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How to help someone with no appetite and doesnt like the taste of anything????

r2424243
Posts: 51
Joined: Feb 2011

My dad is Stage 4. He was doing well but recently has stopped eating. He doesnt eat anything I make him. Ive tried from very bland to lots of flavor. He says that nothing tastes good. Fast food, frozen, homeade, ect. Plus his appetite sux! Any ideas? Ive tried small "snacks" numerous times a day. No luck. Ive tried junk food, no luck. His teeth are falling out randomly which is upsetting him and they are sore so that doesnt help. He wont drink Ensure or anything like that because it constipated him once. He is upset because he isnt having bowel movements but I told him its because he isnt eating!!!

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3322
Joined: Jan 2010

Sounds as if you have tried most everything to entice him to eat and get some nutrition.

You should talk with his doctor about the situation. Perhaps the doctor can hook him up with a nutritionist and maybe prescribe a mild anti-depressant. His emotional state may be having an impact as well.

I used Boost with extra protein during my recovery from surgery. I had no problems with constipation at all from it. Did several juice glass servings each day. While that won't get him all that he needs it may help to get him back to being interested in eating.

Hope the doc can help you get him back on the right track.

Marie who loves kitties

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Good advice on the nutritionist. r23, you mentioned his teeth falling out: does he have dental pain at all? I'm not positive (gotta ask the onc tomorrow) but I think that chemo will effect the teeth and gums. I've started having some issues along those lines recently.

Does he take in liquids at all? Milk is one of the very few foods that a person can actually thrive on. Fruit smoothies are an excellent food source also. There are days when just about everything I try to eat tastes like cardboard, but a smoothie will taste incredible.

There are also .. shall we say "alternative" (cough cough, here) ... methods many cancer patients use for appetite stimulus. Personally, those aren't my preference, but I believe in to each their own.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Marijuana helps stimulate the desire to eat. If it's legal in your state (it is in mine)then I would suggest you ask your oncologist about it. You also need to get an appointment with his oncologist to get help with his eating, and as Marie suggested maybe an anti-depressent if his doc thinks this will help.
The only thing that helped me get my appetite back after surgery was Carnation instant breakfast, something recommended by a nurse on follow up, it worked great, ordinarily I wouldn't be able to stand the stuff, have had it since, but during that time it tasted good to me.
Hoping you can get to the source of the problem.
Winter Marie

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

works great as an appetite stimulant. Doesn't have to be smoked...the dispensaries in my neighborhood offer an array of products, including baked goods (no "baked" jokes, please!), hard candies, butter, olive oil, etc. It's definitely worth a try if you have it available. Another route may be a low dose of steroids...they can have a lot of side effects (way more than pot, imo), but when my sister was sick, she was given these to stimulate appetite and it did help somewhat. Hugs to you and your dad-Ann

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

the only thing I ever felt like eating after surgery was homemade milkshakes. My husband would make them with ice cream, whole milk, and fresh fruit. There's a lot of nice fruit available right now, maybe something like that would taste good to him. Frozen fruit works fine too, btw.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

They may have to feed him through a nasal cannula...that would be the first step if eating does not work and there is no nutrition being taken in.

I had to authorize them to do that to my dad.

Teeth can definitely be a problem for chemo patients...hopeful things will change for you. The other suggestions in the thread may be valuable for you as well.

-Craig

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

My mom is like that too. What I've found is that she may have enjoyed something a month ago but now her taste buds have changed and she can no longer eat it. My advice is to just keep trying different things... At one time, I've even made 3 separate dinner meals because she didn't like it...

This is what my mom can eat now:
- ripe avocado
- fage yogurt (best brand I've found so far)
- warm milk
- carnation instant breakfast
- quinoa ( you can also make quinoa porridge)
- rice (rice porridge, look up "jook" for recipe)
- carnation instant breakfast in ready to drink bottle

lepperl's picture
lepperl
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2012

I have found that a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon in the morning about 30 minutes before eating helps to stimulate the digestive system and make you hungry. The sour taste of the lemon might help stimulate his taste buds too. Although, I am not sure if this would be a problem if his gums are sore.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4884
Joined: May 2005

Then hide the goodies...
It works wonders. WHY it's not legal, especially for cancer patients, is beyond me. Maybe if enough legislators needed it, things would change but I wouldn't wish it on them (maybe for 24 hours so they could take a few steps in our shoes...)

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I honestly believe that the reason it's not legal is because the big drug dealers pay off politicians to keep it illegal. Legalization would be devastating to their business.

Wishing cancer on politicians is the same as wishing cancer on cancer.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

if it passes, we'll be taking on the feds!

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Hope you win both battles. I hate to see prudes dictate what weapons are at our disposal for this fight. Not to mention the wasted billions of dollars trying to fight an industry that could be a huge cash cow in tax dollars.

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

Bananas, ginger, and gatoraid. Get him moving. No matter how bad I felt, once I got walking I felt much better.

Best Always, mike

druidshadow's picture
druidshadow
Posts: 85
Joined: Feb 2012

my onc found out i could not eat and some other things and he lowered my dose and now i can eat and it cleared up most my others too, i was super sensitive to fu5. that lovely green meds help me too. make it legal

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

I have always heard that chemo patients seemed to be able to handle things that are lemon flavored (the lemon water is a good idea). I love girl scout lemon cookies (actually most anything lemon). I hope you find something to spark his appetite.
GOD bless you for trying so hard for your Dad.
Brenda

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2012

I also found that drinking through a straw helps me. I also suck on hard candies like Jolly Ranchers to help change the taste in my mouth. My dr also gave me a rx for magic mouthwash...insuranfe did not cover it..mbut it is worth every penny of the $65 it cost.

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