I had a patient a few weeks ago who was admitted to the hospital for anorexia and bulemia. She was on a continuous tube feeding to supplement her body because she was not eating. This woman was a little younger than me and barely 80 pounds.
She hated the thought of having a feeding tube but she knew that she needed it if she wanted to get better. We had a long discussion about this.
So you can imagine my shock as I was watching 20/20 last week and they were talking about this new fad diet called "The Feeding Tube Diet". This has definitely blown my mind. Apparently this story has been out for awhile but I am just now hearing about it.
This new diet uses a nasogastric tube, a tube that goes through the nose down the esophagus and into the stomach. The tube is connected to a portable feeding pump that provides nourishment around the clock. ;
The feeding mix is the only source of food for 10 days. Supposedly weight loss happens very quickly because it forces the body to go into ketosis, where fat is burned instead of sugar.
Although this new dieting system is still kind of unknown in the United States, it has been popular for many years in Italy and Spain.
I totally get that people are tired of being overweight and having to squeeze themselves into their jeans. We all want to like what we see when we look in the mirror. But the thought of paying money to have a tube put down your nose to lose weight seems extreme to me.
I had to giggle when they showed these people out in public. They were in the mall shopping with their tubes hanging out of their nose and their portable feeding pumps slung over their shoulders like a purse. One woman was ;ecstatic that she was able to go back to her job as a hair stylist the same day. She said when people see it they automatically ask, "are you ok?" People see a tube hanging out of your nose and they assume you are sick.
As nurses, we see these feeding tubes a lot in the hospital but ironically they are not for losing weight but to provide nourishment to someone who is not eating, or can't swallow food.
Losing weight quick seems to be the name of the game nowadays. People want to be skinny "yesterday". The quicker the better.
For women it seems like the older we get the harder it is to lose the weight. We have to contend with issues like hormones and thyroid disorders that can make it even harder to drop those pounds.
Issues like these make these crash diets so appealing to so many people. They just want to be thin.
Of course with any kind of extreme low calorie diet comes the risk of side effects like kidney stones, headaches, and dehydration. Not to mention losing weight too fast can cause loss of muscle tone which can result in saggy skin and stretch marks.
It's important to like the person you see staring back at you in the mirror. If you are on a weight loss journey make sure you treat your body right. As the saying goes slow and steady wins the race.
Tasha Nelson is a registered nurse who works the night shift at a large midwest hospital. Her passions are nursing and skin care. She firmly believes in the importance of taking care of yourself. Nurses spend the majority of their time serving others but often put themselves on the "back burner". It is possible to be a night shift nurse and feel good and look great