Talk with your doctor about anti-nausea medications to ease or prevent symptoms. There are also a number of things that you can do on your own to help . Read suggestions to help you treat a patient's loss of appetite, stimulate their desire to Doing so may enhance your loved one's appetite. If your loved one is struggling with nausea, try bland foods such as the BRAT diet. Appetite loss, or not feeling the urge to eat, can accompany nausea, but it can also occur Drugs used to treat many infections can cause nausea. If testing shows your levels to be low, testosterone replacement may improve your appetite .
nausea, enhancing appetite Relieving
Try bananas, canned pears and peaches, applesauce, or fruit nectars. Avoid tomatoes, oranges, grapefruits, and pineapples. Drink plenty of liquids all day to keep your throat moist and to help prevent dehydration.
Try milk shakes, eggnog, juices, and soups. Dryness in the mouth Dryness in the mouth can make certain foods more difficult to eat. Drink eight or more cups of liquid each day; 10 or more cups if you are feverish. Dunk or moisten breads, toast, cookies, or crackers in milk, hot chocolate, or coffee to soften them.
Take a drink after each bite of food to moisten your mouth and to help you swallow. Add sauces to foods to make them softer and more moist. Try gravy, broth, sauce, or melted butter.
Eat sour candy or fruit ice to help increase saliva and moisten your mouth. Don't use a commercial mouthwash. Commercial mouthwashes often contain alcohol that can dry your mouth.
Ask your doctor or dentist about alternative mouthwash products. Ask your doctor about artificial saliva products. These products are available by prescription. Nausea Nausea an upset or "queasy" stomach is a feeling of sickness that is sometimes accompanied by vomiting. Eat dry foods when you wake up and every few hours during the day. Nausea is often worse on an empty stomach, and dry foods can relieve some of the discomfort.
Try pretzels, plain crackers or cookies, dry cereal, or toast. Drinking liquids on an empty stomach can add to the feeling of nausea. Try sipping beverages slowly during your meals or drinking 30 to 60 minutes after eating solid foods.
If the smell of food bothers you, avoid foods with unpleasant or strong odors. Eat somewhere other than the kitchen, where the odors might be strongest.
Avoid greasy, fried, or spicy foods. These foods take longer to digest and can make you feel bloated, uncomfortable, and more nauseous. Avoid large meals and infrequent meals. The smaller and more frequent your meals and snacks are, the more comfortable you will be. Eat foods and supplements that are high in calories and protein to maintain your nutrition when you cannot eat a lot.
It is important to replace liquids if vomiting occurs. If you can, drink eight or more cups of liquid each day. Fresh ginger is sometimes helpful in reducing nausea. Also do not eat fresh ginger prior to surgery. Diarrhea Diarrhea is an increase in either the number of stools, the amount of liquid in the stools, or both.
Drink eight or more cups of liquids per day. Add one to two cups of liquids to the daily eight cups for every episode of loose, watery stool to replace losses.
Talk with your doctor or dietitian about increasing or decreasing the amount of fiber you eat. Drink a variety of beverages to help replace lost liquids and nutrients. Try water, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade or fruit-flavored drinks, fruit or vegetable juice, broth, milk, or cream soup. Eat soft foods that contain large amounts of liquid, such as sherbet, gelatin, yogurt, and pudding.
Use less sugar and fat. Limiting sugar and fat might decrease the amount of water in the intestine and reduce the number of episodes of diarrhea. Ask your doctor whether adjusting your medicines might help relieve the diarrhea.
Do not change your medicines without first talking to your doctor. Don't take over-the-counter non-prescription drugs for diarrhea without talking to your doctor.
Constipation Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or infrequent, usually more than 48 hours apart. Drink eight or more cups of fluids per day, such as water, coffee, tea, juice, or flavored beverages. Drink something hot as the first beverage in the morning, such as hot water, coffee, tea, or hot apple cider.
Hot liquids might stimulate a bowel movement. Increase the fiber in your foods. Try whole grain breads, fresh fruits, whole grain cereals, and fresh vegetables. Emphasize fruits that stimulate the bowels, such as watermelon, plums, and other summer fruits, and avoid fruits that constipate, such as bananas.
Add two to four tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to foods and drink plenty of liquids. Liquids help bran to be effective. Try bran sprinkled over hot or cold cereal, casseroles, or mixed with applesauce, pancake batter, pudding, muffin batter, milk shakes, or cookie dough. Activity such as walking helps normalize bowel function. Plan trips to the bathroom immediately after meals since eating is a natural stimulus for having a bowl movement. If constipation continues, call your doctor.
Your doctor might prescribe a stool softener or laxative. Don't take any medicines, including over-the-counter non-prescription medicines, to treat constipation without talking to your doctor. Swallowing problems Weakness in the muscles of your mouth might make it difficult for you to chew and manage solid foods. Minimize distractions in the area where you eat.
Stay focused on the tasks of eating and drinking. Do not talk with food in your mouth. Cut your food into small pieces and chew it thoroughly. You might need to swallow two or three times per bite or sip. If food or liquid catches in your throat, cough gently or clear your throat, and swallow again before taking a breath.
Concentrate on swallowing frequently: It might help to alternate a bite of food with a sip of liquid. If you have difficulty sucking liquid all the way up a straw, cut the straw down so there is less distance for the liquid to travel. Change the temperature and texture of liquids.
Managing Nausea These simple steps often go far in helping you cope with nausea associated with chemotherapy or radiation: Increasing Your Appetite Do your best to maintain a nutritious diet during and after cancer treatment. We suggest the following tips: Hard candies, mint tea, or ginger ale might help get rid of strange tastes in your mouth.
Eat a snack at bedtime. Your cancer team can make suggestions and may have samples you can try. Use a straw if it helps. What caregivers can do Try giving the patient 6 to 8 small meals and snacks each day. Offer starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, or potatoes, with high-protein foods, such as fish, chicken, meats, turkey, eggs, cheeses, milk, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, yogurt, peas, and beans.
If the smell of food bothers the patient, serve bland foods cold or at room temperature. Create pleasant settings for meals, and eat with the patient.
Try plastic forks and knives instead of metal if the patient is bothered by bitter or metallic tastes. Be encouraging, but try not to nag or fight about eating. Or offer to read to them or give them a massage.
Call the cancer team if the patient: The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing. Caregiving , Revised ed. American Cancer Society, Close Select A Hope Lodge.
Cancer and Chemo-Based Lack of Appetite and Early Satiety
The following tips may help increase appetite and improve interest in eating: Get plenty Take anti-nausea medication at the first sign of queasiness or nausea. Lack of Appetite. Eat smaller meals Eat slowly. Hard candy, peppermint, and ginger may ease nausea. If nausea persists, talk to your doctor. Treatment for conditions such as nausea, mouth sores, dry mouth, pain, or depression may help improve appetite. Although you may not feel like eating.