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Eating extra calories when sick - adults

Getting more calories - adults; Chemotherapy - calories; Transplant - calories; Cancer treatment - calories

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Description

If you are sick or undergoing cancer treatment, you may not feel like eating. But it is important to get enough protein and calories so you do not lose too much weight. Eating well can help you handle your illness and the side effects of treatment better.

Self-care

Change your eating habits to get more calories.

Ask others to prepare food for you. You may feel like eating, but you might not have enough energy to cook.

Make eating pleasant.

When you feel up to it, make some simple meals and freeze them to eat later. Ask your provider about "Meals on Wheels" or other programs that bring food to your house.

Ways to add Calories to Your Food

You can add calories to your food by doing the following:

Ask your provider about liquid nutrition drinks.

Also ask your provider about any medicines that can stimulate your appetite to help you eat.

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References

National Cancer Institute website. Nutrition in cancer care (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-hp-pdq. Updated September 11, 2019. Accessed March 4, 2020.

Thompson KL, Elliott L, Fuchs-Tarlovsky V, Levin RM, Voss AC, Piemonte T. Oncology evidence-based nutrition practice guideline for adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017;117(2):297-310. PMID: 27436529 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27436529/.

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Review Date: 2/6/2020  

Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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