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Ensure or Boost

stegavhagky
Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011

I was just wanting the opinions of some of you who have had to drink these for your nutrients. My husband is struggling getting in his food due to the swelling of the graft in his mouth. He is basically drinking his food and we are thinking we need to get more nutrition into him. Of these two.....the ensure and boost....could you give me your opinion of which taste better. Thanks!

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

He probably can't taste anything anyway. I used Jevity so can't comment on ensure or boost. I would think caloric intake is what you are after, hell anything he gets down is good at this point. Buy one of each and blindfold him for the taste test.

mwellsg
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2011

Been living nicely off them since March

stegavhagky
Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011

Thank you for your responses. They removed his feeding tube Monday but due to the swelling of the flap inside his mouth, it still lays between his teeth so he can't chew. They wanted him to continue to drink the osolite that he was on but it truly is nasty and he dry heaves everything he tries to kill it. I will try both to see which he likes better.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Seriously, there is no way that any of us can say what might taste better to him. I drank Ensure Plus for a long time, I preferred it over Boost. Now, I cannot get either past my nose, just the smell makes me gag. I even tried Carnation Instant Breakfast, I thought that tasted the absolute worst. I cannot even enjoy the BoltHouse Farms protein drinks I used to drink everyday anymore. I guess when you have to live on something when you are so ill your body gets to the point where it says, "That's enough of that!"

Can I ask why they removed the feed tube if he is still having problems with swelling and chewing?

GraceLibby's picture
GraceLibby
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2010

ooh, I love Bolthouse Farms Chai Tea. Funny it was one of the last things I could taste before it ALL went away. It was the nutmeg for some reason.

Love the photo, btw...

akbear49's picture
akbear49
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2011

I'm in the same boat, just smelling Ensure makes my stomach turn. But that and the carnation instant breakfast with protein is my diet right now. I hold the Ensure away from me, hold my breathe, open it, drink it right down and then wash my mouth out with clean water a few times.

I finished my treatments 8 days ago, no feeding tube, my docs were adamently against it and I was able to make it thru OK.

My biggest problem now is the salty taste in my mouth that absolutely ruins anything I try to eat. As soon as I chew on anything my stomach signals Don't send that down here or its coming right back up

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1409
Joined: Jul 2010

I used both Ensure and Boost and found they both tasted the same as I could not taste much when I was drinking them. Even the extra calorie shakes were not enough for me to maintain much less gain weight. I incorporated a shake product that I purchased from the gym I go to that when mixed to specs. gave me a 900 calorie drink. I did two of them a day along with Boost and or Ensure and finally started to gain some weight. I am now 9 months post treatment, and find that if I exceed 1200-1500 calories per day, I will gain weight. It used to be 3500 calories per day or no weight gain.

It will get better, but you may have to try some different combinations of nutrition to find one that will cause weight gain. I was a 240 lb power lifter that dropped to 172 lbs and am now back up to 193. I have no intention of going past 200 as I feel great, and the high BP and Cholesterol is gone and so are the meds to treat them.

Wow, something good came from my cancer.

Hang in there.

Mike

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Was my main source of calories for nearly seven weeks......

I did try the Chocolate, Vanilla and Butterscotch, and even though I couldn't really taste anyting (even water tasted like sweat). I could tell the differecne between the flavors and could actually taste the strawberry a little...the only thing I could taste.

Best,
John

stegavhagky
Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011

Sweetblood22- they removed the feeding tube and told him he could have very soft foods. Actually mostly liquid and some soft foods. The swelling from the flap inside I suppose is just so much that when he tries to chew, he is chewing on that which they don't want him to do. I have a call into the doc's office as we speak because he has a temp and that flap is looking different today. Almost has a couple places that look like could have puss in them. I don't think they realize yet how much of a challange it is for him to try to eat but we will discuss that today.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Seems like they should have made sure that he could do soft foods before actually removing it. That's great that they said he could have them, but making sure he could do it before yanking would have been nice. :-/

I would definitely get that flap checked out, and discuss.

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 704
Joined: Jan 2010

I mostly went for dollars per calorie and would buy whichever 360 cal formula which was cheaper, but when I could taste, my favorite was very cold chocolate boost. Sometimes you can get free Boost from the Doctor's offices if you ask.

