People with Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) may not be able to absorb all of the important nutrients or fluids they need from what they eat and drink. When this happens, they may need supplemental nutrition through feeding tubes in the form of enteral nutrition (EN) or may need to get nutrition and/or fluids intravenously, which is called parenteral nutrition (PN) or parenteral support (PS).
Tube feeding in the form of EN is a specific liquid food given through a tube into the stomach or small bowel. EN can be given through different types of tubes. One type of tube can be placed through the nose into the stomach or small bowel. Sometimes the tube is placed directly through the skin into the stomach or small bowel.
PS refers to nutrition and fluids that are given to you through your veins. It includes PN and/or IV fluids. PS bypasses the stomach and small intestine altogether to deliver nutrients or fluids directly into the bloodstream through a catheter or port in the chest or arm.
The kind of PS each person with SBS might need depends on his or her specific fluid, electrolyte and/or nutrient imbalance. Formulas are created to meet the specific needs of each patient and contain a customized mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
PS is a term used to describe any kind of nutrition and/or hydration provided through an IV, but you may be more familiar with other words and phrases, such as total parenteral nutrition (TPN).
It’s not uncommon for people with SBS to use IV nutrition and/or hydration on a long-term basis. It can provide the essential nutrients and fluids needed for life.
Long-term treatment with PS can also impair quality of life and is associated with serious complications.
While the primary healthcare goal for SBS patients is to make sure they maintain the right amount of nutrients and fluids, doctors are also encouraged to look for opportunities to wean patients off IV feeding and increase oral consumption whenever it’s appropriate.
Would you like to talk with someone who understands what it’s like to be on PS? Schedule a phone call with a Patient Ambassador through our peer mentor program, SBS Connect.Schedule a call
Important Safety Information: GATTEX may cause serious side effects including making abnormal cells grow faster, polyps in the colon (large intestine), blockage of the bowel (intestines), swelling (inflammation) or blockage of your gallbladder or pancreas, and fluid overload.
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