Sunday, February 25, 2024

Does Chemo Make You Gain Weight

Do Iv Steroids Make You Gain Weight

How to gain weight during chemo | TeamEllie

IV steroids do not make you gain weight. The most common cause of weight gain is corticosteroids , a medicine used to treat many different conditions, including serious illnesses such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

They are totally different from anabolic steroids in the sense that they do not have the ability to help you build muscle.

Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex, the outer layer of the two adrenal glands.

In fact, IV steroids do not even contribute towards the build-up of fat around your middle section that accompanies more typical types of steroids.

However, corticosteroids do have side effects and can lead to a number of common symptoms including increased blood pressure , mood changes such as depression or anxiousness, insomnia , and many more.

Tips To Improve Cognitive Function

Although no studies show the tips below improve cognitive function, they may help some people with memory problems .

Tips to improve cognitive function

  • Plan your day to do the things that need the most thinking when you feel your best.
  • Get extra rest at night, but limit naps during the day to less than one hour.
  • Write down or record things you want to remember.
  • Use a calendar and write down important dates and information.
  • Use a pill box to keep track of medications.
  • Ask a friend or family member for help when you need it.
  • Ask your nurse, social worker or patient navigator for help keeping track of clinic visits.
  • Ask your health care provider about complementary therapies, such as meditation, that may help.
  • Do puzzles or play games for mental exercise.

Adapted from National Cancer Institute materials .

What Happens To Your Body Composition When You Undergo Chemotherapy

Home»Blogs»What Happens to Your Body Composition When You Undergo Chemotherapy?

As people continue to live longer and longer, cancer will only become more common. One of the essential treatments of cancer is called chemotherapy. For those who dont know, chemotherapy refers to the use of chemical agents of substances in the treatment of cancer.

Chemotherapy treats cancer by using chemical substances to halt the division of cancerous cells. Unfortunately, these cancer-killing agents can also impact the patients metabolism and the absorption of calories. These therapies can also impact the patients body weight, which can affect his or her chances of survival.

In this article, well discuss the body composition changes that occur when a person undergoes chemotherapy. Well also share practical ways to combat these changes to reduce the negative changes in body composition from treatment.

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Early Menopause And Menopausal Symptoms

As with natural menopause, you may have symptoms such as hot flashes, including night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Because the onset of menopause is sudden, these symptoms may be worse than with natural menopause.

Early menopause can also affect bone health. Menopause can cause a loss of bone density .

You may also have muscle or joint aches.

On Some Days Its Enough To Just Eat

How to Gain Weight After Chemotherapy

Ideally, Ms. Stella explains, patients currently undergoing treatment will use a modified version of the USDAs MyPlate icon to guide their nutritional intake. But instead of splitting the plate down the middle with protein and carbohydrates occupying one side and fruits and vegetables on the other these patients should aim for a peace sign consisting of equal portions of fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, and lean protein. Its beneficial for cancer patients to increase the amount of protein they eat, since adequate protein intake is particularly important to avoid losing lean muscle mass when dropping weight.

This goal changes, however, when patients dont feel well enough to eat much of anything.

For those having difficulty maintaining their weight, it can get to the point where any calorie is really more important than being picky about food choice, Ms. Stella says. Too much concern about types of food can give the patient a lot of anxiety. Just eat.

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Factors Contributing To Weight Loss

When people lose weight during cancer treatment, it is often due to an inability to maintain good nutrition. Chemotherapy might cause nausea and a general loss of appetite, while vomiting and diarrhea can greatly impact your ability to retain nutrients from the foods you eat. If someone is constipated, they may not be hungry.

At times, foods can taste and smell very differently due to cancer treatment. For this reason, many specialists recommend limiting your favorite foods as any changes in taste or smell will be more profoundly perceived, creating an aversion to them even after treatment is complete.

Mouth sores can also be a side effect of chemotherapy. Having them on your gums, throat, tongue, or inner cheek can make eating certain foods extremely difficult, exacerbating the pain you may already be feeling. Spicy, salty, or sour foods are especially problematic.

If You Have Lost Weight

You may have lost weight due to cancer, or the side effects of treatment. You may not feel hungry, or feel full soon after starting eating. Some people may feel sick, or find that foods taste different.

Some types of cancer make your body use up more energy, even if you are not very active. You may lose weight even if you are eating well. If you lose too much, it is important to talk to a dietitian.

The building-up diet is high in energy and protein. It can help you add extra energy and protein to your food without having to eat more. It is for people who have lost or are losing weight, or who can only eat small amounts.

Your doctor or dietitian may also recommend food supplements. These include nutritional drink, soups, powders, or puddings that can help you get extra nutrients and calories.

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How Can Weight Gain From Fluid Retention Be Managed

Fluid retention or edema is swelling caused by the buildup of fluid in the body. If you have edema, you might feel like your clothes, rings, or shoes are too tight. People with edema can also have less flexibility in their hands, elbows, wrists, fingers, or legs. Swollen arms or legs, especially around the wrists or ankles, are also a sign of edema. The fluid buildup collects under the skin, so your skin might feel puffy or stiff. Pressing on your skin might leave small indentations.

