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Loss of Appetite after Hysterectomy

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Loss of Appetite after HysterectomyI have not had an appetite since my hysterectomy. After just a few bites, I either feel full or nauseated. Is this normal? What should I do?

Many woman find they have no appetite in the first days and weeks following their hysterectomy. The stress surrounding surgery, new medications, blood sugar issues, and anesthesia can all contribute to the loss of appetite. Because calories and good nutrition are important for recovery, it is critical that you take steps to address this problem.

Not eating can actually increase symptoms of nausea as well as cause dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Rather than trying to eat a full meal, start with snacks and frequent, smaller meals. Try to eat something with protein first since it is essential for healing. Easy choices can include crackers with cheese or peanut butter, an egg with toast, cereal with fruit and milk, or small portions of meat with rice.

At times, it can be easier to drink than eat. Try supplementing your diet with shakes, juices, smoothies, milk, or products such as High Protein Boost, Ensure, or Carnation Breakfast. You also need to be sure you are drinking adequate amounts of water. Dehydration can compound your symptoms.

You may be able to tempt your appetite with your comfort foods or seasonings. Start with small portions of your favorite foods. Also, use a variety of spices to make foods seem more appealing and flavorful. Marinating meats may also create a more tempting flavor.

Initially, soft foods may be easier to eat and digest. Classic options are mashed potatoes and gravy, broths, applesauce, gelatins, puddings, and ice cream. You can also add toppings to increase nutritional value. For ice cream, gelatins, and yogurt, add nuts, granola, and fruit. Pieces of meat and cheese can be added to mashed potatoes and broths.

When you can, be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Raw produce may be harder to digest if you are having digestive issues, but the coldness may be appealing. You can also garnish both fruit and veggies with a variety toppings to add calories and nutritional value to your snack.

You can also start with potatoes, noodles, and breads to create tempting dishes. Using a baked potato as a base, you can also create a tempting snack. Depending on your preference, you can add cheese, meat, broccoli, tomatoes, sauces, and seasonings. For noodles, choose your favorite and add sauces, meats, cheese, vegetables, and spices. Your favorite bread can be the beginning of a sandwich that includes your favorite cheese, meat, sauces, and vegetables. You can eat yours hot or cold, dip it in a soup, or cut it in half and save the rest for later.

Because eating is important for proper healing, be as creative as you need to tempt your taste buds. Now is not the time to worry about losing extra pounds or sticking to a strict diet. Without calories and nourishment, you will not heal well. Not eating will also keep you in the cycle of nausea and lack of appetite, so break the cycle one bite at a time.

You should also be working with your to be sure there are no other underlying health concerns. Your doctor may also want to adjust your pain medications or add an anti-nausea prescription to help with symptoms. A history of certain condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or cholesterol concerns may lead your doctor to help you develop a specific diet as well.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

05-08-2013 - 12:36 PM


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