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Cachexia / extreme weight loss

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Wanted to share this recipe/article for anyone having trouble keeping their weight up. I found this for a friend recently who is struggling w stage 4 Lung Cancer and cachexia

http://www.anticancerbook.com/post/The-best-way-to...

This smoothie is designed to provide nutrition AND address reducing inflammation in the system which is part of the wasting.

Dr Block was someone I consulted in my treatment. He sees many people in stage 4 who need to rebuild strength to allow further treatment.

Comments

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    BUMP for people needing to keep on weight - healthy smoothie

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited July 2021
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    Thanks for bumping this SantaB. I struggle with keeping my weight on and make a daily smoothie but your recipe has given me some ideas of what I may need to add to the mix.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    Glad you can get something out of it!

  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
    edited July 2021
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    Great thread! I am post-surgery and still struggle to stop the weight loss. I'm trying to eat healthy (low carbs, no sugar) but my appetite is just not there. I grew tired of well-meaning people telling me, "just eat more," when I couldn't eat enough to stop the weight loss. I am normally 135 but despite my best efforts was 110 at surgery. I am finally holding now and no longer losing as long as I do the following-

    - I downloaded the MyPlate app after testing a few others. So easy, I love it! It shows your food in protein/fat/carbs for the day and your progress toward your goal. Scan any food container or carton and it knows exactly what it is, automatically breaking down the components and adding it to your goal for the day. On my own, I eat nowhere near above 1800 calories a day. With the app, I can more purposefully consume what I need to gain that precious pound per week.

    - I bought Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides grass-fed powder sticks at Sprouts. Each has 10g of powder. It's tasteless, so you can add to anything. We need tons of healthy protein.

    - Per my wonderful IMD (integrative doctor), I replaced fruit with Juice Plus pure fruit powder (to also lower my fructosamine) so my body is flooded with 20+ healthy fruits daily from the powder, without making me too full to eat something else. You can take the capsules or open them up into water or smoothies and drink them down. Also helps for smooth bowel movements. Tons of water helps our cells, so I drink half my body weight in pounds in ounces (55 oz a day for me).

    - Speaking of Smoothies, I would caution against using glutamine powder (L-glutamine). I was using it, too, for mild heartburn (Glutagenics and Glutashield) but according to Dr. Thomas Seyfried (see Youtube video: "Cancer is a metabolic disease,") cancer cells are fed by not only insulin but by glutamine. Oops! So now I am staying low carb, low sugar, and off of glutamine.

    - Here's my daily weight-gaining smoothie recipe:

    (a) Ripple milk (unsweetened pea protein) OR Flax milk (Good Karma unsweetened vanilla)

    (b) Orgain Clean Whey Vanilla protein powder (I'm on auto-order from Vitamin Shoppe)

    (c) Juice Plus (I take 6 powder capsule a day. 2 orchard, 2 veggie, 2 berry, but usually only pour my veggie capsules in the smoothie)

    (d) A few cubes of ice

    - Exercise and lifting light weights (okay, I'm awful at the latter, but I know it helps gain muscle, not just fat at the middle)

    - Butter or olive oil on everything I can (long story, there's medical science on this)

    - Bacon (only uncured nitrate/nitrite free)

    - Adding my favorite foods - Marie Callenders Quiche, Cheese enchiladas (w/o rice because of the arsenic dangers)

    - Created a nice stress-free atmosphere at the dining table with tablecloth, flowers, relaxing upbeat music. Studies show that we should not eat when hurried and stressed. This helps me slow down, take deep breath and get those calories in.

    - Use a larger plate to trick the eye, so it doesn't look like you're eating so much.


    I hope this helps someone,

    Blessings,

    Esther

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    Great info, Esther. Thanks for contributing.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited July 2021
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    Ok so here is my current daily smoothie recipe

    1-2 cups kale (i currently have it in my garden)

    1 banana

    3/4 cup 2% greek yogurt - unflavored and sugar free

    1/2 scoop chocolate organic whey powder

    1/2 scoop vanilla ancient nutrition multi collagen protein

    1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry)

    smidge of water so it will blend and not be too thick


    blend well, and it is a tasty "milkshake". On the plus side, I have found since starting adding the ancient nutrition collagen, the hair shedding from Tamoxifen has been much less.


  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    Here's mine:

    Califia nut milk kefir

    Co Co Yo coconut yoghurt

    berries

    ice

    super greens powder

    organic whey protein isolate

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited July 2021
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    Santa - what super greens powder do you use? I think I might want to try your recipe. I think I should switch it up a bit.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    The brand I get is "Nested" Organic Super Greens.

    The recipe at the top of the thread is specific to reducing inflammation while providing healthy calories. The inflammation actually worsens the wasting in a vicious circle.

    So nut milks or coconut yogurts are used to address there being inflammatory properties in dairy.

