Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Refeeding syndrome is a syndrome of electrolyte abnormalities, which occurs in patients who are fed orally, enterally, or parenterally (1). Patients at high risk of getting refeeding syndrome include people with chronic malnutrition-underfeeding, classic kwashiorkor, classic marasmus, anorexia nervosa, chronic alcoholism, morbid obesity with massive weight loss, patients unfed in 7-10 days with evidence of stress and depletion, patients with prolonged fasting, and patients with prolonged intravenous hydration (1,2). Characteristics or complications of refeeding syndrome include congestive heart failure, hypercapnia, hyperglycemia, rebound hypoglycemia, hypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia. Prevention is the key in refeeding syndrome and it can be done by remembering "to start low and go slow"(1). Another important part of prevention is monitoring and supplementing electrolytes if necessary before and during refeeding.



Faculty Mentor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt

Departmental Honors Advisor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt