Old 12-19-2017, 09:45 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default alternative to feeding tubes

hi, my dad was diagnosed with ALS last March. Now he is on Philips respironics almost 20 hours per day. Eating is a challenge for him and leads to fatigue and weakness. He also has heart disease and high blood pressure. Other than feeding tubes, is there any alternative way to help him with eating? Appreciate any information.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:12 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: alternative to feeding tubes

In a word, no. As the swallowing muscles become weaker the ability to move food and liquids past the trachea becomes more difficult. So you wind up with food in the lungs, which leads to pneumonia. Eventually saliva becomes a problem. So the options become, a feeding tube or a tracheostomy. The feeding tube is a much easier procedure.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:57 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: alternative to feeding tubes

As you await the appointment for the tube, if that is his choice, he may find thick soups, puddings and shakes easier to deal with-- and you can mix nutritious foods like eggs, nut butters, bananas, applesauce in a blender, avoiding seeds, corn, etc. and add milk to achieve the right consistency if needed. Depending on his abilities, he might be able to deal with soft meats such as Vienna sausages, hot dogs and such, without the skin. Generally, canned and fresh foods to avoid include peas, rice, oats, corn, spinach, tomatoes and anything with a hull, skin, strings or seeds. You can find recipes elsewhere on the site and in the feeding tube section so you know what you can put into the tube -- real food is recommended if/as possible.

Welcome, and feel free to introduce yourself further in this thread or another one.

Best,
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