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restoration of normal nutrition after a period of fasting or starvation.
refeeding syndrome moderate to severe electrolyte and fluid shifts occurring during a period of refeeding; hypophosphatemia is common, and heart failure sometimes occurs.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
refeeding syndromeThe tendency to develop dangerous illness usually within four days of resuming normal eating after a prolonged period of starvation. Low insulin production during starvation with breakdown of body fat and protein result in loss of intracellular electrolytes, especially phosphate. The shift to a carbohydrate metabolism causes increased insulin production which stimulates cellular uptake of phosphate from the blood. Low serum phosphate depletes ATP and causes rhabdomyolysis, respiratory and heart failure, hypotension, seizures and death. Monitoring of serum phosphate and intravenous phosphate supplementation are required.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005