Enteral nutrition is a method of delivering nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract. It is used in cases where the patient is unable to eat or absorb enough nutrients orally, but the gastrointestinal tract is still functional. Enteral nutrition can be delivered through a tube that goes through the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach (nasogastric tube) or directly into the small intestine (jejunostomy tube), and can be administered as a liquid formula or as a semi-solid food.
Enteral nutrition is typically used for patients who are critically ill or recovering from surgery or injury, those with certain medical conditions such as cancer, or those with problems swallowing. It can also be used as a form of treatment for certain conditions such as Crohn’s disease, where the gut is not able to absorb nutrients properly.
Enteral nutrition can provide all the necessary nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, in the right proportions for a patient’s growth and development. It also may help to prevent infections and maintain gut integrity.
It’s important to note that enteral nutrition is a specialized and complex form of therapy and should be administered only under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals with experience in enteral nutrition. It also carries certain risks such as infection, blockage, and metabolic disturbances, so close monitoring is necessary to ensure the safety and efficacy of the therapy.