Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know

Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know


Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know

Parenteral nutrition is a type of providing essential nutrients to the body intravenously. When the absorption of core nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins face difficulty passing through the gastrointestinal tract, Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) becomes useful. The requirement of essential nutrients becomes very necessary during recovery from the hospital. Which is not possible by consuming food through diet. The absorption becomes easy when passed directly through veins. This is just an overview of what exactly TPN does. Here is a complete guide you need to know when understanding how TPN functions from start to end. 

Who Needs Parenteral Nutrition?

Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know
Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know

The nutrition intake in this form is possible for all ages. However, people with problems like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea in children and chemotherapy need special care for nutrient absorption. This is because your small intestine is unable to absorb and process nutrients or the presence of GI Fistula. The need becomes more when the body is unable to process or digest food properly. This is the case in gastroparesis and pancreatitis too. 

How To Do It?

The healthcare provider decides the concentration of nutrition in the parenteral nutrition tube. You can calculate this on your body requirement and the type of treatment you need. Usually, you can choose a large vein, where the nutrients will enter your body. You can insert a catheter in your chest, entering superior vena cava. An x-ray helps in knowing the correct position of the catheter. The operating room is ideal for this, under sterile conditions to avoid infections. However, you can also practice this at home under healthcare advice and maintaining proper hygiene for a long-term treatment program.

A nutritionist provider manages the amount of liquid in each packet. You can keep these packets in the refrigerator. You have to remove them from your fridge 6 hours prior to the use. Every packet must be kept under the sterile condition and shall only be brought to room temperature before making it in use. 

Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know
Parenteral Nutrition: How It Works On Your Body- Everything To Know

What Are The Risks Of Parenteral Nutrition?

Though TPN is a boon to people with problems in food absorption, it has some risks you need to keep in mind. Firstly, the tube and catheter used in the process have chances of infection if not taken care of. Venous thrombosis is another problem with a high mortality rate. This is because of sepsis in the catheter. Blood clots, liver diseases, and bone problems are other risks associated with parenteral nutrition in the long term. Needleless ports and proper hygiene are a must to minimize these risks while gaining nutrition through TPN. 

Benefits Of TPN On Your Body

A lot of people using this treatment have experienced improvements in their health. Although in some cases your symptoms are still active, the level of energy will increase gradually. Also, you will feel stronger than the time this treatment began. This process provides nutrition skipping the GI tract so it decreases the pressure on those organs while providing the right amount of nutrition anyway. The level of electrolyte is also maintained with the proper use of this treatment.

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