Has anyone else out there developed a boiled sweet sucking habit post op ?

I know I shouldn't and feel guilty ( not to mention worried about my teeth ) but it seems to ease nausea and feels more comfortable than eating much .

I get tired of and by cooking meals only to find that I can't eat much of them/don't really enjoy them and snacks and sweets seem preferable .

I appreciate that I need adequate nutrition and think I'm keeping this up .

Was just interested to know if there were others who share my guilty secret !

35 Replies

  • I do not think that the effect of sweets on your teeth is anything like as strong as the effect of chemotherapy or reflux. The advice is usually to have a check up with your dentist to be on the safe side - and keep up the oral hygiene and teeth cleaning. Boiled sweets will tend to stimulate your saliva glands so that is a good thing, but you probably won't be able to get them on prescription!

    If you enjoy it, your secret is safe with us!

    Enjoyment of food is sometimes a thing of the past. The feelings of hunger often do not occur any more, sometimes because the surgery has removed the top part of the stomach that creates the ghrelin that creates those hunger feelings, and sends signals to the brain via the vagus nerve (that has also been cut).

    So eating little and often by snacks is often the best way forward. Keep an eye out for making sure that your vitamin / mineral levels are maintained (you are entitled to feel tired after everything you have been through, but sometimes lack of B12 / iron can lead to anaemia and fatigue).

    Life is difficult enough without putting yourself through activities that you do not enjoy and do not have to do. There are some imaginative snacks (eg eggs benedict) that can also give you a fair bit of nutrition - and it is the overall nutrition intake that counts.

  • I share your guilty secret! Except it's not boiled sweets for me, it's chocolate. I wasn't interested in anything sweet before my op., but now I really crave it.

    I too get tired of cooking meals I don't really want, and I can only eat a very small amount anyway.

    I tried getting frozen ready meals delivered to the house, and they weren't bad, but my husband didn't like them. he said he'd prefer beans on toast. He is recovering from a stroke, so I feel guilty if I don't feed him properly. But I do feel there should be more to life than cooking!

  • I too got the sweetie habit!! I had fruit pastilles hidden all over the house. Managed to give the habit up now but it was enjoyable while it lasted!!

  • I too love fruit pastilles. When can I expect to get over this habit?.

  • Got to the stage where I was creeping round the house with cheeks full of fruit pastilles looking like a hamster!! I could be found lurking around Morrisons or BnMs sweetie dept looking for a bargain!! Did tend to get sugar rush and felt a bit shakey but I persevered!! Now on Foxes glacier fruits and an icecream cone every evening!! Regards to you all. Mirth is a good healer too xx

  • I share Patchworkers guilty secret I have eaten vast quantities of chocolate post op, especially Peanut Slab. I lost 17 kilos post op and it would have been much worse without Whittakers Peanut Slab. It's tapering off now

  • I find something sweet after a meal helps the digestion but too many give me dumping syndrome!

  • Hi violetqueen,

    I'm one year post op and doing really well, however I must confess to one weakness and that's Butter mints. I find them very soothing (my wife thinks I should have shares in them)

  • Hi Violet queen

    I suck sugar free sweets to save my teeth, mainly aniseed twists and mints both suggested by my doctor! to help with indigestion so i don't feel guilty about it. I always have some in my handbag and friends who have had the op always have a selection on them one in particular carries chocolate limes around my favorite but not sugar free.

    I don't like cooking either but I have found a slow cooker helpful I can chuck all the veg and meat in leave it to cook all day and eat in the evening the smell around the kitchen of it cooking actually gives me an appetite and I can put the rest in the freezer in individual portions. The other useful gift I got was a soup maker just chuck the ingredients in and 30mins later you have a nice soup to which you can add cream, creme fresh, cheese etc or drop an egg in to poach in the bowl (serve hot soup into heated bowl crack an egg into it cover and leave for 10 mins) you should then have a soft poached egg in the soup.

    Hugs Lizzy

  • My husband is 9 months post op and eats vast quantities of little cheese biscuits during the day and Polos during the night. I cook him three small meals a day which he never fancies but always manages to eat most of them and has managed to gain three pounds of the four stone he has lost since the surgery. I believe those three pounds are all cheese biscuits! You are entitled to feel tired Violetqueen after all you have been through and you should never have a "guilty secret" about anything you like eating, just guilt that you aren't prepared to share your sweets!!! Good luck in the days ahead.

  • I'm a werthers original fan. I find that they help balance my sugar levels and stave off any dizzy spells when I'm out and about.

    I've since moved on to cadburys twirls and biscuit fingers...but don't tell anyone, it's just a secret between us :)

  • Yes I have im addicted to tesco Humbugs lol

  • I have found that Altoid mints are ideal if I have eaten more than usual and am uncomfortable, sensing dumping might be imminent. Also, if I suffer from reflex in the night, I sit up and suck one ore two mints which help take that nasty taste of bile away.

  • Have to admit that I have had a sweets addiction some 21 months since coming out of hospital, I am hooked on Werthers Original Butter Candies. Get a lot of dry throat and find the sweets help, I also have at least 1 ice lolly normally 2 a day because of the dry throat. Just had my 6 monthly check up with my dentist and all seems okay with the teeth. Guess my problem is I will have 2 sweets at night time when in bed reading and not so sure that's a good thing. I also get a cough/soar throat with bile in the mouth some nights that lasts for approx. 30minutes and I find a Jakeman throat sweet helps this.

