Read these 11 Weight Loss and Illness Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Weight Gain tips and hundreds of other topics.
Gaining weight is a common need for people who have had a significant weight loss due to illness. Cancer patients, AIDS patients and people with some intestinal disorders need weight gain. In many cases preparation for medical treatments, like radiation therapy, advice weight gain. Wasting is common in these diseases because of the battle the body is waging, but also due to stress. Maintaining a healthy weight and ensuring that the body has sufficient fuel, will make the body stronger and better able to fight the disease.
Cystic fibrosis or CF is a genetic disease affecting the mucus glands which do not secrete normal fluid. A gene causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus, which blocks ducts in the body, particularly in the lungs and intestines which interferes with body functions like breathing and digestion. This digestive interference impeded a patient's ability to process food, so CF sufferers are often underweight and have a difficult time maintaining a healthy weight. Diet management is extremely important for each CF patient. As with any person, the key is to provide enough nutrition for maximum growth and strength. CF patients should eat balanced diet of high calories, protein, other nutrients, and add vitamin supplements to cover all the bases. Sometimes patients have trouble eating enough calories in their regular diet to maintain or gain weight. High-calorie nutritional supplements and weight gain shakes that come in powders to mix as a drink can be very helpful.
Irritable bowel syndrome, sometimes called spastic colon, is a condition of the colon (sometimes also the rectum) where a person experiences lower abdominal pain, spasms, diarrhea, and constipation. IBS is not an inflammatory bowel disease. Typically, there is no structural abnormality in the organs of a person suffering from IBS, but they may avoid eating, or eat very little to reduce the symptoms typically brought on by digestion. As a result, many IBS sufferers are underweight and may require calorie supplements or weight gain supplements to maintain a healthy weight.
In many cases, people who are perfectly healthy can be "underweight." They may have a high metabolism or have lean genes. When you are atypically underweight, and under the care of a physician, they will probably look at factors and symptoms that might be causing the weight problem. Being underweight can indicate several conditions and diseases including Diabetes Type I (in adolescents), hyperthyroidism, under consumption of food and nutrients, overtraining with exercise, AIDS, cancer, parasitic infection or anorexia and bulimia. All of these conditions would cause a person to be underweight, or to undergo a sudden weight loss. If you are not under the care of a physician and have experienced a drop in weight, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
In general, there are three factors that may lead to an unexpected weight loss. They fall into three categories, which include diseases, medications and psychological. Diseases stop your body from absorbing calories and nutrients, which is why some diseases are known as "wasting" diseases. These can include cancer and bowel problems. There are some drugs that can spark an unhealthy weight loss and if one has been introduced to you, you and your doctor may want to weigh the pros and cons of the effectiveness of the medication. Such drugs could be antidepressants, blood pressure medication, drugs to treat osteoporosis and anti inflammatory over the counter medications that may cause weight loss. Additionally, depression and anxiety can cause weight loss.
Wasting diseases don't allow the body to process nutrition properly and can cause weight loss and illness. AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a disease of the immune system that starts with HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV attacks the body's immune system and ultimately, destroys the body's ability to fight off infection. Ultimately, AIDS patients die from other diseases such as pneumonia or cancer. The weakened immune system caused by AIDS may cause weight loss or diarrhea. To combat this, a diet high in protein and calories can help you maintain your weight. Some patients engage in smoking marijuana, legal for people with AIDS in some places, which eases nausea and helps combat AIDS-related wasting. Additionally, vitamin supplements and calorie supplements are advisable because AIDS patients are likely to develop nutritional deficiencies.
Crohn's disease effects the digestive tract. It is an inflammatory disease and can cause diarrhea and problems in digestion which make it difficult from Crohn's disease to process food. Crohn's can also cause hemorrhoids, anemia and problems with the colon. Sufferers of Crohn's often have trouble maintaining weight and frequently need to seek treatment and calorie supplements to achieve weight gain and maintenance of a healthy weight.
Extreme weight loss, that can occur in an eating disorder can often create a situation where weight gain and nutrition are the primary avenues of treatment. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa or Anorexia and Bulimia, as they are commonly known, are diseases that are also known as eating disorders. In both cases, the person suffering from the eating disorder has a distorted image of their own body which leads to the person controlling, sometime to the point of obsession, every calorie and piece of food that goes into their body. Eating disorders are often caused by emotional or social factors and for men, sports that have specific weight ranges or categories. Both Anorxia and Bulimia are life threatening diseases that should be treated with psychological counseling and nutritional advice. If you are recovering from an eating disorder, your doctor may put you on a diet to gain weight. Ensure that you are eating small, balanced meals high in nutrition.
A common side effect of diabetes can be a condition called gastroparesis where the stomach nerves are damaged and don't work as well so the stomach does not empty its contents efficiently. As a result of this, gastoparesis sufferers may have a hard time digesting food and maintaining weight. Treatments include eating smaller, more frequent meals, reducing your intake of high fiber and high fat food (which can be hard to digest) and using a liquid diet until the condition lessens. Liquid calorie supplements and weight gain supplements, with measured sugars, can be invaluable to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight for people with this disorder.
When you are fighting any disease or medical condition, you need to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet, rich in what your body needs. In cases of people who are underweight, you still need all of your fruits and vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A balanced diet will help you keep and maintain your health. Weight gain supplements can help you, but if you are in ill health, make sure you get all of the vitamins you need!
When fighting cancer, chemotherapy is a common treatment and it can cause weight loss. Cancer weight loss can be dangerous for patients because they need all the nutrients they can get to fight the cancer. The reasons you may lose weight during chemotherapy are having a poor appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and dehydration. These are typical side effects of the chemotherapy itself. Its important to monitor your weight when you are going through the treatment cycle. If you notice a significant weight loss, you should contact your doctor. In situations like these, an easily digestible calorie supplement like a lactose free weight gain shake or a calorie supplement can help you maintain a healthy weight and a balance of the sugars, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals you need to fight cancer.