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Food irritating throat (7 weeks out)

spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

Hi guys,

It has now been 7 weeks since I completed radiation and I am having a heck of a time in the eating department. I never got a PEG, and now I have lost 45 lbs (200 to 155). I have gotten to the point where I feel like I would be doing great if I could only get in more calories. I can't drink the high calorie drinks because every thing sweet taste like crude oil smells. So I am left to try to get what I need from hearty soups and grits/eggs, etc. My problem is three-fold: They pulled my teeth before treatment began so I am limited on the type of things I can eat without teeth (the blenderized hamburger thing makes me sick just thinking about it), anything sweet taste horrible and things taste overly salty even if not seasoned), and the newest thing - suddenly, much of what I eat is making my throat swell and itch very much like an allergic reaction. I have never been allergic to any of these things I am eating. At the moment, only grits and eggs are going down without causing me stress over whether or not my throat is going to close. I'm going to try baked potato in a minute and see what that does.

Any suggestions?

God bless,

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012

Welcome to the other side of treatments

Add olive oil to your vegies and vegetable oil to everything else.  Grits and eggs and oil.

You have to figure out what works for you.   I tried every food recommend on here, but I hated the feel so much I chose the smoothie route.  You just have to think outside the “food box”

People not from the H&N world do not understand, but we do.  It is just that we have many things that work and many that don’t.

I don’t know about the swelling or allergic reaction, but I do know what it is like to have difficulty eating.


catfish_58's picture
Posts: 125
Joined: Feb 2013

Know how you feel about taste and swelling of throat,everything i ate or drank tasted like old used motor oil too.I found that eggs and mixed it up with instant gravy helped for a while,I was so tired of eggs that i swore off them for a while,It will get better,I think around 3 to 4 months taste started to come back and the throat irritation was a lot milder,i also was dealing with thrush in the throat too.Found that baked potatoes seemed dry unless i put gravy or lots of butter on them,Mashed seeemed to go down easier,Had a break through one day while eating tried some bread pudding and wow it tasted great and from that point on it slowly came back,I think that the hot sweet foods did better than the cold stuff,good luck and hope it gets better soon fer ya.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

real well with lots of butter and if you can, sour cream.  Lots of calories there.  Have you tried avacodos?  They aren't sweet, and basically for many people, they are tasteless even without going through treatment.  They are high in calories, and all those calories are good ones.  You can mash them up, too....I didn't have any trouble with sweet onions, so added them to the avacodo (I could pretty taste onions after treatment), they might add some flavor to your food.  Creamy soups....potato soup, clam chowder, Cauliflower and cheese soup, Brocolli and cheese soup.....and use 1/2 and 1/2 to make them higher in calorie.  Everything is worth a try at this stage.....I found myself eating the same things over and over.....the ones that worked for me, anyway.  I ate Cauliflower and cheese soup for a month solid Laughing


jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Not much to add to the others.  One thing I did for Jim is cook up mixed frozen veggies in chicken or beef broth, blend it smooth and add a teaspoon of olive oil to each cup Jim drank. He drank this for months because he couldn't stand sweets. He also liked broccoli cheese and cream of mushroom with the mushrooms strained out. For some reason mushrooms, no matter how small, choked him. Be sure to sip water or milk along with each bite.



donfoo's picture
Posts: 1649
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi Jamie,

Fat has twice the caloric density as carbohydrates and proteins. Ditto with P says about avocados as they are soft and high in calories. Peanut butter is very high too. If that does not go down so well or tastes off, you can always go to a store selling bulk and try different unsalted nuts and such then grind it up. I've not tried using the peanut grinder at the store but maybe they won't mind if you throw other nuts in there.

Don't forget the wide variety of protein powders. You can mix this up in many different ways. Milk, water. Make it running or make it thick. Throw in some oil. Blend in some of the nut butter.

The main thing is if you are having difficult getting food down the gullet, make every gulp pack as much calories and nutrition as possible. Think twice about all the lower caloric items and use only if you can just not get down the hi cal stuff.

You are nearly out of the woods, hang in there!



dunedintech's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Apr 2013

As mentioned by others the old mash potatoes with sour cream / gravey worked for me. I also was a non PEGer and lost 50lbs (180 -130) Just got to find something that does not smash the throat and get those calories on board.

Happy Eating



KB56's picture
Posts: 312
Joined: Apr 2013

Jamie, it was really, really tough to eat for the first few months.   something that I found that was high calorie and really high in protein that might help you was a protein mix called EAS Myoplex and I ordered mine from Amazon but you can also get it at GNC and other places like that.  I mixed it with whole milk in a really big glass ( I used a blender) and it was like 700 calories and 70 grams of protein.    I also ate a lot of baked potatoes (sweet potatoes are great as well) with lots of butter and cheese.   Also fish was soft and easy to eat.   My doctors told me to focus on protein vs calories. 

taste may be lacking for a while but you are probably getting close to start tasting stuff but it was over 5 months before my throat starting feeling better.  


PJ47's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Sep 2013

Sorry your throat is really bothering you.  Have you had the swelling checked?  It sounds like there is some major irritation there.  I think you have been a healthy eater so it makes it hard when trying to put on weight with the ususal high fat/calorie type foods. Which soothes your throat best hot or cold foods?   I could not even swallow lentil soup for awhile, so I put it in the blender to get it fine enough.  Imagine brand soups are good and I liked the potato leek and broccoli soup.  I love Amy's  golden lentil soup.  I made mashed potatoes kind of runny with organic chicken stock. A vegetarian gravy made it better and I dipped bread in the soup to help it go down.

If you can tolerate cold stuff, smoothies are a good way to get your friuts and calories and protein in.  My personal fav:  almond or rice milk, banana, blueberries, strawberries and optimum nutrition natural choc. whey protein and a little vanilla.

I found only one supplement that did not taste like oil slick to me which is Svelt cappichino made in calif. and sold in the grocery stores.  It does not have mega calories (only 200) but is organic and made with soy milk and the taste is good.  

I did add canned peaches and pears to my diet as they slide down easily and someone ,I think John, suggested them.  

Cream of wheat is still my fav for breakfast and is about the same as your grits in texture.  

Most things stll taste very salty to me as well 7 week out.  

Best to you.


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

jamie, i did soup, like P, for many many months.  couldn't swallow solid foods for quite some time.  hang in there, it get easier.


spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

I'm trying everything I can think of now. I can't handle sweet because sweet tastes terrible. I did find out today that I can drink milk again, which is more calories. I'll try to get in as much of that as possible too. Thanks for all of your suggestions, I will try all of them lol.


God bless,



hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Milk did and still does help everything go down. I live in a town with several casinos and they all have buffets. Early on, I found that crab leg night was easy on my mouth. The melted butter left a soft coating on my sore lips following tx. and the crab legs just kindof slid down my throat w/o any effort. I found it a little harder to have mac & cheese or mashed potaoes out because they had to be just the right consistancy or they wouldn't work. Eggs, in any fashion, have always worked for me. Wierdly, rice krispies helped me thru tx. too. I remain big on oatmeal and pancakes. I went thru a phase where everything had to be at room temp, except milk, but that has improved with time. I had a g-tube thru tx and lost 65 pounds. My weight leveled off more than a year ago and has remained the same since. Eating remains an effort so I get tired before I get full. Don't give up trying new foods. I have trouble with fruit and recently found that melons work well.

Good luck!  

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