Talk to your health care team about any of these symptoms so they can diagnose and treat edema. Some of the ways edema can be managed include:

  • Medication. Your doctor can prescribe a diuretic to remove excess water.

  • Lower the amount of salt in your diet.

  • Avoid standing for long periods.

  • Elevate your feet as often as possible.

  • Avoid crossing your legs, which restricts blood flow.

  • Weigh yourself at the same time every day to keep track of changes. This can help your health care team see any fluctuations in your weight that might be caused by edema. Bring this log with you to appointments for your health care team to evaluate.

  • Avoid tight clothing and footwear.

  • Ask your health care team if wearing support or compression socks may help.

If You Want To Try To Stop Gaining Weight

How to deal with Weight Gain After Chemotherapy
  • Ask if you need to limit fluid if your ankles are swollen. If you have swelling in your abdomen , limiting fluids may not help and you should call your cancer care team.
  • Choose healthier, lower calorie foods.
  • Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Limit food portions especially with high-calorie foods.
  • Read food labels to become more aware of portion sizes and calories. Be aware that low-fat or non-fat doesnt always mean low-calorie.
  • Try to walk daily if you can and if its OK with your doctor. Talk with your cancer care team about referral to a physical therapist to help you safely increase activity levels.
  • Ask about meeting with a dietitian.

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Why Is Body Composition Important

For those who may not know,, body composition refers to the makeup of your body or, more commonly, your body weight. While other measures such as weight and BMI have been used as a measure of health for decades, body composition is a more accurate representation of your health and health risks. Body composition is typically divided into:

  • Total body water: Located in all components of the human body
  • Protein: Found in the muscles and organs
  • Minerals: Includes vitamins, calcium, iron, and other trace metals that are important for various functions
  • Fat: The primary way the body stores energy

Every aspect of body composition is important for a different reason. Your health isnt just about gaining or losing weight, but about the fluctuation of the various components of your body composition. Cancer and chemotherapy can drastically impact your body composition, making it of vast importance to understand and track body composition in these patients.

Causes Of Weight Gain With Chemotherapy

The reasons a patient may gain weight while receiving chemotherapy include:

  • Chemotherapy may cause swelling , leading the body to retain extra fluid. This is also known as fluid retention or lymphedema.
  • You may feel hungrier while undergoing chemotherapy, or you may feel nauseous and then relief when you eat.
  • You may be exercising less because chemotherapy causes you to feel fatigued.
  • Chemotherapy may cause menopause in some women, which may lead to a decrease in metabolism.
  • Certain types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, are associated with weight gain.
  • Your doctor may prescribe steroid medication during chemotherapy treatment. Steroids may help lower inflammation and treat nausea. However, steroids also may increase your appetite and fullness in the abdomen, face and neck.
  • For breast, prostate, testicular or uterine cancer, you also may receive hormone therapy. These therapies may lower the amount of estrogen or progesterone in females and testosterone in men. Lowering these hormones may cause you to increase fat while lowering your metabolism and muscle mass.
  • A cancer diagnosis may lead you to feel more stress, and that may prompt you to eat more and put on weight.

Be sure to schedule regular checkups and screenings for other conditions while youre on chemotherapy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, as they may also be related to weight gain.

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Does Chemo Make You Lose Weight

Chemotherapy may directly or indirectly cause weight gain or weight loss. Slight fluctuations in your weight, after chemotherapy, either up or down, are not dangerous. However, significant chemotherapy weight loss or weight gain may affect your health and/or your ability to tolerate your treatments.

Use Apps To Keep Track

7 Effective Ways to Put on Weight during Chemo ...

Since many patients already carry smartphones everywhere, Ms. Gerdes and Ms. Stella recommend using apps such as MyFitnessPal to keep an online food journal, tracking not only calorie intake and activity levels but also types of calories consumed.

Its a good visual for them, telling them how many carbs theyre getting compared to protein, Ms. Stella says. Since were always stressing protein, it really helps them see what foods are contributing to that and how they can improve their diet.

We only use mobile apps for weight loss, she adds. Using MyFitnessPal or mobile tracking devices are like having a dietitian with you at all times. It lets us know where a patient can make changes to their diet to eat fewer calories which is the goal of tracking.

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How To Gain Weight During Chemotherapy

This article was co-authored by Find BC Dietitians. Find BC Dietitians is a central hub of qualified nutrition experts in British Columbia, Canada with a mission to connect people to a registered dietitian best suited for their needs. BC Dietitians offer online consultations and provide evidence-based care on a wide range of nutrition matters such as diabetes, weight management, food allergies, eating disorders, and intuitive eating.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 49,612 times.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, chemotherapy agents will most likely be used to cure the disease, shrink a tumor, prevent the cancer from spreading, or relieve the symptoms of the disease.XResearch source This is done through injections, IVs, pills, or indirect injections to fluid around your spinal cord and brain. Regardless of how the chemotherapy is administered, it works by killing fast growing cells. Unfortunately, this type of treatment can cause you to lose your appetite and/or experience nausea, which can result in weight loss. In this article, you can learn how to prevent weight loss, put on weight during treatment, and understand the importance of a healthy weight.