    (Apparently organic whey protein isolate-- brand I get is "Tera's Whey"-- is the one form of dairy that will not worsen inflammation.)

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited July 2021
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    There's a newish society of Cancer Cachexia. They're having a conference in August. I expect some of their discussions will end up on twitter so I'll post if I see anything https://www.cancercachexiasociety.org/

    There's also a peer reviewed journal of cachexia and sarcopenia https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/1353921906...

    My recent smoothie is: coconut kefir, soy milk, Vega vegan protein powder, frozen blueberries

    The l-glutamine issue is complicated. Many people on chemos which cause neuropathy take it as it is supposed to be helpful. It doesn't always play nice with liver mets though - in fact I've read that all amino acid supplementation is probably contraindicated if you have liver problems. At the very least, proceed very cautiously. I've parked it for now & even though my liver enzymes have been pretty much normal for many months now, I'm hesitant to re-introduce it as I still have mets in the liver.

    cachexia in stage 4 is very difficult and often signals significant deterioriation. With a high enough tumor burden, it's very difficult to get ahead of the cancer's metabolic demands.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    Good info, moth.

    Yes L Glutamine is double edged sword.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited July 2021
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    I do feel like I need an alternative to so much dairy. I need large amounts of calcium because my bones are dust due to the Tamoxifen. I think I will look around for the coconut yogurt, if it has enough added calcium. Thanks for the suggestions SantaB

    Moth - thanks for the info on the creation of the society. I lost a dear friend recently due to colon cancer and saw the impact of Cachexia as the cancer was taking over. You are right there was no way to overcome the metabolic demand of the cancer.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    That's why getting ahead of inflammation is so important. I found this recipe when searching for a friend but she had passed the point it could help her. I think it's smart for all of us to be aware of the connection and address inflammation as part of living well/longer.

    Cocoyo is located by refrigerated supplements at my natural foods store (flax oil etc).

    If there is a need for more calcium there is one called Calcium D glucarate which the integrative Onc recommended.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited July 2021
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    Rah, I have to take a supplement of calcium because I developed a bone met. I'm taking 350mg of calcium citrate now.

    I was already on D3 2000IU.

    In Canada our soy almond and coconut yogurts are fortified with calcium. So are all our plant milks.


    santabarbarian, I looked up calcium d-glucarate and it appears that the calcium is not really a significant part of the compound. It's the glucarate - which might have cancer activity btw. But I don't think that formulation is good for a calcium supplement based on this https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medi...


  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2021
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    Moth, Probably not. I am guessing I must not have needed more calcium than whatever is in there it could be that other supplements I took covered me on calcium (in whey protein isolate, greens powder, mushrooms, fish oil?)-- or maybe the very specific stuff I ate... Anyway that was the only "calcium" I took as a pill.

    re: L Glutamine: When I was getting chemo he had me take it day prior to chemo, day of chemo, and day after. He wanted the protections concentrated at chemo time, but not to have me on daily. Guessing in this smoothie it may have more to do with people being in very late stage disease who can't eat, when the risk/benefit calculus may be different.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited October 2021
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    bumping

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
    edited February 2022
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    bumping this again.


  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2022
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    Bumping for general info

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875
    edited December 2022
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    hi. I received an error when I tried the link.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited January 2023
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    When patients simply "can't eat," providers can recommend that patients or family members create their own simple, calorie-dense medical nutrition beverage. A homemade shake contains antiinflammatory ingredients to help combat cachexia rather than omega-6 rich corn oil and high-glycemic corn syrup solids found in pre-packaged beverages. Start with unsweetened, non-dairy milk such as oat or almond milk and add unsweetened protein powder (rice, pea, soy, almond) equivalent to 18 to 20 g of protein. Blend a healthy monounsaturated or omega-3 fatty acid source such as flax oil, avocado slice, almond butter, or fish oil for added calories that also diminish inflammation. The addition of supplements such as omega-3 fish oil has proven helpful for stopping cachexia. Blend in fiber-rich foods such as berries, spinach, or a frozen banana for added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A small amount of fruit will contribute flavor and sweetness without the addition of a simple sugar source. Further flavoring can be added in the form of pure cocoa powder, vanilla or almond extract, or fruit preserves without any added sugar. For anti-nausea support, consider adding freshly grated or ground ginger (which can also be taken in tea or in capsules).

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited January 2023
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    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC42686...

    Not the same link but covers the same info; scroll down for Dr Block's contribution

    Basically inflammation driven -- so don't eat inflammatory ingredients; make your own "ensure" without dairy and sugar

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875
    edited January 2023
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    Thank you! I’m not at the point of not being able to eat but have noticed that, despite my efforts, I’m slowly dropping weight. 😠 Annoying and a bit concerning as I don’t have a lot of extra weight to play with. Really appreciate the link!