others will, if you can convince them that you are eating well enough.
I was eating okay but not enough to maintain my weight, so my doctor wrote me a prescription for Ensure Plus x 6 cans a day to drink as a supplement to what I was eating. I would drink it between meals and sometimes as a meal to help sustain proper nutrition. I LOVE the chocolate flavor! My insurance company paid for it and had it shipped directly to my home. Sometimes I would drink all six cans per day, if I ate very little, and other times I would drink only 2-3 cans per day. I just did whatever my body "told me" to do, and I felt that it was important to get the extra nutrition so that my body could recover from the trauma it suffered during the treatments.
Later, after I became comfortable with eating more, I had my doctor change the prescription to the REGULAR Ensure because it didn't have as many calories as the Plus. The prescription is good indefinitely so I still have the Ensure delivered to my home to help supplement my diet, except now I only have the insurance company send about half of what I used to get. I suppose at some point I won't need it at all.
It has been over 2 years since my last treatment. I have learned that the recovery from this kind of cancer is very very slow so I don't rush it. I just go with the flow. I hope this helps. Good luck to you and keep us posted!

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

HI Cindy,

As you know I just had my tube pulled out. I was taking one vitamin/health shake through the tube once a day right up to and including the day I had it pulled and all I did was make sure I could take the same shake by mouth before I pulled the tube. I now dump the shake onto a bowl of cereal so there was no Nett change to my food intake. While I am not gaining weight, I not losing any either.

I think if you are eating a very healthy 'anti-cancer' diet, which means mainly vegetarian and no processed foods including sugars, it will be hard to pack on the pounds. I am going to find a Gym or health food place and get some of the weight gaining formulas used by body builders when I get home and see if that helps as I lost around 40lbs and have only really regained about 6 - 10 lbs

I find I don't have a great appetite yet so even when I do eat I am not that enthusiastic and can't handle a lot of food at meal times.

I am also now regaining some strength and feel better each week so I will start swimming or exercising more now. At the moment I walk about an hour a day so I intend to increase that over the next month or so as I will be in warm Southern Hemi-sphere weather (Summer).

To repeat, if you can take the same quantity of calories 'post tube' as you take now, you shouldn't go downhill.

I look FWD to seeing more posts on this.


Landranger25's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Cindy, I have had my PEG out now for about a month. With me I couldn't wait to get rid of that thing. Once I started eating I completely abandoned the tube. Mostly soup but tried other foods as quickly as I felt up to them. If they didn't work out so well, I moved on to something else. I can safely say at this point there is nothing I can't eat as long as I have a drink handy. I had a checkup witht he Doc and he liked what he saw as far as me eating so he left it up to me when I got it out. I called right away and scheduled to get it removed. I lost 35 pounds during my treatment and got 10 back really quick after I started eating "real" food. Getting any more back has not been so easy. I have only been able to get about 5 more back just by eating and the minimal exercise I have been doing. I agree with Scambuster that the key will be physical activity. I have been walking off and on, biggest thing probably ice skating at my daughters hockey practices but need to do more. What we lost during treatment was muscle and we all need to build it back. Eating alone will not do that. Good luck and keep us posted.


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