Oesophageal Patients Association

Anyone had problem putting on weight

I was diagnosed last March and underwent chemo and radio therapy in July/August. Over that period Iost nearly 2 stone in spite of eating very well considering my condition. Since the beginning of the year I have put all that weight back in spite of trying not to. Just wonder if anyone else has had difficulties with weight control accompanied with IBS type symptoms after treatment (no surgery).

5 Replies

Many people will have weight issues, normally because the new digestive system cannot yet provide enough quantity of food and nutrition, so for most it will be losing rather than gaining weight that is the issue, or, more accurately, getting used to a new, lighter weight than before.

The IBS type symptoms sound very much like 'dumping syndrome' - if you look at some of the tags you will see this regularly comes up.

It does also sometimes depend on where you started, weight-wise, and if you want to send a message direct (go to the directory and click) then please feel free.

I think the overall thing after surgery is that weight is not a health or recovery issue unless you are seriously continuing to lose weight - but how you feel in yourself is much more important.


As I said I did not have surgery therefore don't think dumping applies. If I continue to gain weight at my current rate then it is going to become a health issue as I will become obese. I was overweight at 12st 5 before cancer and went down to 10st 4. As of today I am 11st 12 and this is since the beginning of the year.


I take your point about not having had surgery, and I honestly do not know whether 'dumping syndrome' can occur otherwise, perhaps if something has happened to the vagus nerve.

There is some good information on the CORE website about all manner of similar things corecharity.org.uk/Informat...

Some people find that the taste buds and appetite can be affected by medication during and after treatment.

We may be surprised by somebody letting us know that they have the same problem, but my best advice would be to keep a food diary on sorts of food you eat and amounts, and how your weight/symptoms vary. And then consult a dietician, preferably a specialist dietician who would be able to advise whether this is something to be expected after your treatment, or whether you might need to resort to more conventional weight control methods. I wonder whether any medication might have had a side effect? I would think about low glycemic index foods - they might be worth a try.

If you lost weight and went down to 10 stone 4lbs and now are half way between the two 'extremes' then perhaps if your weight stabilises at your present level for a while it would give you a breathing space and you can then think about things later on when the treatment is further behind you.

I know some people who have lost 6 stone (after surgery), put it all back on again, and been OK, but that does not alter the principle of how you feel!

It might also be a question of getting used to your body again after the treatment. This does take time. And during treatment is the last time you need to be worrying about what you eat and controlling your weight, which might turn out to be a distinctly different issue from your recovery after treatment.


Weight is a problem that most of us are concerned with, mostly with the loss and inability to gain weight.

I never lost any weight diagnosed and operated on in 1994. I spent two weeks without eating and was then fed with total parentral nutrition . I came out of hospital weighing exactly the same as when I went in.Over the years I now weigh approximately half a stone more, being now in the overweight class.

However I have now been diagnosed with an under active thyroid which does lead to weight gain. I wonder if we put too much emphasis on this issue and forget that it is quality of life that is more important


My husband had lost 5 stone's only been able to put one stone back on..Its been 6 years since his ivor Lewis op..


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