Brittany's story

Brittany’s story, Thriving on HOPE

Brittany's story

Long story short I got sick in 2010 at 17 years old. They didn’t know why and it took until last year and multiple hospitals including Mayo Clinic, UCLA, and Stanford to officially make a diagnosis. I went from being a successful  athletic teenager to a bed ridden and malnourished young adult, with no family history or accidents or pretty much anything to explain it. I found out my gut was completely paralyzed and that I have mast cell activation disorder. So my body is constantly fighting itself and sprung on allergies I’ve never had before. Even now the allergies change all of the time. Continue reading


Pediatric Nutrition: First things first

With over 25% of the world’s children experiencing failure to thrive (FTT), stunted growth, and or delayed development, it is a good time to look at the various facets of pediatric nutrition that require particular attention (1).  Recent assessments of pediatric malnutrition have indicated that the influence of one or more micronutrient deficiencies on the trajectory of a child’s health may be far greater than previously thought and that clinicians must consider a much larger number of nutritional factors than energy and protein intake (2).  An over reliance on assessing nourishment by the use of typical anthropometric values, can provide a false sense of adequacy.  While the classic model of FTT relies upon the use of height and weight growth charts and percentiles, there may be neurological or other developmental delays that are equally tied to malnutrition. Continue reading


Should Sugar Be the Second Ingredient? A comparative look at enteral formulas designed for diabetes patients and why Liquid Hope is still the best.

Many RDs and clinicians ask us if Liquid hope is suitable for those with diabetes.  Absolutely.  I think the question is asked so frequently because Liquid Hope does not state anywhere on its package or in its literature that it is designed specifically for diabetes.  In contrast, descriptions of commercial formulas such as Glucerna 1.2 and Diabetisource AC 1.2 contain language that clearly delineates them from other formulas.  They are apparently formulated specific to the condition of diabetes and contain the appropriate ingredients and nutritional qualities.  Really? Let’s take a closer look at what they are and what’s in them: Continue reading

Liquid Hope Fed Mice Have Significantly Less Inflammation, More Beneficial Bacteria, and Better Outcomes.

A recently completed study at University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital provided significant insight into the protective role of an organic, whole food enteral formula on the GI. Mice with colitis were fed either Liquid Hope or one of two other polymeric enteral formulas for one week.  Each group of mice was fed the same volume of their specific enteral formula for one week.  Upon completion, the mice were weighed, several markers of inflammation were measured, and various microbial populations were assessed, particularly those that research has linked to a higher or lower risk for infection.  In addition, several other biomarkers that influence intestinal inflammation were examined and compared across groups. Continue reading


5 Things All RDs Should Know Regarding Ileostomies and Nutrition

Ileostomies are quite common in both short and long-term care.  They are performed for a wide variety of reasons, but they often present very similar challenges to the overall health of the patient. Due to their impact on nutrient availability and the functional capacity of the GI as a whole, many patients experience high levels of gut wall-derived inflammation, hyperglycemia, dysbiosis, and micronutrient deficiencies. Continue reading


Living with ALS – Jay Smith

When I was diagnosed with ALS at the age of thirty-six, I was told that I would have less than two years to live. With no treatment or a cure, the disease robs you of all your physical abilities until you can no longer breath. Well that was three years ago. I’m happy to report that while I can no longer walk, talk, move my arms, or eat, I still live an active and productive life thanks to technology, mindfulness, and nutrition.

If you plan to live with this disease, you will inevitably lose the ability to eat and forced with the decision to either get a feeding tube or starve. When it came time for me to get a feeding tube the one thing that had me worried was the “food” that would enter my body. The doctor explained the procedure and talked about the formula that would be my sole source of nutrients. I’ve always been into healthy eating so the thought of eating basically a can of corn syrup with a multivitamin blended in didn’t sit well with me. We were told that we could blend our own meals but in raising two young kids with a wife that works full time, that didn’t seem realistic.

Since I could no longer safely eat, I had the procedure and started my new formula diet. It didn’t take long to realize that the formula diet didn’t sit well with my body. It left me feeling lethargic, bloated, and stopped up. That is how I discovered Liquid Hope. This month marks my one-year anniversary of my Liquid Hope diet and I have been able to maintain my pre-diagnosis weight, stay active and healthy, and continue to live productively despite my physical limitations. I also haven’t been so regular in my entire life. That last bit might not be the most glamorous sentence I’ve ever written but I know my grandmother would have been envious. I don’t need prune juice, laxatives, or some crazy homemade concoction to maintain the status quo. There are a lot of things to worry about with this disease and I’m thankful my nutrition isn’t one of them. Sure, I look forward to the day that ALS is treatable and I’ll be able to wash down an entire plate of nachos with an ice cold beer. Until then, I’ll keep on living with this “terminal” illness through positivity, surrounded by love, and with healthy living.

~ Jay Smith