Patients going through cancer treatment commonly experience the side effect of appetite loss. Maybe you feel like eating less or food holds no appeal for you. However you experience your appetite loss, this condition can have one or more causes. Nausea, vomiting, taste changes, fatigue, mouth sores, pain and stress all affect your appetite during cancer treatment.
Your appetite loss may come in waves, such as for only a few days after your cancer treatments. Or you may experience low appetite throughout all of your treatment regimen. But it is important to manage your appetite loss symptoms, as nutrition is critical for healthy recovery from cancer. If you don’t eat enough, you suffer weight loss, dehydration and problems like weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Having an empty stomach also affects nausea and vomiting for some people.
Through proper nutrition you gain better strength and energy. You keep these healthy levels better during your cancer treatment, improving how you experience other side effects. Eating well helps you maintain a healthy weight and recover more rapidly from your cancer care.
A dietician is one of your greatest resources during cancer treatment, for healthy eating and ways to manage dietary side effects. Your dietician can help you increase your calorie intake and add more protein, as examples. Other tips for working through cancer treatment-related appetite loss include:
Always keep an open line of communication with your treatment team regarding side effects like those affecting your nutrition. Nutrition plays a critical role in cancer recovery and your ability to maintain your daily activities. When your appetite suffers during and after cancer treatment, talk to your doctor for help with these common side effects.