Good luck!
Stacey

stegavhagky
Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011

Thank you again for all your responses. Hopefully we will get in with his doc today to see what is up with the fever and white spots on the flap and we can discuss his trouble with eating also.

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1747
Joined: Nov 2009

Hmmmm. It was Jevity 2.0 for me, with an occasional 1.5, for the last 7 weeks of treatment. What replaced the Jevity was Strawberry Ensure back in April 09, and I am still drinking that, or Vanilla or Butter Pecan Ensure, every morning for breakfast, without exception. That's over 24 months of Ensure, and I got no problems with the taste. To be honest, I don't really notice the taste so much, as it doesn't really register as much as the cold of the drink does- and it is very agreeable.

Of note, I did try the Dark Chocolate once, and didn't care for. Never even tried the regular Chocolate. My Cousin took a liking to Chocolate Boost early in his treatment, and became like Sweet- couldn't even stand the smell of it. So, mabe try different flavors to see what your husband can tolerate, or even find very acceptable. The important thing is- get the calories/nutrition.

kcass

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Yup, I mentioned Butterscotch, but it was Butter Pecan....

Agree with you on the calories.....at 350/can, it packs a lot of calories compared to what I could have even attempted in eating.

Like you Kent, though not as regular, I too have one for breakfast occasionally.

Best to you brother,
John

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Well, don't forget too, that I was so sick and and unable to keep anything down, so once you wretch on something for months, that's it. Your body doesn't even want to smell it. For quite a while, before I got my pump, and the liquid food wasn't sealed in the bag, and I was syringing it in, I had to fake myself out by putting pungent aromatics under my nose, just to get through a feeding. Like stuff I loved. Almond extract, Ginger, oranges. I was always very sensitive to smells and tastes. Just the smell of it now, will literally make me ill.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

He had a new CD out that I used during my rads.....I haven't listened to that CD since...would probably make me hurl.

JG

akbear49's picture
akbear49
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2011

I find the Strawberry Ensure goes down easier than the others - why? I don't know but it works for me. My wife makes me a Carnation Instant breakfast with protein shake every morning and I like the strawberry best

I'm 8 days out since my last treatment and have only lost 18 pounds of the 217 I started at.

Good luck
Ed

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

Doug preferred Boost Plus over Ensure, but they both taste and smell equally evil to me. We also tried the Boost pudding (butterscotch) which tastes pretty good, but Doug was doing OK with Boost Plus and homemade supplements, and he was afraid he'd come to associate butterscotch with illness and never want to eat it again.

Check out your husband's blood work - if his cholesterol levels are OK, consider giving him Carnation Instant Breakfast made with whole milk (or even whole milk with some cream thrown in) to also help get enough calories in. The fat can also make it easier to swallow. I tried blending "healthy" fats in (like olive or canola oil) but those didn't go down well. (I did use organic cream, but that's just me). It can also help to use a blender to make it up (you can also start throwing in fruit, Carbogain, whey, etc. to boost nutrition and calories).

Irishgypsie's picture
Irishgypsie
Posts: 331
Joined: May 2010

I found these after but would have been a better option during treatment!!!!

http://bolthouse.com/our-products/beverages/smoothies/green-goodness/detail

http://drinkorgain.com/

Lelia's picture
Lelia
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2011

Of the widely available OTC hi-cal beverages, Carnation VHC (VeryHighCalorie) 560 calorie 8.5 oz cans, vanilla is preferred here, the 560 calories is more than many brands pack in. It doesn't taste awful and it's a creamy white color, not that weird unappetizing brown tint. I've successfully blended it with fresh berries, banana and peaches for either the tube or by mouth, for the tube I strain it after the blender.

KDDavis
Posts: 34
Joined: May 2011

I've been using the Kroger store brand called Fortify plus. Heck, it's almost $3 cheaper for six that Ensure or Boost. If you don't have a Kroger I bet any of the big chains will have their own brand.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

There's a large chain based here in Lakeland by name of Publix, but are all the way up in Tennessee now. They have their own brand that's identical to Ensure Plus and like you said, about $3 per six pack less expensive.

JG

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