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The premier source of information for the management of patients with Dysphagia

Nutilis Patient Information

Why have I been prescribed a thickener for my food and drinks?

You have a swallowing difficulty called Dysphagia. If this is not well managed, there are risks of fluids and foods “going down the wrong way”. This can lead to chest infections, pneumonia and/or increased difficulty at mealtimes.

One of the ways to help manage swallowing difficulties is to thicken drinks and food. The Speech and Language Therapist will decide the consistency best for you. You may find it easier and safer to take thickened fluids, as they are easier to control in the mouth.

What can you do to help minimise the effect of your swallowing difficulty?

With the help of your healthcare professional, you can better manage your Dysphagia. There are four main ways in which you can minimise the effect of your swallowing difficulties.
  • Change the consistency of the foods and drinks you consume.
  • Replace some of your regular meals or drinks with ready-to-use products, pre-thickened to the right consistency.
  • Do some simple exercises that will help prepare food for swallowing while it is still in your mouth.
  • While swallowing, adopt a certain head posture, which will ease the swallowing process.

People who suffer from swallowing difficulties often eat and drink less because of those difficulties (for some this can also involve pain). This can become a serious issue as it can lead to dehydration and malnourishment. Therefore, it is vital that you keep eating and keep getting liquids.

Avoiding high risk foods

Some foods can be particularly difficult to chew, move in the mouth and swallow safely. Some will need extra care, others should be avoided altogether.

Below is a list of the types of food that may be difficult to eat:

  • Stringy, fibrous texture e.g. pineapple, celery, runner beans, lettuce
  • Vegetable and fruit skins e.g. broad beans, baked beans, soya beans, peas, grapes
  • Mixed consistency foods e.g. soup with lumps, stewed fruit, mince with thin gravy, cereals which do not blend with milk, eg. muesli
  • Crunchy foods e.g. toast, flaky pastry, crisps
  • Crumbly items e.g. pic crust, crumble, dry biscuits
  • Hard foods e.g. boiled and chewy sweets and toffee, nuts and seeds
  • Husks e.g. sweetcorn and granary bread
  • What is Nutilis Powder?

    Nutilis is a powder that is added to food and fluids to thicken them up. It mixes easily with fluids, puréed food and nutritional supplements. Nutilis does not change the flavour of food and drink. Nutilis is gluten and lactose free.

    Where do I get Nutilis Products?

    Nutilis is available on prescription from your Doctor and supplied by your local pharmacist.

    What pack size does Nutilis come in?

    Nutilis Powder comes in 300g re-sealable tins with a measuring scoop, or single serve 12g sachets in a box of 20 (one 12g sachet = 3 scoops), or it's available in a large 670g tin.

    How do I use Nutilis?

    Thickening Drinks

    image
      1. Add the prescribed amount of Nutilis to the drink in a shaker preferably, or else a beaker.
      2. Shake or whisk vigorously for approximately 10-20 seconds until all the powder is dissolved.
      3. Remove the lid and allow to stand for a few minutes until the desired consistency is reached.
      4. Pour and serve.


    Thickening Puréed Food

    image
      1. Purée the food you want to thicken so it is completely smooth and free from any lumps. Ideally sieve the purée, especially for foods with ‘husks’ (e.g. peas and sweetcorn).
      2. Add the necessary number of scoops of Nutilis to the purée and stir in well.
      3. Allow the food to stand until it reaches the required consistency.
      4. The food can now be served or chilled / frozen for later use.

    For more information on how to use Nutilis Powder, go to the Nutilis Mixing Guides section.

    Preparation Tips

    • When preparing meals with more than one component (e.g. meat, potatoes and carrots), purée the foods separately and put them on the plate separately. This means that the flavour and the colour of the individual foods are maintained much as they are in an un-puréed meal. Food can even be shaped using special food moulds so that it more closely resembles the original ingredient.
    • Foods and drinks thickened with Nutilis can be chilled, frozen and reheated. Many people find it easy to make batches of food they eat relatively often and freeze them for later use (if you freeze the food in ice trays, it allows easy control of portions as you need only defrost and reheat as many cubes as you need for each meal).

    Getting the most out of Nutilis

    Using Nutilis correctly will mean that the food and drinks you thicken will maintain their flavour and be at the correct consistency. However, in order to get the most from Nutilis, it is important to remember that appearance and presentation of food can make a real difference to how good it is to eat.

    How should I store Nutilis?

    Nutilis should be stored in a cool, dry place. Replace lid firmly after use. Once a tin is opened, use within 2 months.

    Where do I get a sample of Nutilis or other related products?

    Please contact your GP or Speech and Language Therapist who can request a sample for you.


     


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