30 Day Water Fast Weight Loss

Weight Loss For Cancer

For normal functioning, the human body needs to maintain a balance between the calories received from food and energy costs. At a constant level, weight is kept by a rather complex hormonal and metabolic regulation of the processes of absorption of nutrients, the formation of these fats and glycogen and the expenditure of energy obtained from the breakdown of fat for the body’s needs.

Three Main Reasons Can Cause Weight Loss:

  • Insufficient intake of nutrients from food
  • (Starvation, impaired digestion);
  • Loss of nutrients by the body (diarrhea, vomiting);
  • Increased energy consumption (exercise, inflammation, tumors).
  • If the first reason is sometimes arbitrary (diets), all foods are based on this, the rest arise solely against our will.

With insufficient calorie intake with food, the body mobilizes its energy reserves in a strictly defined order and with a certain speed: first, fat from the subcutaneous tissue is consumed, then the fat surrounding the organs, then the fat cells of the organs. Next comes the turn of the amino acids of muscle tissue, which are also used in order: first - the proteins of skeletal muscles, then the proteins of the organs, the most critical organs losing proteins last. Reducing weight by 10-20% is scary not by changing your wardrobe, but by lowering resistance to infections and decreasing activity due to weakness. Sometimes weight loss, the extreme degree of which is depletion, is confused with cachexia, which can occur without weight loss. Cachexia is also caused by insufficient intake of nutrients or violation of their absorption, their rapid decline, but only the processes occurring in the body are irreversible. We will talk more about this later.

There is an opinion that weight loss- One of the first signs of cancer, which is far from the case. Even with tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, weight loss occurs at a late stage of the disease, when cancer replaces a significant part of the organ, interfering with the food intake in the organ and disrupting the process of its digestion. Weight loss can be one of the first “oncological” symptoms in some forms of lung cancer when the tumor itself synthesizes or forces the body to produce biologically active substances that interfere with normal metabolic processes. Such weight loss refers to par neoplastic symptoms, that is, existing only in the presence of a tumor. Tumors of the lung can show similar activity at an early stage of development, and adequate treatment (removal of a part of the lung with cancer) leads to normalization of weight.

During an illness, a cancer patient loses weight more than once, but you should not always be afraid of this. At some stages of life, weight loss is programmed and inevitable.

Often the tumor is found by chance when it has not yet manifested itself with any symptoms. No doctor will diagnose cancer when first treated; arising suspicion must be confirmed or rejected. Suspicion of a malignant tumor is always severe psychological stress, which inevitably affects the appetite: for most, it decreases. They make people forget about food and sleepless nights on the eve of a visit to the clinic, the need to combine work schedules with visits to the doctor and tests, the ban on breakfast in certain types of research. Adds anxiety and the need to hide the diagnosis from relatives and colleagues: a person does not want to disturb his family ahead of time, he has concerns that “well-wishers” will take advantage of his involuntary refusal from career ambitions, and the suspicion of a tumor will be just a mistake.

After the completion of the survey, there is no reason for the normalization of nutrition either - stress is replaced by depression. Despite the widely propagated opinion about the possibility of curing cancer, few people believe in it. For most, the diagnosis of a malignant tumor is the beginning of the end. Before eating here. During the examination period - from the appearance of suspicion of cancer to the establishment of a definitive diagnosis - the cause of weight loss is banal starvation.

The diagnosis is established; then there are two possible scenarios: treatment and observation. The latter, as a rule, testifies to the inexpediency of therapeutic measures with the detected prevalence of the tumor process. But even in such a situation, a person will not necessarily lose weight: life is temporarily fairly calm, there is no running around at the polyclinics, the hope for a favorable outcome has not disappeared, the state of health is no worse than before, which means that the weight is restored to its original level and even exceed it. Weight loss will begin later when the tumor manifests itself with many other symptoms while losing weight will be one of the most recent.

Consider the possibility of restoring weight to the initial level during the passage of therapeutic measures. The probability of this is low: first, the preparation for the operation and the postoperative period do not provide for sufficient nutrition. Secondly, the removal of an organ requires high energy expenditures on the restoration of damaged tissues and the compensation of lost functions by other systems. When a part of the stomach or intestines is removed, the “physiology” of the nutrition process is completely disturbed, and the weight does not return, but it is stable. If an organ that is not involved in the digestive process is removed, then a month or two after the operation the weight will be gained.

