Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and preventing disease. Adequate nutrition is essential for the proper functioning of the body’s systems and for supporting overall well-being. In healthy individuals, proper nutrition can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, as well as improve cognitive function and physical performance.
In hospitalized patients, nutrition is equally important, as illness and injury can increase the body’s nutrient needs and lead to malnutrition, which can worsen health outcomes and delay recovery. Proper nutrition in the hospital setting is widely accepted as an integral part of patient care as it can help support the healing process, reduce the risk of complications, and improve the patient’s overall quality of life.
Gastroparesis is a medical condition that affects the stomach’s ability to empty its contents properly. This disorder can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal pain. It can be temporary because of medication or a trauma (e.g. ICU patients) or chronic because of damage to the nerves or muscles that control the stomach’s contractions (e.g. diabetic patients).
Enteral feeding intolerance is the inability of the digestive system to properly tolerate and process nutrition delivered through a feeding tube. It can be caused by gastroparesis, has similar symptoms but can also lead to diarrhoea as well as constipation. Enteral feeding intolerance is mainly caused by insufficient digestive capacity due to underlying medical conditions or medication and contributes together with feeding tube positioning problems to the overall incidence of malnutrition which could be as high as 50% in intensive care units.