Health Care

Hyperalimentation: Understanding Total Parenteral Nutrition for Optimal Health

A Patient Lays on an Exam Table as a Nurse Inserts a PICC line

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Hyperalimentation, or total parenteral nutrition (TPN), is a life-sustaining therapy that provides essential nutrients intravenously to individuals who cannot obtain adequate nutrition through oral or enteral (tube feeding) routes. This specialized form of nutrition is crucial to supporting patients with specific nutritional needs.

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) and its Benefits

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) delivers a balanced mix of macronutrients, micronutrients and fluids directly into an individual’s bloodstream.

TPN provides a complete and balanced nutritional solution, ensuring patients receive adequate calories, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. It helps meet the individualized nutritional needs of patients who cannot tolerate other methods.

TPN also supports your body's healing and recovery processes, particularly for patients who are malnourished, undergoing surgery or experiencing gastrointestinal dysfunction. Depending on your health needs, TPN can be either temporary or long-term.

Indications for Hyperalimentation

Providers will prescribe hyperalimentation for individuals with specific medical conditions or situations that prevent them from meeting their nutritional needs orally or through a feeding tube.

If a patient has a severe gastrointestinal disorder, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, short bowel syndrome or malabsorption issues, their physician may prescribe TPN if they’re unable to swallow food and absorb nutrients effectively. This IV-administered form of nutrition bypasses the bowel, allowing it to rest and heal while providing critical nutrients.

Additionally, some cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, can cause significant appetite loss, difficulty swallowing or malabsorption. In this case, your care provider may recommend TPN, as it will provide the nutritional support you need to maintain your strength and support you in your recovery.

Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who are unable to tolerate tube feeding due to severe illness, trauma or surgery may also require TPN, as it helps meet their nutritional needs while the body heals and recovers.

The Process

TPN is tailored to meet each patient's unique nutritional requirements, and a full team of specialists, including registered dietitians, pharmacists and health care providers, collaborate to develop a nutrition plan personalized for your needs. If you require hyperalimentation, this specialized multidisciplinary team will determine your needs and closely monitor your status to ensure the best possible results.

Skilled health care professionals administer TPN through a central venous catheter, typically inserted into a large vein near the heart. You’ll receive regular monitoring, including a panel of bloodwork to assess how your body is responding to TPN to ensure you’re receiving appropriate nutrient levels. Your care team will make any necessary adjustments as needed.

Your Journey to Whole Health

At AdventHealth, we provide comprehensive care and support for individuals requiring hyperalimentation. Our experienced health care professionals deliver personalized nutrition plans, expert catheter placement and ongoing monitoring. Discover if this treatment might be right for you, and schedule an appointment with our specialists to learn more.

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