Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Useful Product: Super Soluble! Duocal

Out of my current product reviews, I think this is my favorite. It's so versatile and can be used by pretty much anyone that could benefit.

Duocal is a calorie booster made by Nutricia. Here in the US it is emphasized "Nutricia North America" since the company is based in the UK (and I really, really do wish the US would catch up to their standard of excellent clean technique regarding enteral feeding but I digress...). It is indicated for people who are labled "failure to thrive", which causes neurochemical changes in the brain of young children that prevent growth or weight gain, which is a serious problem. In adults (such as myself) it can and does alter leptin levels and makes the body inefficient for storing calories in the human body...also making weight gain nearly impossible without a high calorie diet.

Duocal is hypoallergenic and suitable for persons with disorders of reactions to the amino acid phenalketoalinine. In plain English, the condition is called PKU, which entails a HIGHLY protein restricted diet. Not adhering to such diet can be life threatening. Those in my age group (born in the late 80's or early 90's) and after need not wonder if we have it. Newborns are screened at birth. So please do not Google PKU and wonder if you have it. Unless you have had to adhere to the diet all your life, you do not have it and never will. So be thankful.

(Too much info? Apologies. I'm not editing though. I rarely do).

Anyway, this is the reason for this product's lack of protein.

So...how does this stuff work?

Duocal is the other calorie supplement I use in my formula. I use sixteen scoops a day (8 scoops:2 cans). This may sound like a lot but it isn't.  The photos show just how tiny the scoop is. Each scoop is 25 calories. 

Duocal is a white, fine, odorless powder that has a super fine texture. It is taste free and blends in effortlessly in soft foods and drinks...and is officially suitable for tube feeding formulas.

First I pour the formula into the bag, then add the scoops. I make sure each scoop is level. I use the end of the scoop to tamp down any powder the accumulates in the funnel of the bag.

Close the lid CAREFULLY and shake. Duocal actually is "Super Soluble". As you can see...no clumps!

Downside? Bubbles.

Froth and sensors on feeding pumps do not play nicely. To limit this, don't over shake and prime every bit of air from the bag and keep it upright to avoid annoying alarms. When it makes its way to the extension, clamp it. The texture of the feed has changed and will drip freely from the extension.

You'll still see bubbles...but usually too small to piss the pump off. Since adding this, my formula is now a 3.2kcal/ml formula that I tolerate well.

Yup. I just said that!

One case contains six cans and I go through a can in about 5 days. A lot on tube feeds don't need to add so much...but I am on a high calorie diet with a slow feed rate. It is the only way to prevent continuous vomiting using G tube feeds with motility disorder.

Overall? Amazing product. If you can benefit...go for it. It is worth every dime.

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