“I am about 11 months post-CRS, and feeling great! My weight had stabilized at a pretty good number. However, recently my weight seems to be dropping again. Perhaps my body is not making efficient use of the food I eat, because portions of my digestive system were removed during surgery. I don't know what else to eat, or how to eat much more than I am eating.
Why am I losing weight? How can I maintain my weight, and perhaps gain additional weight?”
“There could be many reasons for your weight loss. The first place to begin is by consulting with your medical team, which should include your surgical oncologist, an endocrinologist and a registered, licensed dietician.
Among other tests and examinations, your surgical oncologist will investigate any possible recurrences of cancer; your endocrinologist will test you for diabetes, hormonal imbalance, pancreatic malfunction, and other possible reasons for your weight loss. After all of your tests and examinations have been completed, the dietician can assist you in developing a diet for your specific needs.
Have you changed/increased your level of physical activity recently?
Do you maintain a food diary and notate your daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, fats and overall calories?
Click here to read “Do you need to keep a food diary?”
Have you been tested for lactose intolerance?
Many “Pals” attempt to regain calories by consuming high fat/high sugar content beverages and foods including commercial products like Ensure or Boost, or smoothies and milkshakes made with milk products, without realizing that post-surgery, some patients are unable to tolerate lactose, dairy, or simple sugars including corn syrup (found in many processed foods.) These “foods” can actually contribute to weight loss, as they often cause or contribute to diarrhea symptoms.
NUTRITION pageincludes articles about the Malabsorption Diet and about Lactose Intolerance.
When you schedule a consultation with a licensed dietician, give him/her a copy of your operative report so that s/he can clearly read the portions of your digestive system that have been removed. Diets for GI cancer patients are not “one size fits all” and must be developed for each individual patient.
Our NUTRITION page includes information about a protein supplement sold under the name of BeneCalorie. Some “Pals” have found this product to be helpful in supplementing your diet. Ask your licensed dietician whether the BeneCalorie product is appropriate for you.
In conclusion, consult with your medical team of specialists, as noted above, to determine
1) the cause of your weight loss and
2) methods to maintain and perhaps gain additional weight.
Articles posted in PMP Pals and on www.pmppals.org are written from the perspective of patients and family caregivers and are not intended to substitute for licensed, professional legal or medical advice. Patients should seek the counsel of their licensed healthcare professionals regarding their specific medical needs. Copyright © 2011 by Gabriella Graham/PMP Pals’ Network. All right reserved.