Case of the Month #43 Refeeding Syndrome

Published 14/09/2023

What is Refeeding syndrome?

Refeeding syndrome is a potentially fatal condition which occurs when patients with severely restricted food intake resume nutrition via oral, enteral or parenteral routes.1 

Reintroduction of food after prolonged starvation leads to major electrolyte shifts back into the cells. 

Hypophosphatemia is the hallmark of this syndrome. 

Potassium, magnesium and phosphate levels can fall rapidly within first week with cardiovascular and neurological consequences. 

Patients can potentially develop rhabdomyolysis, haemolysis and seizures.