CSN Login
Members Online: 15

nausea/not eating

indydaughter
Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2003

Hey there,

My mom was soooooo dehydrated that she collaspsed and has been re-admitted to the hospital. Anytime she eats, which is maybe 2 or 3 bites at the max., she says she has a nausea feeling and stops eating. How is she ever going to get her strength back, if she won't eat??!! Any suggestions?? She WILL NOT do the ensure thing at all.....stubborn!! Also, the medicine she gets for the nausea just puts her right to sleep......therefore she doesn't have any energy to move either!!

Thanks for letting me vent....again!! Oh, they are supposedly monitoring her food intake...they ask HER how much she ate for her meals....like she is going to tell them the truth!!! I will share this with her doc, but don't know what the results will be!!

ID

KrisS
Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi IndyD

I am so sorry to hear how sick your mom is feeling. How fortunate she is to have you to help out. Do they know why she is having the problems?

Dehyration can occur quickly. Last week my ostomy got partially obstructed after chemo. About 4-5 hr after I began to get cramping and noticed I was passing only liquid, I went to the ER. Although I had vomited only 3-4 times, they had to give me 3 liters of fluids! The nurses tell me that dehydration can contribute to nausea.

There are a number of anti-nausea drugs. Compazine made me extremely sleepy. Zofran, and Kytril and Anzemat are other anti nausea drugs, that, while pricy, sometimes work. Atavin is also sometimes used. Sometimes one of these will work better than another so may be worth asking the doc whether it would be worth trying one of these others.

Last summer I had damage to a portion of my small intestine from radiation/ chemo that made me get severe cramps and nausea, and prevented me from eating more than 400 cal a day. Ensure made me at least as nauseous as anything else. None of the anti nausea drugs worked.

They finally put me on TPN-total parenteral (IV)nutrition. It was a life saver! It is a solution of amino acids, fats and carbohyrates as well as vitamins. A homecare nurse visited weekly and I hooked it up every night. It gave me 1300 cal/day, and allowed me to gain 8 lb - from 104 to 112 lb during the 6 wk interval I had to wait for surgery.

TPN is not as good as regular food, and does have some problems. It must be given into a large blood vessel rather than through the standard IV lines that they put in your lower arm. Therefore you need a central IV line or infusion port placed. They have to monitor bloodwork because some people can get problems with their electrolytes and liver if given too much.

The other problem is that there is a greater risk of infection when giving TPN than when giving regular IV fluids. Especially because I was still on chemo, my oncologist was extremely reluctant to prescribe it intially. My homecare nurse was meticulous about caring for my port,however, as was I, and I had no problems.

Because of the potential problems, they don't consider using it unless people are not going to be eating anything substantial for a week or more.

Hopefully your mom's problems will be simpler and quickly resolved, but I mention it to let you know that it is available.

Here's hoping things start looking up quickly.

Kris S

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network