Feeding Formulas & Accessories
Enteral or Tube feeding is used in a variety of areas. It can be used short-term in the case of admittance to the ICU or post-surgery, or it can be used as a long-term, life-saving solution for many people. In short, tube feeding is utilized in situations where a person’s digestive system is working fine but for some reason, they are not able to intake nutrients orally (by eating and swallowing).
While different brands of formula vary in ingredients, caloric content (typically between 1.0 and 2.0 kcal/ml), hydration level, etc; it is important to note that they are all
composed of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water to ensure a
complete nutritional intake by the person receiving the formula.
Standard Formulas contain a ‘normal’ mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and micronutrients. Unless otherwise indicated this is the formula type that most people would choose for their enteral feeding needs as they will provide a balanced healthy nutritional intake.
Standard + Fibre Formulas
As the name suggests, Standard + Fibre Formulas are the same as standard formulas with the addition of fibre. The addition of fibre will help with any diarrhea or bowel irregularities.
(Semi) Elemental Formulas
Semi-Elemental and Elemental Formulas are also known as peptide formulas, hydrolyzed formulas, or predigested formulas. These formulas have proteins and fats that are pre-broken down into simple forms in order to make them easier to digest and absorb by one’s gut. These formulas are used for people with mal-absorption concerns.
Blenderized is a growing trend within the tube-feeding world. These formulas are most closely related to standard formulas but are all or mostly composed of whole foods. As the name suggests whole foods are blended into a liquid. Some brands of blenderized formulas state benefits such as fewer chemicals and/or the use of organic foods.
There are far more formulas designed for specific medical conditions and circumstances. This may include diabetes, renal failure, liver dysfunctions, COPD, injury recovery, low weight, and malnutrition. This category can obviously be divided into smaller and smaller categories but to keep this article short and sweet, we will bulk these formulas into one category.