Short Bowel Syndrome Diet
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I suffer from short bowel syndrome (SBS) due to extensive resection of my small intestines following damage caused by radiation therapy. I have been cancer free for the past 6 years. However, I have had a difficult time gaining weight after my initial loss of 25 pounds. I eat 5 small meals every day, or approximately 2000 calories. I use a supplement (Boost) as one of my snacks. I have periodic bouts of diarrhea, but recently they have been less in volume and frequency due to, I believe, the removal of my gall bladder in January of this year. I continue to search out specialists who might offer some suggestions as to diets that could produce some weight gain.
Katrina Claghorn, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
From what you describe, you are already following the general dietary recommendations for Short Bowel Syndrome ( SBS ). It is a very difficult diet regimen since patients feel as though they are eating all the time just to maximize their intake.
Diet guidelines for SBS include:
You should also be monitored for possible nutrient deficiencies due to your restricted diet as well as the loss of a portion of your GI tract.
Your cancer center should have a staff dietitian.
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