Forum: Advice / Health & Nutrition

No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Wed Apr 03, 2013 06:40 PM

I recently switched psych meds, and the switch has caused many unpleasant effects with one of the most profound being nausea and extreme loss of appetite.

To give you an idea of how severe it is, the most food I've eaten in one sitting since last Thursday is a bowl of cereal. Monday night, I was hungry, so I ordered wings and fries. I ate 3 wings and a few fries and I was done with the "real food" and just ate the celery. Yesterday, the only food I ate all day long was a protein bar. And today, I've eaten about 3 bites of scrambled eggs with turkey ham and cheese.

Obviously this isn't healthy, and not just that, not eating means I'm even more cranky.

So far, I've found 3 foods that I can take more than a few bites of: cereal, applesauce and celery. So yeah, I have some things I can eat...but 3 isn't very many, and I can't even begin to tell you how sick I am of applesauce, and I'm not a big cereal person to begin with.

And to make things even more tricky, I'm gluten free, so it's not like I can just make some toast or whatever (I don't buy gluten free bread since it's way too expensive -- it's about $6 for a loaf that's 2/3 the size of a regular loaf that costs $2-3)...not that I think I would eat toast anyway...

I have very little food in my apartment apart from meat (I took the leftover turkey ham from Easter because I'm the only person in my family that eats it, and I have a bunch of chicken in my freezer), cereal, applesauce and protein bars...so I want to go grocery shopping, but at the same time, I kind of feel like it would be a waste since I probably won't eat most of what I would buy.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

16 Replies to No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?

re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help? (karma: 1)
By MaraschinoCherry
On Wed Apr 03, 2013 07:32 PM
I would look up chemotherapy recipes. Nausea and loss of appetite is a side effect of such treatment, so they are specifically designed for this situation. As a bonus, since cancer patients require good nutrition, the recipes tend to be quite healthy too.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Wed Apr 03, 2013 08:56 PM
I never would have thought of that! Thanks! I just went grocery shopping too, so I have lots to work with.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By xBallet_babex
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 01:04 AM
You might want to try smoothies. Those should go down fairly easily without being overly hard on your stomach. Jamba Juice and Yoplait and maybe some other brands have pre-made ones you just have to add juice to and blend. Or you can make your own or buy the Bolthouse Farms drinks. When I'm not feeling good and can't eat that's normally what I reach for. You might be able to slide some protein powder in there eventually.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 01:22 AM
I actually thought of smoothies and bought 3 of the medium sized Bolthouse ones since they're some of my favorites. I got them yesterday and I haven't even managed to finish a whole one yet...and I've really tried.

I managed to eat a whole bowl of cereal tonight without feeling too horrible, so I guess there's some improvement.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By xBallet_babex
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 01:59 AM
Soup? Since you're gluten free that might be a bit more of a challenge. I am too and there are some decent pre-made ones out there if you don't want to make your own. If you get sick of cereal, you might be able to choke down some quinoa flakes (or if you're not super sensitive oatmeal). I can get away with oatmeal since it's a wheat issue for me, not a gluten thing. Gluten free oats are ridiculously expensive. And maybe rice crackers would be good.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 02:07 AM
Unfortunately, I can't do oatmeal. I found that out the hard way when I made apple crisp with all gluten free ingredients, with the exception of the oatmeal which is inherently gluten free, but often cross-contaminated.

Soup is definitely hard. I haven't done much looking since for me, soup is just a food I keep around for the days I'm super lazy and don't want to cook, but I know that my very favorite soup in existence isn't gluten free. And of course, I can't do the standard chicken noodle soup either.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 04:52 AM
Have you spoken with your doctor(s)about the side effects?

Loss of appetite? You can combat that with dutifully ingesting healthy foods the same way you take medications. But nausea? That's a real problem.

Loss of appetite is annoying but can be dealt with. One of my aunts, who lived to 104, had a naturally tall and wiry body which would NOT put on fat no matter how much she ate. When in her 80's and 90's she told me that unfortunately in some older people the sense of taste diminished so she was not inspired to eat and had to remind herself to eat more. Her doctor prescribed Ensure to make sure she got enough of the essentials.

She never had to deal with nausea or staying gluten-free, though.

How about once-a-day essential vitamin-mineral capsules?

Can your doctor prescribe some anti-nausea medication plus refer you to a nutritionist who can help you choose calorie-fiber-and-nutrition-packed foods which will deliver what you need in small, digestible doses?

You need to ask your doctor if this would work but how about a one-a-day pill for the essentials plus celery for the digestive bulk you need to shove everything through, chicken for protein and something else, maybe straight sugar? for energy. That sounds crazy but I'm sure a nutritionist could help you figure out something like this which might work.

