Can you eat food with a PEG tube

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat food with a PEG tube?” We will also discuss what a PEG tube is, what it is used for, and what implications can have on your diet.

Can you eat food with a PEG tube?

Yes, you can eat food with a PEG tube. However, this will depend on the condition of the patient, while some exhibit issues swallowing, some others may still eat and drink small amounts through the mouth. To get the most specific response, you will need to talk to your healthcare provider about these restrictions.

Some patients are capable of eating by mouth without any risk, and supplementing with tube feeding if it is necessary. So, food does not cause any harm to the PEG tube, if your doctor declares you have no problem eating, then you can eat food even with a PEG tube!

What is a PEG tube?

PEG stands for Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy which is the name of the surgery that needs to be performed to place a feeding tube. PEG tubes are designed to allow you to get nutrients through your stomach.

The feeding tubes can also be known as G tubes. Whenever a person receives its nutrition through the stomach, we are talking about a case of enteral nutrition.

The reason why people need to get a PEG tube placed is that they may exhibit some problems when eating by mouth.

Who needs a PEG tube?

Whenever a patient exhibits dysphagia, a PEG tube is needed to meet their nutrition needs. There are certain conditions that do not allow the patient to eat as it should, like:

Not only PEG tubes are displayed in people who exhibit difficulty swallowing but also in people with certain conditions that do not allow their bodies to accomplish the nutrition pathway, or their bodies have entered a coma state.

So, conditions like cystic fibrosis and kidney failure may cause your body to not achieve the whole procedure to get nutrients from food.

Do PEG tubes have some risks?

Placing a PEG tube is not considered a risky procedure, but some complications can happen as well. Problems when placing a PEG tube might not be mortal, but patients with other risk factors can have more chances of mortality.

Some of the risks that placing a PEG tube can cause are:

  • Wound infections.
  • Tube blockage.
  • Peritonitis. Inflammation inside your abdomen.
  • Pneumoperitoneum. This condition refers to the presence of air or gas in the abdominal cavity.
  • Aspiration pneumonia. Infection of the lungs is caused by inhaling saliva, vomit, liquid, food, or any strange object.
  • Hemorrhage. Bleeding can occur when performing the placing of a PEG tube, although it can be controlled, some further examination should be done to assure everything is in order.
  • Perforation of the bowel.

If you would like further guidance on this subject, please click here.

What kind of nutrition should be administered through a PEG tube?

This will depend on the nutritional needs of each patient. But formulas and blended meals are the usual mixtures that can be administered by the PEG tube. Your healthcare provider will tell you what works best for you.

Some people may believe that blending food can make it lose some of the most important nutrients, but that is not true! Blended food only changes the texture, but it leaves the nutrients intact.

Not all patients want to be fed with formula, so ask your doctor about the possibility of using blenderized food for your PEG tube.

How long does a PEG last inside you?

In some cases, feeding tubes are only placed during a limited period, most commonly when patients will overcome some surgeries or certain conditions. But when it comes to PEG tubes, that are designed to last longer, they are placed when a feeding tube needs to stay in for longer than a month.

This most commonly occurs in patients with malabsorption issues, or with a permanent swallowing risk.

Can you go home if you have a PEG tube?

As PEG tubes are designed for long-term feeding, patients with them can go home and they can have a normal lifestyle, but they need to attend the specific times to be administered formula.

If patients only have placed temporary feeding tubes, they need to stay in the hospital as the conditions that caused the feeding issues can have serious symptoms, and need to be under constant vigilance.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat food with a PEG tube?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Citations

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21098-tube-feeding–enteral-nutrition

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4069302/#__sec18title

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/4911-percutaneous-endoscopic-gastrostomy-peg#:~:text=After%20tube%20placement%2C%20most%20people,small%20amounts%20through%20the%20mouth.

https://dietitiansondemand.com/top-5-questions-and-misconceptions-about-feeding-tubes/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.