Friday, June 14, 2013

Refeeding Syndrome

Refeeding syndrome is a condition that people who have been through a period of starvation can suffer from. This occurs when the person is fed to aggressively after a period of starvation. It can occur in people who have suffered from anorexia nervosa, cancer, chronic malnutrition, and uncontrolled diabetes. So why does this refeeding syndrome occur? If a person’s body has gone through starvation for several days or more the body becomes used to starvation. It begins to use stored sources of energy instead of food sources. If the body is given food again it shifts back to using food for energy. This shift can cause a vitamin/mineral deficiency as well has electrolyte imbalance. Common deficiencies seen with refeeding syndrome include potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. When these nutrient imbalances occur complications can develop. Some complications of refeeding syndrome include heart problems, breathing problems, and insulin resistance. To avoid refeeding syndrome a person should be fed small portions of food and liquids to nourish the body. Large quantities of food and liquids are dangerous. Refeeding syndrome can be very dangerous and can possibly lead to death. People who have gone without food or water for three days or more may be at risk for refeeding syndrome and should be monitored very carefully.

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