Thursday, April 19, 2012

Take it from a girl who cannot eat, a feeding tube is no fad

(CNN) -- Feeding tubes are designed to nourish patients, not deprive them of calories and hasten weight loss.
News reports of a feeding tube diet popped up, followed by a slew of TV reports on the new "trend."
But for people who survive by feeding tubes -- patients with diseases such as cystic fibrosis, certain autoimmune diseases, problems with malabsorption -- the idea of using a medical tool for vanity is upsetting.
"That people would do this intentionally to themselves to lose weight when thousands of children have no choice -- why would someone willingly make a choice to do this?" asked Julie Springer, a mother of two children who use feeding tubes.
What made it particularly disturbing was how blasé they appeared about this medical procedure, she said.
"It's just absurd. For us, this isn't a choice," said Springer, the media coordinator for the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders
The diet reportedly uses a nasal gastric tube, which doesn't require a surgical procedure like the gastric feeding tubes. These feeding tubes have a piece inside the stomach and a type of clamp to keep them in place.
Samantha Pecoraro, 14, has a permanent feeding tube in her stomach because nearly all foods trigger a violent reaction in her digestive tracts.
"They're making it sound like a fun privilege, which it isn't," she said about the tube diet.
"That's so disgusting, that makes me so upset. If you'd like to lose weight, exercise and go on a diet. They're making a mockery of it; they make it look so simple. They take it out in 10 days, I can't take [my feeding tube] out in 10 days."

No comments: