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Nutrition support for people with ALS

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What is a feeding tube?

A feeding tube is a type of medical device that can help you get the nutrition you need. You may also hear it called a gastrostomy tube, G-tube or PEG tube. You’ll need to have minor surgery for a doctor to place the tube inside your stomach. The surgery only takes a few minutes. Depending on your needs, you may go home the same day or spend 1 or 2 nights in the hospital.

Why do some people with ALS use a feeding tube?

ALS weakens the muscles that help us to breathe, chew and swallow. Some people may start having trouble eating or drinking soon after they’re diagnosed with ALS. For others, it can happen after years of living with ALS.

People with ALS need to eat more than the average person to stay at a healthy weight. This can be hard to do if you’re having trouble with chewing and swallowing. A feeding tube can help you get the nutrition you need to maintain your weight and strength.

A feeding tube and feeding bag.

If you’ve talked to your ALS care team about using a feeding tube, you may already know how it works. You can skip ahead to answer a few questions about what matters most to you.

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