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help gaining weight

tj44usf
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2011

My father, 78 yrs old stage 3b lung cancer, is now down to 118 lbs and we are trying to find ways to help him gain weight or at least stop losing weight.
His cardiologist suggested testosterone shots. Has anyone heard/done this and if so did it help?
He is currently taking Megace as well as supplementing with Ensure and other high calorie snacks/drinks.

Any advice would be great.

Thanks.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

You might consider increasing the intake of the protein-rich stuff like Ensure, Boost, MuscleMilk, those sorts of things, to provide more calories and protein.

My best advice, however, would be to consult a nutritionist at dad's hospital, someone who KNOWS via education and experience what should best help dad gain weight. If dad does not have eating problems, they will have no problem in providing balanced and enjoyable meals for dad. If dad is having appetite issues, of course, that is another problem altogether. It may be in either case that dad needs more meals per day rather than more stuff at each of us meals. We typically think in terms of 'three square meals a day', but when we are having issues with eating, it is often helpful to eat less at a meal, but have more meals per day, perhaps increasing from 3 to 5 or from 3 to 6.

I have heard of athletes using testosterone to bulk up, but not with respect to cancer survivors. In any event, if you trust dad's cardiologist, and you have so far, apparently, I would follow his advice.

Best wishes to dad and family.

Take care,

Joe

tj44usf
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you Joe for the reply. I spoke to a nutritionist a few weeks ago and she gave us some tips on how to add calories to dad's diet. The problem is he has very little appetite and also some discomfort swallowing - even though no cancer is showing up in his throat area nor is he doing chemo. He knows he needs to eat and I believe he is trying but he is also 78, hard headed and if he just doesn't feel like eating that meal or day he is not going to. I am waiting to hear back from his oncologist regarding the testosterone shots. My fear is once my dad begins radiation, which should be next week, he will lose even more weight and at 118 lbs he is pretty much skin and bones already.

Best wishes to you too.

Tami

kado4
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2011

Hello...I can tell you that if you go the the GFS food store,they sell food in quantity,they sell these nutritional cups called Magic Cups. They come in litle styrofoam cups like little icecreams,but they are this delicious,nutritious 1 cup meals!They contain 290 cal, and 9 gms protein.Can be used as a meal, when someone has a poor appetite for just can't get the food down.They come in vanilla,peach,raspberry, and choc.They stay in the freezer for months, then just pull out when you need it, then put in frige.They are real tasty...My dad ate 1-2 per day during his chemo/radiation.He gained 15 lbs, as I was afraid he would lose alot of wt.My dad likes them,too....I hope this helps your dad.

Sincerely,Kado.

tj44usf
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks Kado - unfortunately we do not have a GFS any where near us but I did find the Magic Cups online. I will look into ordering some as well as some high calorie drinks made by Abbott. The Cancer Center near our home gave me some for my dad and they have almost 500 calories per 8 oz so if I can get him to drink at least 2 - 3 a day plus eat a little food here and there he may be able to at least maintain his weight.

However, maybe a few shots of testosterone will have him looking like Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire.

All the best.

Tami

dmcl11
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2011

hi i also had appetite issues and the dr rxed dronabinol 2.5 mg 2 x a day before meals to stimulate appetite.

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