CSN Login
Members Online: 2

You are here

Starving all the time since liver resection!

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Ok this is probably a weird one.....haven't had a chance to ask my surgeon yet, but who better to answer then those who have been through it. I had 1/2 of my liver and gall bladder removed 5 weeks ago due to an anal cancer that spread there. Since then, I am STARVING....like I haven't eaten in days several times a day. My stomach will grumble and go all topsy turvy like it hasn't had any food in days every few hours. I wake up in the middle of the night completely famished! I'm going to gain 200 pounds if I keep eating every 2 hours. Any explanation???

THANK YOU!!!

PamPam2's picture
PamPam2
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Are you by any chance getting any type of steriods with your meds? They will make you hungry like that.
Pam

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

No I was taking Hydromorphone, but very small doses....and I haven't been taking it much at all lately and still experiencing the hunger pangs :(

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

Sue are making sure you get lots of protein every day? when they chop out that much of you it takes lots of healing....so you do need a lot of protein to re-build tissue and start the healing. I drank shakes and proteiny things after my re-sections....also are you drinking lots? sometimes after surgery I find I get thirst and hunger confused....in fact I really think I can't tell when I am thirsty after various chemoes....

ps. I have gained a fair bit of weight and I think you will find other people here have gained weight too which seems surprising cuz you'd think we would be thinner :) :)

mags

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Darn it! No in between meals snacking ...just 3 squares a day....and I am gaining.

-Pat

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

Are you eating liver?

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

I am trying Philly but I am just not sure that's funny....

well to tell truth since re-sections I have NOT eaten said above L word

mags

banma
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2010

after liver resection. I ate lots of small meals all the time, including omelets at 2 a.m., and gained little or nothing. Just my experience, but I figured everything was trying to heal. Besides, I lost about 10 lbs during the surgery so I was trying to get it back. I don't think I ever made it back to pre-surgery weight.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

When I was healing I had to eat every couple of hours or so to meet my body's needs. My tummy had that awful feed me or you will collapse feeling if I didn't eat every 2 hours. I even had to leave a few bottles of ensure by my bed so I didn't have to get up and go into the kitchen when the hunger woke me up. Once the healing slowed down, so did the hunger. I never gained weight during this time, i was basically keeping from losing weight and giving my body what it needed. Sounds to me like you are needing to do the same.
mary

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Your body is retaining a lot of fluid right now wish will make you feel bloated. You need to drink plenty of water. I also had to eat small meals but remember that your partial liver has to help break this stuff down so try and be gentle to it. Don't eat a lot of food that takes a long time to digest.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

that may contain "megace"....This will make you ravenously hungry. It may somehow be associated with the meds your on to help sustain weight. We have an elder in our church that has bone cancer and megace keeps him eating and maintaining body weight so he doesn't get weak and weary. He is much better right now as well.....

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Oh my gosh...THANK YOU all so much!!! I just got back in town. Was actually away from a computer for a few days :).....so nice to come back and see all these suggestions!!!
Nice to hear, that it seems to be normal. I was going to ask my surgeon, but figured the only way he would know is if someone mentioned it to him....and you all know first hand.
I thought maybe also, it was from drinking too much fruit. I've been juicing alot of fruit. It tastes so good, but think the acid is too much??? Good to know about the protein. I think that is exactly what I was lacking.....I know it's not from eating liver! Smart@#* :)
Also I'll check out the magace......Thanks Buzz too!!!!

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

I do the same thing and have not had a surgical removal of the liver. It's really weird, it's like I have to have something to eat or it is almost painful. It wakes me up in the middle of the nigh.Patti

Anonymous user (not verified)

This comment has been removed by the Moderator

zenmonk
Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

I experienced the same thing after my liver resection. It gradually has subsided but at the time I thought that I would gain about 400lbs.

ann2008's picture
ann2008
Posts: 119
Joined: Nov 2009

After finishing chemo and having neuropathy in my hands and feet, I also think it affected my stomach nerves. I did not have that feeling of fullness for a long time and I think my stomach was also numb on the inside. Does that sound crazy? I would eat because I was so hungry but never feel full until I was to the point that I was almost sick. I also was on Lyrica for the neuropathy. I gained 20 lbs fast so I had him change the Lyrica to Neurontin. I could tell it helps and finally got my eating under control. But not until I gained another 10 lbs. I have started doing water aerobics and although I am exhausted after a class, I feel alot better and it gives me something to look forward to. Sorry so long. Ann

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I stay hungry all of the time, but after 4 1/2 years, I don't think my liver resection can be blamed. I just try to keep healthy snacks available and watch portion control, hard for me. I have gained back the 20 lbs. that I lost before colon cancer so it is ok, but I don't want to gain anymore.
Jo Ann

bbbelinda1's picture
bbbelinda1
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019

I had two-thirds of my liver plus my gallbladder removed about six weeks ago. A couple days after the surgery, while still in hospital, I began experiencing the starving hunger that some of you have described. When I got out of hospital, I had to eat every two hours, including overnight, for the first 3+ weeks.

