Enteral Feeding – Trouble Shooting: Nausea & Bloating


Nausea and bloating associated with enteral feeding may be caused by various factors.

It is important to involve a Medical Doctor and an Accredited Practising Dietitian if someone on enteral feeds is experiencing nausea, vomiting or bloating.


Possible causes may include:

  •  Rapid administration or bolus feed: Discuss changing the feeding rate with a dietitian. It is important to ensure that the volume of feed given is nutritionally adequate
  • Delayed gastric emptying or lower oesophageal dysfunction: This should be discussed with a dietitian and may be caused by illness, medication or gastro intestinal obstruction
  • Incorrect patient position: Ensure patient is in an upright position (30 – 45 degree angle) during feeding and for more than 30 minutes after feeds have ceased
  • Physical agitation: Ensure feeds are ceased during activity
  • Tube displacement: Regularly check the tube placement and replace if needed
  • Excess gas or air in stomach: Open the feeding port to vent the tube
  • Medications: Opioids and prokinetic drugs can cause nausea. Discuss medications with your doctor and pharmacist
  • Feeding formula too cold – formula should be at room temperature when administered.