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Patient Care

VCHN Patient Care

Center for Human Nutrition offers specialized care to people who need nutritional support, including those with:

  • celiac disease
  • malabsorption
  • nutrition support
  • short bowel syndrome
  • recent medical procedures affecting nutritional health

Nutrition Support Team

The adult nutrition support team provides consultative services to VUMC patients who receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Occasionally patients are sent home from the hospital on TPN or tube feedings. These patients may be followed in the Malnutrition Clinic.

Malnutrition Clinic

The malnutrition clinic provides intensive nutritional care to patients with malabsorption with or without undernutrition. These individuals often suffer from intestinal failure, which may be caused by short bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption, fistulas, radiation enteritis, bowel obstruction, and ischemic bowel disease.  Our intestinal rehabilitation program provides a range of care that includes dietary instruction, vitamin and mineral supplementation, nutrition support, and medications to improve intestinal absorption.  On occasion an individual is referred to a surgeon when it is believed that an operation may improve intestinal absorption and quality of life.

Visit our Malnutrition Clinic page for more information.


Celiac Disease Clinic

Celiac Disease Clinic offers a comprehensive next step for patients who have received a possible diagnosis of celiac disease. We can confirm if you have celiac disease and provide ongoing support for managing this condition.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder involving severe sensitivity to gluten, a protein found naturally in wheat, rye and barley. Advanced diagnosis of celiac disease involves a biopsy of the lining of the small intestine. This can confirm the initial diagnosis from a blood test. This biopsy will be performed while the patient is still eating gluten.

Patients will also be screened for vitamin and mineral deficiencies common to people with celiac disease.

Because the most important treatment for celiac disease is avoiding foods, medications and other products containing gluten, our dietitians help patients create balanced, gluten-free eating plans. In rare cases, additional treatment such as medication may be required.