WEIGHT PROBLEMS: Hello, Any advice on... - Oesophageal Patie...

Oesophageal Patients Association

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Any advice on how to gain weight, my oesophagus was moved to a new position 7 years ago after cancer diagnosed, lately I am struggling to maintain/gain any weight, I eat 3 meals a day and drink Ensure twice a day but I stay at about 41kg, before this issue I was aiming for 50kg and came close.

I experience all the symptoms described on this site and, was handling the situation as well as most of you but, my weight loss is very concerning. Any advice please.

Thank you


15 Replies

Can you GP refer you to a dietitian for help?

fpdcronje profile image
fpdcronje in reply to Bluemon75

Thank you

Hi, I think we’ve all been there. My doc told me to eat more and to have sustagen twice a day. Didn’t do much to add weight but stopped loss, so I saw a Dietition who specialises in oncology (PM me if you want details as she does video appointments too). She got me eating more good fats — in place of high protein - and I was skeptical but it definitely made a positive difference. Good luck

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fpdcronje in reply to Brett77

Thank you

Hi Paula - I’m nearly 6yrs post Op and can’t get over 7 stone (44kg) - I used to really worry about it but I was slim before the Op so was told not to worry - I eat a very high fat diet - curries, Mars bars, 3 packets of crisps a day, full fat milk, cream etc - only way I can maintain it - I can’t even look at ‘these’ drinks anymore, they make me sick - the other thing is I’m very active so tend to burn it all off daily which doesn’t help but I like to be busy - if you’re worried and think it’s a change then try speak to your specialist nurse - they are my first port of call if I’m really worried about something - all the best x

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fpdcronje in reply to Molly14

Thank you

Hi there,I remember my surgeon saying I would never be the same size as I was, which I'm not, but I've gained a stone and a half. I wish I could lose it but I have slow gastric emptying, which doesn't allow me to lose it. It's very uncomfortable because of where my stomach is. I would talk to your doctor and see if they can give you some tests to put your mind at ease. I hope you get it sorted, keep us all updated, we're here for you x

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fpdcronje in reply to Popsic

Hi, Thank you all for your input and ideas, I have been admitted to hospital today to allow our Dr to do more tests and, try to determine the problem

Hi, my husbands daily 6 small meals include porridge with full cream milk for breakfast and a small cafe latte a little later. A Fortisip drink for morning tea. 2 fried eggs with avocado or mushrooms or spinach (without toast as it will then be too much for him to eat). Somehow he can’t stand scrambled eggs after his therapy treatments).

Sustagen drink 100m sometimes with a piece of fruit a little later).

Dinner is fish or meat with veggies, cottage pie, pasta alfredo (so he could have more cream and cheese), stew, etc.

Last meal for the day before 8pm is either ice cream, chocolate, chips (crisp), biscuits with cheese, etc.

Hi Paula.

We members of the Revised Plumbing Club do struggle to maintain weight. Perhaps three meals a day is too few ?? As with "Notknowmuch" I have six small meals a day. Tasty diet though - full of full cream/full fat/butter/chocolate/fish/meat/Ensures/bananas - not all in the same meal!!

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fpdcronje in reply to Buzzboy

Thank you, my Dr. has determined that I have developed TB due to the cancer treatment and, my weakend body. So I started to rebuild my life again.

Hi Paula,

Good evening from Scotland.

Welcome to the forum and asking for help, believe many fellow members have shared their inputs.

I was 80kgs at the surgery while being 39years old for OC treatment. in 2018.

Now hovering at 66-69 at 43 yrs (2021). Been upto 72/3kgs during the lockdown at home.

Most survivors tend to lose some weight due to surgical intervention lifestyle and a new normal is established for most. There are very very few exceptions to this as some have gone to add excess weight, having said that this is rarity.

Age factor is significant item in overall weight thing. Add existing underlyings and newly caught up health issues will make it swing in addition to the diarrhoea dumping. So coparing yourself to all the younger age group may not help in-principle.

Personally I have nicknamed the analogy as "battle of the calories". A normal working adult may require more than 2000kcal or more depending upon useage. however with the compromised stomach capacity and other factors, its a battle to consume these much calories in a single day, every day. This is impractical in my experience and view (non-qualified) hence I always try to sustain the new-normal weight and try to work around it. cater for downhill situations like diarrhoea dumping etc. meaning trying to add a buffer, but this will always be on the waist rather muscle on the whole body.

Given you had surgery at 62yr age and now 69yr and hovering at 41kgs. It will be a challenge medically to achieve the target. Having said that I would suggest to try for a buffer/fat on new-nomral weight to counter situation , for example your current infection.

Wish you all the best to gain healthy buffer weight.

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fpdcronje in reply to Mauser1905

Thank you

Hi Paula, I'm 7 years post op and am not sure if I am the unusual one as my appetite seems to be just stuck in the middle, when I eat I feel no less hungry and if I fast I feel no more hungry, it just seems like it stuck at whatever it was when I went in for surgery. Anyway I was advised to 'graze' all day by my consultants and don't even try to stick to a 3 meal a day regime, in fact according to one GI specialist grazing is actually better for the digestive system anyway. With careful balancing I get all the protein, carbs, etc, and have stayed a stable weight now for at least 3 years but in my case I was happy to lose weight initially after surgery as with fluid retention from the chemo and being obese when I was diagnosed it's actually quite enjoyable being able to tie my shoe laces without holding my breath for the first time in my life. I am a 65 year old male and weigh 66 kilos which I am happy with, I walk the dogs 5 mile a day and still manage to keep my weight steady so my advice is (if you have an appetite as I do) graze all day, you can still join the family for breakfast lunch and dinner but just eat the same smaller amounts so you can graze in between. I eat lots of peanut butter, low fat yogurt, dark chocolate, cheese in fact pretty much whatever I fancy and then 'starter plate' size meals with the family and I'm still hungry all day.

Hope this helps, Martin

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fpdcronje in reply to Dadable

Thank you for your interest


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