How to regain appetite, healthy diet?


Question from Eastara: Hi, I just haven't been able to eat properly since my chemo. (I had a lot of nausea.) I seem to have a mental block against food in general and very little appetite. I have lost about 28 pounds in a year. What can I do to get back on track? I feel kind of desperate!
Answers - Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. That may take a team approach, maybe working with a dietitian or counselor of some kind to explore if there are other concerns. And I would recommend that your oncologist and primary care physician be aware of this to make sure there are no other medical reasons for your weight loss.
Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.C.S. I also suspect with that traumatic of a weight loss that there may be some delay in going through normal patterns of grieving after developing a cancer. It's possible that this may be a phase of anxiety related to your diagnosis. This is not a psychiatric disorder, but probably something that could be discussed with a psychologist to help you begin to see food as more of a healing tool so you can allow yourself to heal through food, and allow yourself to return to normal. I suspect your full recovery from the impact of chemotherapy is right around the corner and I hope that you can turn this situation around very quickly, maybe even in time to enjoy the holidays!

Editor's Note: Learn more about maintaining your normal weight during and after breast cancer treatment.

On Wednesday, November 15, 2006, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Eating and Drinking Through the Holidays. Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answered your questions about how to stay healthy during the most hectic, high-calorie time of year.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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