How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight During Cancer Treatment

Patients often worry about weight gain as a potential side effect of cancer treatment. Eating behaviors triggered by chemotherapy-related symptoms, taking steroids, and inactivity due to fatigue can all contribute to weight gain.

Chemotherapy can cause certain appetite-related side effects, such as increased appetite, nausea or cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, says Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, senior clinical nutritionist at Dana-Farber. Although patients dont have to cut sugar out of their diet completely, there are many healthy alternatives to help curb the cravings.

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Do Other Breast Cancer Medications Cause Weight Gain

Hormone therapy is another treatment that can cause it. This treatment lowers the amount of estrogen and progesterone in women and the amount testosterone in men. It tends to cause an increase in body fat, too. At the same time, there’s a decrease in muscle mass and a change in the way your body converts food into energy.

Many women taking tamoxifen have felt the drug was responsible for their weight gain. So far, though, no conclusive studies have shown a relationship between this hormone and the gains.

Weight gain is not typical in women who’ve undergone surgery alone, or women who’ve had surgery followed by radiation alone.

Questions To Ask Your Health Care Team

Sugar, Cancer, and Weight Gain From Steroids. Things U Learn In Chemo
  • Can this cancer or its treatment cause weight gain?

  • Can my cancer treatment cause edema?

  • What are ways I can track my weight during cancer treatment?

  • Who should I tell if I notice changes in my weight?

  • Is there an oncology dietitian and/or other specialists that I can talk with about making food choices and my exercise routine?

  • Are there certain exercises I should avoid due to my diagnosis or its treatment?

  • Who can I talk with if I need help coping with stress or other emotional effects of cancer?

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Dietitians Offer Strategies For Controlling Weight After Cancer Treatment

Michelle Churches walks 11,000 steps during her 10-hour nursing shift at an outpatient surgery center in Trenton.

She knows this because she wears a pedometer. After walking those 11,000 steps, she comes home and pulls together a homemade dinner in about 30 minutes. She chats with her husband and kids, cleans up the kitchen and heads out to walk the dog. Some weeks, depending on her work schedule, she’ll fit in an extra 12-hour shift to help fund a gift she wants to give her three children: a debtfree ride through college.

To say that Churches is active would draw an affectionate chuckle from her friends. When the season is right, Churches has been known to work from dawn to dusk in her herb garden, stopping only long enough for occasional water breaks. So when she was diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer, weight wasn’t a concern for her. She was 5 feet 7 inches and 138 pounds. But after a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy, Churches has found it’s more difficult to maintain her weight.

“I work my butt off so that now when I look at a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, I have a little calculator in my head: How much will it take to burn this off? Is it worth it?” she says.

It may be more difficult to lose weight, but Daniels and Burke stress that it’s still important to try to control what you can: diet and exercise.

Weight-Loss Tips

Sharing Feelings With Friends And Partners

Teens and young adults often compare themselves with others, like friends. But most of your friends arent going through cancer treatment, and all the challenges this brings. Right now, you need the joys of friendship and fun. So try not to avoid friends, school, work, or photos because of weight gain.

If you feel awkward about how your friends will react to your weight change, try being open about your feelings. Theyll most likely offer an understanding ear, as well as reassurance. That includes your romantic relationships. The right partner will support you at any weight.

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How Much Weight Will I Gain

This is a difficult question to answer because everyones body reacts differently to steroids and supplements.

Some people do experience significant weight gain while on steroids, while others dont put on any extra pounds at all.

As mentioned earlier, it largely depends on the type of steroid you are taking, how long you are taking it for, and your own individual body chemistry.

Weight Gain And Chemotherapy

Misconceptions About Chemo

There are many different types of chemotherapy treatments, however, all of them slow down the uncontrolled cancerous cell division that defines this condition. Examples of common chemotherapy agents include:

  • Alkylating agents: These attack cancer cells during the resting phase before they start the process of cell division.
  • Antimetabolites: These are agents that are absorbed by cancer cells and prevent them from dividing.
  • Topoisomerase inhibitors: Topoisomerases are enzymes that are required for DNA replication and cell division. These chemotherapy agents halt the action of these enzymes, making it impossible for cancer cells to divide.

Unfortunately, these chemotherapy agents also attack normal, healthy cells. These are where the side effects come from. Examples of common chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Puffy appearance of the face
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Acoustic damage leading to difficulty hearing
  • Pulmonary fibrosis and cardiotoxicity, in some cases

Researchers analyzed more than 200 women undergoing breast cancer treatment and found that the average patientgained around 4 kilograms .

Similar results, published in Clinical Oncology, showed that in a sample of over 100 women, the average weight change was again of 3.7 kilograms . These studies are in line with numerous others, indicating that many people with cancer gain weight while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

  • Changes in the ability to process and absorb nutrients from food

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