I also experienced terrible acid in the beginning -- I would describe it like "battery acid" -- if I didn't eat on time. I believe the acid was a side effect of having my gallbladder removed because my husband experienced the same thing when he had his gallbladder removed a couple of years ago.

My guess is that while the liver is regenerating (it apparently regenerates in about 4 to 6 weeks), it demands a lot of food. In fact I joked that almost everything I ate was immediately grabbed by my liver (located under the right side breast) before the food could make it down into my tummy because my belly remained flat for the first month or so. Before the surgery I always got a belly after I ate.

I believe one of the best things to eat to satisfy the hunger for a regenerating liver is protein in the form of low-fat meat. I noticed I felt much better when I had meat with every meal. Chicken, turkey and fish were the easiest to digest, but my liver definitely wanted red meat. I normally don't eat red meat, but I have temporarily added it into my diet while I recover from the surgery.

Over time I was able to get up less times in the night to eat. Around four weeks after my surgery, I was able to sleep through the night for the first time without being awoken by the starving hunger feeling and forced to get up to eat something.

Since then, during the day, I try and eat small, low-fat meals and often. I can happily report that I have not gained an ounce from my pre-surgery weight despite all of the food I ate during the "starving phase".

I want to thank SueRelays and everyone who posted and contributed to this discussion because it was the only thing I could find on the Internet regarding the "starving all the time" issue after my liver surgery. It gave me great comfort to know others had experienced the same starving feeling too. I am adding my own experience to this discussion in the hope it will also help others.

This week I received some wonderful news. I learned that my tumour, considered rare, was benign. I will continue to be monitored for the rest of my life by Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital, the top cancer hospital in Canada. Apparently these rare liver tumours can turn to cancer, which is why it was removed.

To all those reading this post, I am sending you positive thoughts for a quick recovery and excellent health going forward.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4787
Joined: Jan 2013

I am glad this old thread gave you some comfort. It is wondreful that we can turn to people who have actually expereinced what we are experiencing - even if most of them have passed beyond the grave, which is the sad case in this thread. Their knowledge and wisdom live on.   

And also, how wonderful that your tumour is begnin.  It sounds like you are a healthy eater, and that, along with exercise is a great way to keep yourself going for years. 

I wish you well as you recover, and may you never have to search out a Cancer forum ever again. 

Tru

bbbelinda1's picture
bbbelinda1
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019

Thank you so much, Tru. I think this website is fantastic and must help a lot of people. It is a wonderful comfort for them.

I guess what you say is true -- that some people in this thread may no longer be with us, but their words live on and help others.

As you suspect, I live a very healthy lifestyle. I am so grateful for the excellent treatment and care I have received from our medical angels here in Toronto. Each day I think of how blessed I am.

Tru: I hope you will be well and have a long, healthy life ahead.

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 979
Joined: Aug 2013

Tru, have you heard anything from Maglets since her last post? Just wondering..................................Dave

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4787
Joined: Jan 2013

Wasn't she diagnosed with Breast Cancer as a seperate primary?  

Maybe I will ask the mods to see if they can track her down. Just so we know - one way or the other.

I sent her a message via CSN.  Here's hoping she is just taking a long break.

Tru

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 979
Joined: Aug 2013

yes, I recall she was really "floored" by the breast cancer diagnosis, and she had been such a great voice here, I'd hoped she'd keep chiming in once in a while. Thanks for checking.................................Dave

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4787
Joined: Jan 2013

and I too miss her post. 

Tru

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6154
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you for sharing your story and I'm glad that everything is going well for you.  Hope you continue to do well.

Kim

Nazareth
Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2017

old htread- but just a little info- losing the gall bladder can result in sonething called 'Bile Salt Diarheah' which will cause intestinal upset- Questran is the rmeedy for it

Subscribe to Comments for "Starving all the time since liver resection!"