    This is all probably going towards my swallowing issues when eat and drink.

  • Hi,

    Mint humbugs, Lime chocolates and Green & Blacks dark chocolate are my alternatives when I know I can't eat a meal.

    Often I find grapes work well if I have a dry throat or can't face another hot drink at work.

    No Guilt feelings after 7+ years, just making sure I have input of something when don't feel like eating a meal or can't face a drink.

    Kind regards,

    Dave C

  • Hi my husband is 4 years post op and goes through 2/3 bags of boiled sweets a week and i thought it was just him!!

  • I go through 4 bags of mint humbugs a week lol

  • I buy a packet of mint humbugs every week and I find if i suck one after my main meal it helps digestion

  • I have just read all the comments about having something sweet i.e boiled sweets etc theres me thinking it was just me. Nearly five years post op I have breakfast but skip lunch and snack on cadburys twirls and wine gums until I have a small meal early evening .seems to work for me at moment but has taken this time to try and sort out hope it lasts!!!!

  • Hi, 2 years down the line and still forget to `nibble` between meals, but recently I was given a packet of Branston cheese and pickle peanuts and crackers...(difficult to find only place we could fins any was Home Bargins....I find I have more of a savory tooth although my other weakness is chocolate éclair cream buns........

  • Oh thank you all for " sharing " . Silly isn't it but I'm heartened to know it's not just me !

    Might move on to humbugs and chocolate limes ...I'm currently addicted to assorted sherbet fruits with the odd foray into sports gums . Tried sugar free but they had rather a violent effect on the bowels !

    Liz - thanks for tips re cooking ,especially like the poached egg idea .

  • It's licorice for me. I buy packs of 60 sherbet filled licorice wands from Amazon, or two packs to save on postage and get through a pack a week. I also like licorice pointe frack cakes and Catherine wheels. I like the strong taste.

    I was a chocoholic pre cancer but went right off it through treatment. I'm pleased to say I'm back in the chocolate and favour cadburys twirls and flakes, along with giant buttons.

    Despite what you all say I think we should get them on prescription!!! LOL

    I went off wine too, but about 3 months post-chemo I re found the taste of a nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so enjoy a baby bottle over 2 nights.

    So many guilty secrets, such easy pleasure, little things....

    Cwtchs to you all, hilary

  • Mine is Humbugs.

  • Hi six years on and I am also good at eating sweets, especially keen on clarnico soft mints and bendicks chocolate mints. I usually eat half of either of these as they are quite sweet. Plus Trebor mints, mentos soft mints, all help and rather good after a ' meal' or to stave off dizzy spells. Too many do give me mouth ulcers so addiction is usually held in check . Thanks for all the other posts, I now have a bigger range to try!

  • Shock, horror .... I am not alone after all !

    I have shares in Werthers, Liquorice Allsorts and Foxes Glacier Mints.

    My excuse is the dreaded Hypo.

    How many teeth have folks lost ? My count to date (23 years post-op) is three which the Dental Hospital attributed to Calcium depletion as a side effect of TNF (Tumour Necrosis Factor) which is one of the body's responses to carcinoma.

  • congrats on 23 yrs post op and many more to come :) Hope I will be able to say the same !

  • I cannot get enough fruit pastilles. I don't have much trouble with sickness, but suffer with dumping. This can be quite unnerving particularly when eating out.

  • It is soooo nice nice to know you are not alone with this sweet thing.My thing is sugar free wethers and ice cream snickers or mini magnums.I used to love chocolate before op,doesnt do anything for me now,infact i find a chocolate bar makes me feel very sicky.but i find the coldness of the ice-cream helps my digestion.

  • ooh I could just fancy an ice cream snickers ,and some licorice wands ...not together obviously .

    Blackcurrant and licorice sweets not bad either .

  • Hello. Yeah this is something I do throughout the day, well almost all day. Wow how weird is it. I never ever had a sweet tooth before my op. I now love my bueno chocolate, foxs sweets, kopp kopps, millions. Its amazing to c how much people too do the same. Like I say, gotta have enjoyment of some sort. Think I will have false teeth soon tho, ha. X

  • Odd isn't it pferries . Must be something to do with wanting fuel but having a reduced capacity .

    Think serial sweet sucking must mimic being on a drip .

  • I too love sucking a sweet, I prefer mint imperials as they last quite a long time. Can only take small amount of chocolate as it makes me feel sick ( maybe a good thing)

  • So good to read this, my husband eats sweets as though they're going out of fashion. He never bothered with sweets before his op now he practically lives of them :D

  • I also did not have a sweet tooth pre-op. I eat gelato every night and also eat a lot more sweets throughout the day. I am only 6 weeks from surgery and am going to start another round of chemo next week and am just trying to wrap my head around all that I have been thru since my diagnosis on Dec 2 2013, chemo radiation surgery and now more chemo. It is great to hear from others. Thank you!

  • Yes, menthol...helps with the breathing, 6 months post op...at least a bag of strong menthol (Jakemans) a day, I even wake in the night & suck a couple... Sad but what the heck .. It's been a hard few months ....!

    Take care & best wishes on your recovery


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