Managing weight loss
The side effects of cancer and its treatments can make it hard to maintain your weight. Eating small frequent meals high in energy (calories), fat, carbohydrates and protein may help you maintain a stable weight.
Soup can be easy to digest, nourishing and versatile. Here are some ideas you could try.
- Try clear soups to encourage the appetite and provide extra fluid but are low in protein and energy.
- Add energy and protein to the soups with meat, legumes and cereals such as rice and noodles, cheese cream, butter and oil.
- Vary the taste with nutmeg, ground cumin or curry powder.
- Purée or blend soups if you have difficulty swallowing.
- Thicken soups with puréed vegetables, cream, eggs and enriched milk.
Nutritional supplement drinks
If you have tried increasing your calorie intake but are still struggling to eat enough, you may benefit from a nutritional supplement drink. Talk with a dietitian or your treatment team to get the right drinks for your needs such as:
• powdered drinks: Complan, Ensure, or Fortisip
• ready-to-drink liquids: Ensure Plus, Fortisip, Fortisip Multi Fibre, or Ensure TwoCal HN
• fortified fruit juices: Fortijuce, Ensure Plus juice, or Recover
• Calogen (fat only and can only be used in certain situations).
Some supplement drinks are available in supermarkets and others from pharmacies. You may be able to get a Special Authority number and prescription for supplements at minimal cost, after an assessment by your treatment team.
If your nutritional needs are unable to be met, your treatment team may suggest a feeding tube. A feeding tube can be used short or long term, to supplement your meals or be your complete source of food and fluid. It is a way to ensure that your body gets the nutrition you need while you are having treatment. Feeding tubes can be managed at home with support and guidance from your treatment team.