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Poor Appetite Solutions

Healthy Weight Gain Tips For Cancer Patients

Video Option: 5 Minutes To Better Health: Combat a Poor Appetite for Cancer Patients

Have you lost weight since being diagnosed with cancer? Are you worried about regaining strength during treatment? Do you NOT feel like eating? Let’s discuss simple ways to help you get back to eating and prevent or fight cancer treatment-induced weight loss.

Malnutrition Risk In Cancer Patients

With 40% of cancer patients dying from malnutrition and not their cancer, you need to take poor eating seriously because malnutrition is associated with treatment toxicity, cancer complications, reduced functioning, and decreased survival. Oncotarget, Oct 2017

Just a quick explanation here. Malnutrition in cancer patients is not the same thing as malnutrition from starvation. For cancer patients, the cancer process itself contributes to malnutrition and treatment side effects like mouth ulcers or nausea keep patients from eating. Then as fat and lean muscle mass are lost, physical functioning decreases.  Clin Nutr, 2006

Your 3-Point Plan For Weight Gain

Don’t bother asking your caregiver to whip up a five-course gourmet meal because if you don’t feel like eating, mounds of food will just overwhelm you. Instead, consider following our 3-point plan to combat a poor appetite.

First, if you have lost more than 10% of your body weight, you need to act fast. Ask your doctor about prescription medications that can help you regain your desire to eat and recover lost weight. Megastrol acetate, one of the most commonly used appetite stimulants, can be taken up to four times a day and can promote significant weight gain in malnourished individuals. Most people report increased appetite within just a few days of starting this medication.

Now Sometimes, cancer treatment or symptoms related to a chronic disease can make you feel depressed, reducing your desire to eat. If you think this might be the case, look for qualified advice on herbal treatments for mild depression and talk to your doctor about conventional treatments as well.

Now in terms of nutrition, my 3rd strategy is: To avoid filling up too quickly, so eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and make sure you eat healthy higher calorie foods. This way, you’ll consume more nutrients in a smaller volume of food. You can add healthy calories to your diet by topping cereals with dried fruit and nuts; sprinkling wheat germ on cereals, yogurt, and salads; and adding avocado or extra virgin olive oil to beans, greens, pasta, potatoes, chicken, and fish. Avoid zero-calorie, low-nutrition liquids like coffee or tea. Instead, quench your thirst with 100% juice or make a smoothie with lots of cancer-fighting plants. If you want a powerful smoothie recipe, be sure to check out our video called: the Ultimate Super Smoothie and for guidance on how the best protein powder for your smoothies – and the video on Protein shakes: Does Your Measure Up?

If appetite stimulants, high-calorie shakes, and other dietary modifications don’t help you maintain or gain weight, you may need advanced nutritional support. Tube or intravenous feeding sounds a bit scary, but these methods decrease the risk of further deterioration, improve your immunity, help you avoid health complications associated with malnutrition, and enhance your quality of life. The way I describe it to patients is simple: Tube or IV feeding is a bridge between where you are now and where you want to be. This kind of nutrition helps you get over to the other side so you can live stronger and longer.

As you continue to make dietary changes, I have one other powerful suggestion to help you support healing: Add plant powders to your dietary supplement regimen. The dietitians at CNIQ recommend the most science-based plant powders that make it easy to help your body function more optimally. The plant powders are in capsule form so they are easy to take, they won’t fill you up and although they don’t contain calories, they do offer powerful plant nutrition necessary for fighting cancer. So, Head over to our website and click on the SHOP tab to learn more or to order.

The ultimate cancer fighting diet ensures first…. your baseline needs are met, and THEN exceeded. At CNIQ, our personalized nutrition plans for active cancer patients address eating challenges, side effects and other treatment-related concerns.  Order your plan here.

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