Also -- as I understand it, peanut butter is inherently gluten free but some brands incorporate ingredients which have gluten. Since peanut butter is just packed with both nutrients and calories you might investigate brands you could eat. Try peanut butter spread on a banana! I dare you to not want to eat that!
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 05:24 AM
I called my doctor the other day, and he said deal with it. No help whatsoever.

Not eating a banana? Even with peanut butter? Easy. They're my least favorite fruit!!

I had an apple and peanut butter last night. It was a mistake. I felt even worse after eating it than I did before

I already take a multivitamin daily and have been for awhile...so at least I'm getting some stuff from that.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 06:03 AM
A multi-vitamin could make nausea worse in a person who is already nauseous. Especially on a mostly empty stomach. Maybe temporarily back off the vitamins and see if that helps.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 08:09 AM
Have you tried Gummy Bears? For whatever reason, gummy bears help my nausea.

If you are nauseated, you probably aren't drinking enough water. Have your tried eating iceberg lettuce or cucumbers? At least maybe some fluids will help you feel a tiny but better.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 08:46 AM
I picked up a tip here from one of our members who was suffering bad morning sickness (note - I applied it to hangovers not pregnancy before anyone goes nuts!) - ice lollies! Or popsicles as they're called elsewhere. Just the frozen fruit juice versions. I find they're both easy to digest and inoffensive on the stomach, as well as soothing the stomach too. So you're getting some vitamins and sugars from the juice, and then you're hopefully feeling a bit better so you tackle some other foods too.

Perhaps you could take the foods you can eat, and then add something to them to make them more substantial. The apple sauce for example - could you mush some other fruit in there? Grapes, kiwi, nectarine maybe? Maybe even some mashed sweet potato? Or mix it with some yoghurt so you're getting some calcium? This might help the nausea as well due to the "friendly bacteria" in natural yoghurt.

With the celery you could make your own soup/broth - soften celery and a few onions, add cooked chicken cut into small pieces, top up with chicken stock? I'm not sure if all the normal brands of chicken stock are gluten free or not as it's not something I've had to think about. You could add any other vegetable you can stomach to it - maybe peas, they're a great vegetable source of protein.

Avocado maybe? Don't much like it myself but just trying to think of slightly mushy foods given the apple sauce thing and ease of digestion...
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 02:59 PM
YYD - I never would have thought of gummy bears. I'm going to the store this weekend, and might as well try them. You are correct in thinking I am not drinking enough water. I can tell I'm super dehydrated because my lips are even drier than normal. It doesn't help that anything substantial I eat comes out the other end within hours. I haven't tried lettuce, and I hate cucumbers, but I could easily get some lettuce at the store as well. Thanks for the suggestions :)

Louise - I'll definitely try popscicles. I don't know about stomaching other fruits or vegetables. I bought grapes the other day, and I haven't yet touched them. And usually when I buy grapes, they're gone within 5 days! Thank you so much for typing out such a thorough and thoughtful response though. I really appreciate it.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By hyehokismember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Apr 06, 2013 04:23 PM
I am so sorry. The doc could have at least prescribed you some anti-nausea meds until your body gets used to the new med. I had a problem with Tamiflu- it makes me really nauseous. My doc gave me a anti-nausea med to take while I was on Tamiflu. Worked like a charm.

Also, when I suffered from horrible morning sickness ( would be nauseous all day and get sick) I was desperate. I thought what about baby food. I tried that for a bit and it helped since it is a smooth texture and easy to get down. I would try that only if you are in desperation :)

Hopefully it will pass soon.

Po
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Sat Apr 06, 2013 04:38 PM
Thanks.

I ended up seeing my doctor again yesterday and he prescribed me Ativan because I've also been so anxious and not sleeping, and he said that would help with the nausea as well. I wasn't so sure about that, but I woke up this morning for the first time in a week not nauseous. I ate a whole protein bar in 1 sitting (big deal currently), and also had a cup of coffee. My stomach did get a bit angry, but I think just because it's not used to getting a decent amount of food. But now I feel much better. A bit nauseous because my morning med makes me a bit nauseous too, but not nearly as much. So I have high hopes that I will start eating again in the next few days.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Wed Apr 10, 2013 04:32 PM
And my hopes have come crashing down...gonna get some popscicles tonight and see if there's anything else I can manage to eat.
re: No appetite, but obviously need to eat...help?
By JigEnPointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:56 AM
Have you tried getting some of your nutrients via juicing? *hugs*

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2019 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS