Poor Appetite and Weight Loss

Author: The Tracey Birnhak Nutritional Counseling Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Reviewed: August 21, 2019

Question:

My appetite is not good and I keep losing weight. What can I do about this?

Answer:

Poor appetite and weight loss are common before, during and after treatment for many types of cancer. The main nutrition goal is to maintain your weight as much as possible. If you aren't taking in sufficient calories and protein, you will lose weight and muscle. This will waken your body and make it more difficult for you to tolerate your treatment. Cancer treatment can affect your taste for foods, lessen your desire to eat and may make you nauseated and tired. All of these things make it hard for you to get enough calories and protein to maintain your weight. Ask to meet with a dietician at your treatment center to review your calorie and protein needs and help provide ideas for foods and meal planning.

Also, if your appetite is poor for long periods of time and this is not caused by nausea or constipation, you and your provider may want to talk about the use of appetite stimulants. These may help improve your food / calorie intake and help with maintaining weight.

Keywords

Click on any of these terms for more related articles

Blogs

Medicare Part D-What You Need to Know for Open Enrollment
by Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
October 18, 2018

Cancer and Its Effect on Kids
by Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
January 18, 2018

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
U
V
X
Y
Z
#
 
A
B
C
E
F
G
H
K
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
U
V
 
 
Stay informed with the latest information from OncoLink!   Subscribe to OncoLink eNews
View our newsletter archives