Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Enteral or Total Parenteral Nutrition

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Enteral or Total Parenteral Nutrition

Topic Overview

The following nutritional treatments may be used for inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease).

Enteral nutrition

Enteral nutrition is a fluid given through a tube that is inserted into the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach. This tube is called a nasogastric, or NG, tube. The fluid contains essential nutrients and helps supplement or replace a regular diet. The intestines absorb nutrients from the fluid more easily than from regular food. Feedings may be given during the day or at night during sleep.

Studies of people who have Crohn's disease show that enteral nutrition may help keep them free of symptoms (in remission).footnote 1

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) is liquid nutrition given through a needle that is inserted into a large vein in or near the shoulder, neck, or arm. This method bypasses the digestive tract completely and places nutrients directly into the bloodstream. TPN allows the bowel to rest so that medicines can work. TPN may be helpful in stopping the symptoms of Crohn's disease in certain people, but the treatment is still unproved. TPN has not been shown to have any benefit in treating ulcerative colitis. But parenteral nutrition may offer nutritional benefits to patients even if it doesn't help with the treatment of disease.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Akobeng AK, Thomas AG (2007). Enteral nutrition for maintenance of remission in Crohn's disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3).

Credits

Current as ofMarch 27, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD, FACP, FACG - Gastroenterology

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.