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Using for Tube feeding

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betryears Sep 28, 2013 10:02 PM

Please help. I want to use "real food " in the feeder instead of the premixed kind. The nutritionist is strongly against this .
Can the Vita Mix make a liquid equal to the constancy found in the commercial brands. ? These contain whey which is not recommended for brain tumors Also most products have one or two additions from GMO additives . Many thanks Grammy

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  1. Chris VR RE: betryears Sep 29, 2013 05:54 AM

    Based on Googling, It does appear the VitaMix (and other high powered blenders) is able to make liquids of the right consistency. More information here http://www.foodfortubies.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/foodfortubies and http://www.feedingtubeawareness.com/B...

    Good luck with your situation, whichever you choose to use.

    1. wekick RE: betryears Sep 29, 2013 06:25 AM

      What is the reason the nutritionist gave for not wanting to use real food? It may be that the lumen of the feeding tube may be small and prone to clogging with food particles. You might want to strain the blenderized food with a fine mesh strainer and add appropriate liquid to make sure that won't happen.

      1. cowboyardee RE: betryears Sep 29, 2013 09:17 AM

        This topic will make it difficult to avoid giving 'medical advice.' I'll try not to, but I'll at least try to help avoid some pitfalls. At any rate, I'd recommend talking to your nutritionist and doctor to get a VERY thorough idea of exactly why your nutritionist is opposed to this before proceeding.

        The first thing to keep in mind is that some of the equipment for tube feedings can clog very easily. At work, I see this kind of problem frequently even with commercial mixes designed for tube feeds (Promote with fiber is notorious). So, that has the potential to be a major hurdle. I would imagine that doing this with anything less than an extremely high powered blender (and likely also cheesecloth or chinois straining) will cause problems. A vitamix could be up to the task, but you'd almost certainly run into problems with anything less. Could depend on what tubing you use. Flushing the tubing with small amount of pineapple juice can be helpful, but is no guaranty.

        Also of note, I would imagine that this would only be for feedings that are given in intervals, similar to a regular dining schedule. Commercial tube feedings are processed in such a way that spoilage at room temperature is avoided for longer feedings. At home, this kind of processing would be extremely difficult.

        Then there is the whole nutritional issue. Frankly, I don't want to touch that one, because it depends greatly on your particular needs and the state of your GI tract. GI dumping is a real possibility, as is ineffective absorption of nutrients, too few calories, too many calories, possibility of infection, etc. If your stomach and lower GI tract are functioning normally (your issue is swallowing or upper esophagus), you have a better chance at avoiding these issues, but even then there are many possibilities that I couldn't possibly foresee without knowing your medical history along with many that I wouldn't have the expertise to foresee even if I did. Maintaining a balanced diet via tube feeding is usually a good deal trickier than doing so by eating regularly, and I don't have the expertise to give you better advice in this area.

        So basically - if you choose to proceed, do so with caution, and armed with as much information as possible. If you can find others doing something similar and get your doctor and nutritionist to speak openly with you and give you as much info as possible (and they may be reluctant due to liability), that would be a good start.

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