• I'm having chemo now. My appetite has declined. Should I force myself to eat more ?

    Asked by 813bubbie on Friday, July 31, 2015

    I'm having chemo now. My appetite has declined. Should I force myself to eat more ?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • kiwikim's Avatar

      Eat little and often. I didn't eat big meals for the 1st couple of days and just ate little bits that took my fancy

      almost 6 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar

      I found that I snacked/grazed more than having full meals, and I kept it pretty bland. You may want to check with your doctor; mine told me to eat what I wanted and when I wanted, and not to worry too much if it was "balanced". I craved things like potato salad - something I rarely eat normally - go figure!

      almost 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      Eating small amounts helped me, too. Also, even a little bit of movement like brief walks throughout the house helped to settle my digestion and cut down on my queasiness. By the time of my second infusion, my appetite had pretty much returned to normal.

      Food preferences can change from day to day or hour to hour. In the beginning I went for soft, bland, sweet foods like bananas and applesauce. Later on I craved salty foods. Calorie-dense foods also help, like peanuts and peanut butter. The main goal is to get calories. I'm not sure if "force" is the right method, so much as "gentle persuasion." :-)

      almost 6 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar

      I also craved bland foods like pasta, potatoes and bread. Cravings were ranom. I cooked when I felt well and froze meals for later. Cold food sometimes was more palatable than hot. I tried to eat at least a few bites, for calories, but did not stress about it. My appetite waxed and waned throughout each chemo cycle.

      almost 6 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I wasn't real hungry the first few days after chemo. I also ate what sounded good. I ate a bunch of tomatoes and avocado, drank gallons of tomato or vegetable juice and cranberry or orange juice, and craved chicken fried steak. I likened my appetite and craving to when i was pregnant.

      Good luck! It does get better!

      almost 6 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      It may not help a whit to force yourself to eat more. Chemotherapy drugs are notorious for making a person slightly queasy with zero respite.

      I like everyone's idea of eating more small meals.

      You do, however, need to stay hydrated. Drink water. Eat juicy foods like fruit and salad fixings.

      Best wishes for improved good health

      almost 6 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      It's more important to keep hydrated. Eat what you can tolerate. I ate yogurt, fruit cups, shakes and other things. Potatoes were also one of my things to eat. Temperatures of food, textures and other things can make you not want them. Eat what you can, drink water or fruit flavored water, and rest. Hugs as you go through this. Also, try plastic silverware.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Jouska's Avatar

      It is very important to stay hydrated. Nausea is helped by hydration, eating is helped, general well being is helped and hydration helps flush the chemo chemicals out of your body. That being said, it is not easy. 64 oz a day is a lot. I would get sick of water and switch to Gatorade - the kind with sugar. I struggled to eat during chemo, not because of nausea, but because food tasted so weird. Peanut butter on english muffins and Boost were my friends!! Your doctor will monitor your weight because they don't want you losing too much weight too fast. I lost 9 lbs in a three week cycle and got "the lecture" which was basically I don't care what you eat, but you will eat. Luckily my taste buds improved a bit the last week before the next chemo and I would make up for not eating that week. I did eat little, more frequent meals and that helped as well.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Myungclas' Avatar

      Protein is what the body uses to manufacture new white cells after chemo has killed them off. Meat tasted icky to me, but yogurt was OK. I also found that acidic foods were not too bad, so I ate protein rich minestrone soups and things like that. It's not as much about the quantity of calories as the quality of nutrients when it comes to fueling your body for cancer treatment.

      almost 6 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      I ate smaller and more freaquent meals prety much the whole time I was on chemo. The only thing I was forbidden from eating was fresh fruits and veggies because of the neutropenia, but the doctor said I could have anythign else I wanted. I ate what I could get my hands on and what tasted good at the time: yogurt, broth, popcorn, cereal, ice cream bars, mushy foods like applesauce and pudding, and popsicles. Once I was off chemo, things gradually got back to normal. HUGS and God bless!

      almost 6 years ago
    • wife2elliot's Avatar

      I ate a lot of mashed potatoes with gravy, rotisserie chicken, scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, and had a craving for meatball subs! Squash (butternut or buttercup) was my favorite to mash or eat as a soup. I ate of plasticware so that silverware wouldn't add to my metallic taste. Milkshakes made me sick but that's because while going through chemo, I didn't/couldn't eat sweets. Don't force yourself to eat but if you can tolerate a breakfast drink as a meal replacement (carnation instant breakfast is a good one) then that may help give you extra nutrients.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      Agree with the others.The one tip I want to add, I know they probably sent you home with some anti- nausea meds., when you have the lack of appetite try taking one of these meds. I seldom had the nausea but frequently was lacking in appetite. Taking an anti- nausea med. really helped.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Jouska's Avatar

      wife2elliot - I haven't touched a rotisserie chicken since chemo :) Nor have I had a Gatorade.

      almost 6 years ago
    • mmontero38's Avatar

      Staying hydrated is very important. My doctor also advised me to drink lots of fluids the day I got treatment to flush the chemicals out. Certain drugs such as Adriamycin can cause bladder problems. Another thing to avoid is any raw seafood and fish. So no tuna and sushi if you like those. Salads should be thoroughly washed. The reason being is that your white blood cell counts go down which means your body has less chance of fighting infections. If you eat fruits like apples and peaches, my doctor advised me to peel them. Good luck and though it may seem like a long time, it will be over before you know it.

      almost 6 years ago
    • PinkPickle's Avatar

      I agree with everything said earlier but wanted to add that vitamin enriched products like ensure or glucerna are a little easier to get into you and help with hydration. They really help my Dad, who is diabetic! Hydration is the only thing I would "force" yourself into. It's so amazingly important! Will make you feel better faster and to be able to get more energy ! Best of luck to you!

      almost 6 years ago
    • Xandra85242's Avatar

      Everybody's body us different. I couldn't eat fruit or vegetables or salads without diarrhea so I ended up with a pretty bland diet. I lost 10 lbs. Now I'm 4 months out of chemo, eating well and gained 6 lbs back. Mostly I ate potatoes, bread, I could eat zucchini and tomatoes and avocado but not lettuce, broccoli etc. I got Orgain which is like Ensure but organic and when I couldn't eat a meal I drank one. Hang in there and eat up that week before chemo when you're starting to feel better.

      almost 6 years ago
    • AmyWedow's Avatar

      Find something that tastes good to you and just eat that. I ate cinnamon bears and Frostys, not together though, that would taste gross. My sister ate red grapes.

      almost 6 years ago
    • syevans' Avatar

      Instant mash potatoes were my life saver when I started chemo. Also I tried to drink as much water as possible. It got better after several months. Also I could not stand to smell anything being cooked. I lived in the back of the house.

      almost 6 years ago

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