From OHC

May 13, 2013

Chemotherapy can cause your appetite to change. You may lose your appetite because of nausea (feeling like you’re going to throw up), mouth and throat problems that make it painful to eat, or drugs that cause you to lose your taste for food. Appetite changes can also come from feeling depressed or tired. It may last for a day, a few weeks, or months.

It’s important to eat well, even when you don’t have the appetite. Healthy eating habits promote healing. This means eating and drinking foods that have plenty of protein, vitamins, and calories. Eating well helps your body fight infection and repair tissues that have been damaged by chemotherapy.

Not eating well can lead to weight loss, weakness, and fatigue. Some cancer treatments cause weight gain or an increase in your appetite. Be sure to ask your OHC doctor, nurse, or dietitian what types of appetite changes you might expect and how to manage them.

Here are a handful of tips on how manage your appetite changes:

  • Eat 5-6 small meals or snacks each day instead of 3 big meals.
  • Set a daily schedule for eating your meals and snacks.
  • Drink milshakes, smoothies, juice, or soup if you don’t feel like eating solid foods.
  • Use plastic forks and spoons.
  • Increase your appetite by being active.
  • Change your routine.
  • Talk with your OHC physician or nurse about vitamins or nutritional supplements.


Comments (2)

2 responses to “Manage Your Appetite During Cancer Treatment”

  1. John says:

    One of my best friend’s mom went through chemo and one thing that relates to this, and hopefully helps, is to remember to brush your teeth after you eat. She would get sores in her mouth from time to time and when she brushed after meals it seemed to really help minimize the sores she would get. Use a mild mouth wash too! Hope this helps!

    • OHC says:

      Great tips, John. Stay tuned to our blog…we’ll be writing more about how cancer patients, such as your mom’s friend, can keep their mouth and throat healthy and infection-free.