During anticancer drug treatment (chemotherapy), weight fluctuates. Due to nausea and vomiting during the course, it is reduced. A week after the end of the course, the pressure begins to increase, in the last week of the intercourse interval the patient gets pleasure from eating - the taste and olfactory sensations are restored. And then the new course begins, and the weight again decreases. At each subsequent session, the percentage of weight loss can increase because waiting for vomiting (psychogenic nausea and vomiting) joins, and the higher the patient’s intellectual and cultural level (for men, psychogenic vomiting is not typical), the more she loses weight.

The reason for losing weight immediately after completing a course of chemotherapy may be damage to the mucous membranes, manifested by stomatitis ( oral cavity ) or colitis ( intestine ) - a manifestation of colitis is diarrhea - or choler cystitis (biliary tract). When stomatitis is almost impossible, with colitis and choler cystitis - is harmful. So there is a weight loss. Damaged mucous membranes are restored by the end of the intercourse interval - in the third week, so it is difficult to gain weight by the beginning of the next course. However, after completing all courses of chemotherapy, the pressure will not only recover but may become excessive.

In radiation therapy, weight loss is usually caused by damage to the mucous membranes of organs that have entered the irradiation zone. If the organs of the head and neck are irradiated, the process of chewing is disturbed: the number of saliva decreases, the mucous membrane is easily injured, taste and olfactory distortions join. The food is not only tasteless, but the process of eating causes pain. Irradiation of the mammary gland (the scar after its removal ) or the respiratory system may cause esophagitis ( damage to the esophageal mucosa), and then the movement of the food lump gives an extremely unpleasant feeling of scratching the swollen mucous membrane, so patients voluntarily refuse to eat. Abdominal organs are rarely irradiated, but with rectal cancer, radiation therapy is part of comprehensive treatment, and the burn of the mucous membrane is a very frequent complication, and the difficulty of the defecation process leads to the observance of the fasting regime. Radiation therapy for cancer of the body or cervix damages the intestinal mucosa, and to protect themselves from pain; patients try to eat less. Nausea during radiotherapy in most patients, however, is not very intensive and short-lived, the lack of sessions on Saturday and Sunday allows you to maintain a reasonably stable weight.

In the terminal (final) stage of the disease, in contrast to pain with bone lesions, cough - with tumor nodes in the lungs, shortness of breath - with effusion in the pleural or abdominal cavity, weight loss is not the first symptom. Weight loss against the background of a covert, almost “silent” disease is not characteristic of a malignant tumor. As a rule, weight loss follows a whole chain of pathological symptoms, when there is no doubt that the development of cancer has gone far. For example, if the liver is damaged, nausea and vomiting first appear, the temperature rises, and only with the aggravation of symptoms does weight loss occur.

In cancer of the oral mucosa, tongue, throat, esophagus or stomach, weight loss is often caused by forced starvation due to a violation of the passage of food; the condition can be alleviated by surgically placing the gastrostomy tube (literally: “hole in the stomach” ) and feeding the food directly into the stomach. It is possible to conduct food through a probe, but such assistance is not only much more expensive, but also less effective. Nutrition of the body through the introduction of solutions (parenteral nutrition) cannot adequately meet the needs of the organization and is not readily available due to the complexity of organizing this care at home, not to mention its cost.

With the formation of pathological fluids in the cavities (pleural or abdominal), a considerable amount of protein leaves the organs and tissues, first into the liquid, and then out - during the evacuation of the effusion. Weight loss during this period of life is primarily due to intoxication (poisoning) the products of the presence of the tumor, joining cancer and inflammatory changes. Against the background of chronic poisoning with the decay products of cancer and the steadily increasing need of tumor and its metastases in nutrients, it is not possible to replenish the protein lost by the body’s tissues. This is cachexia - a severe condition characterized by irreversible weight loss and intoxication. In this state, the patient loses the ability to self-service, radically changing personal characteristics. Modern pharmacology provides opportunities to alleviate the condition, but for a brief time. During this period, it is advisable to apply to the hospice, whose specialists can reduce the state of the patient and help relatives to organize home care.

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