ZocdocAnswersCan someone live on a liquid diet for life?

Question

Can someone live on a liquid diet for life?

Can someone live on a liquid diet for life, if they get enough calories, nutrients and protein from meal replacement shakes, orange juice and vegetable juice?

Answer

Generally speaking, it is not recommended to live on liquids alone. Basically, this is because liquid, because it contains water, is not as dense with calories and solid food. As a result, it is often difficult to get enough calories, or the right profile of vitamins and micronutrients, from liquids. In severe cases, such as people who consume large volumes of carbonated beverages with little food, this may result in malnutrition or a vitamin deficiency. That being said, there are some people who suffer from a medical condition which requires them to get their nutrition from a liquid source. For example, incapacitated persons who need to be fed through a tube will get their nutrition this way. Also some intestinal or digestive conditions may require liquid nutrition. A medical liquid diet is something that requires close supervision by a doctor and is usually managed by a trained nutritionist, to make sure the balance of calories, protein, fats, and micronutrients and vitamins is adequate. If this is an issue that you are facing, then you should make sure to talk closely with the team of doctors (such as a gastroenterologist) and nutritionists who are helping to manage your care. They will be able to answer all of your questions!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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