There’s certainly a lot to learn when you or a loved one have a new health diagnosis—especially one that requires a medical device, like an enteral feeding tube. If you’re new to nutrition support therapies, we’d like to help break down the difference between the two main types—Enteral Nutrition and Parenteral Nutrition.
Primarily, the goal of both enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition is to treat and prevent malnutrition (if you cannot eat enough by mouth). Whether your physician prescribes enteral or parenteral nutrition to you or a loved one depends on your health status and the underlying issues you or they may have.
Parenteral Nutrition is assigned when your stomach and digestive system is not able to break down food and nutrients. In parenteral nutrition, nutrients are delivered via an intravenous (IV) tube into the bloodstream. You may also hear this referred to as “Total Parenteral Nutrition” or “TPN”.
Enteral Nutrition is the kind of support you receive if you have a CORFLO*, MIC*, MIC-KEY* or other feeding tube system. Those consumers that are using Enteral Nutrition have a digestive system that functions, yet they cannot eat or eat enough by mouth to maintain optimal nutrition and caloric goals. Enteral feeding tubes can be placed via the stomach, small bowel/intestine or the nose.
It is important to note that while both types of nutrition support require liquid nutrients to be delivered through a tube/port, the format of the nutrients being delivered are completely different. If you want to learn more, then we encourage you to visit the ASPEN website.
What kind of feeding support do you or your loved one receive? Share with us on our Facebook page!