Tubies and Vitamins

When feeding a person via g-tube for medical reasons, formula is one option.  Blended meals are another option.  I have been feeding my daughter (who is nearly 13 years old) blended meals via g-tube for several years.

There are several issues to take into account when feeding blended meals. We can inadvertently cause things like hypothyroidism due to a lack of iodine in our Tubie’s diet.  Most of us don’t have to worry about iodine deficiency because it is contained in lots of foods, in small amounts.  It is also often contained in processed foods because of iodized salt.

Sea salt and kosher salt, however are not iodized.  The USA used to require that all table salt be iodized in order to decrease iodine deficiency leading to hypothyroidism. (Hypothyroidism can produce many results including (but not limited to) fatigue, sluggishness, increased sensitivity to cold, dry skin, pale and puffy face, hoarse voice,  yellow skin, brittle hair and nails, sleepiness, frequent choking, constipation, poor muscle tone, delayed puberty, poor mental development, high cholesterol, goiter.) Hypothyroidism produces different effects at different ages.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that are critical to bodily functions. Iodine helps the thyroid gland produce the necessary hormones.  Keep in mind that it is possible to have an excess of iodine as well.

What to do?!?!?!?!

  • When I make blended meals for Natalie, I include meat.  When I cook the meat, I salt it with iodized salt.  Not heavily – just like I would if I were serving it to myself or the rest of the family.
  • I give Natalie a vitamin that (as most do) includes iodine.
  • I have her blood tested once a year for the amount of hormones produced by her thyroid and pituitary glands.

According to the Mayo Clinic, everyone needs about 150 micrograms of iodine a day, which is especially important for infants, children, pregnant and lactating women. Seafood and seaweed contain iodine and foods grown near the coast as well.




2 thoughts on “Tubies and Vitamins

  1. Excellent post! I add kelp granules to J’s blended meals. It’s easy to sprinkle in and the tiny granules blend well & pass through the tube easily. Kelp has high iodine content, and is an excellent vegetarian source of iodine. I purchase it from the bulk section of our local co-op, but most health food stores carry kelp granules as well (and of course, it’s available online!).

  2. I enjoy your blog. I have a son 5 years old that just got a feeding tube in Sept. when we found out he was aspirating. My question is what do you do when your daughter is in school? Since he got the tube he has constant diarrhea and vomits occasionally in the nurses office after/while feeding him. I’ve asked her several times if she is going to fast she said no. We use formula at school and I have given her a measuring cup to heat it up and she is supposed to be using gravity but somehow I think something else is going on. She says she cleans the extensions every time, throws out the syringes daily and any unused formula. I don’t want to keep harassing her. Is this just to be expected with tube feed kids?

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