Is it normal for cancer patients to eat less and less each day? - AgingCare.com

Is it normal for cancer patients to eat less and less each day?

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My husband is eating less & less each day, only averaging maybe 500 calories a day. Is this a normal sequence in a terminal cancer patient?

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It is very difficult to watch your loved one decline, day by day, knowing that they are not going to get better. If your husband's prognosis is terminal and he is not taking in solid foods well, keep offering high calorie things and maybe consider grinding food into a puree. You can get more in him that way. Please consider nutritional drinks like Boost plus or Ensure plus. They are about 6 or 8 ounces in a variety of flavors with a packed 350 calories each. You can even make pudding out of them. Two puddings give you 700 calories, if you made it.Lack of appetite is a sign that his body could be shutting down, but if doctors feel he has some months left, why not at least give him the nourishment if you can to keep him stronger and more alert. If he is in pain, and suffering, just offer to him what you can, and he will guide you as to what he could handle. You will follow his lead. God Bless.
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I am sorry for your husband’s diagnosis.
Yes, it is normal for someone terminally ill with cancer to lose his appetite and eat less; often to the point of not eating at all.
If your husband still receives treatment, he may be feeling very ill from side effects of chemotherapy or radiation, and that could be one reason he has stopped eating so much.
In addition, eating can often become difficult. Trouble swallowing is not uncommon at late stages of the disease.
For someone who is having trouble eating or simply doesn’t want to eat, offer foods that are high in calories, such as puddings, smoothies, yogurt, or even ice cream.
People with cancer also may complain of strange tastes, and that may be another reason why they don't like to eat. If that’s the case for someone eating solid foods, try switching over to plastic forks and spoons instead of silverware. It may sound strange, but it can help those who say they have that metallic taste in their mouth.
I am sorry I did not get to your question sooner. If your husband is still with you, please consider calling in a hospice provider for assistance.
If you need help locating one, click here:
www.AgingCare.com/Find-Senior-Care/
Then enter your location and click hospice.
I hope that this helps.
Dani
AgingCare.com Editor
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