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How to increase hunger/apetite after pancreas-kidney transplant?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 1337 Questions
My husband has had a major food aversion since his pancreas-kidney transplant. He lost 40 pounds in less than two months. Nothing tastes right to him and he would rather not eat at all. Every bite is an endurance test for him. Why is this and how can he get his hunger back? Tried feeding tubes, but they always fall out.
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Eating Disorders
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 1 hour later
Hi Snoogle,

Thanks for the Query.

I Would like to know few more things which would help me in suggesting you better:

1.) Why was the Pancreas-Kidney transplant done? What was his Health Issue?
2.) When was it done?
3.) What medications is he on, right now?

If he has had a Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or any Pancreas Disorder, they are known to cause Decreased Appetite and Unintentional Weight Loss. If he is on Anti rejection medications or chemotherapy, even they are known to cause decreased Appetite which is called as Anorexia.

I can understand your concern, but I would ask you not to worry as the appetite should return when he is perfectly alright. But, it will take some time. Kindly don't worry.

First get him examined by his treating Doctor as he has lost close to 20 pounds, so that he/she may examine and rule out the exact cause for Anorexia by doing some tests like,

1.) Abdominal Ultrasound
2.) Complete Blood Count
3.) Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
4.) Kidney Function Test
5.) Liver Function Test

Try these methods at home:

1.) Try giving him 6 to 8 small meals per day even if he don't feel like eating. It should include fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables.
2.) Offer him protein XXXXXXX foods like fish, chicken, meats, XXXXXXX eggs, cheese, milk, peanut butter, yogurt and beans.
3.) Let him have plenty of fresh fruit juices, always prepare and keep them ready close to his bed so that it is easily available to him when he needs
4.) If he is averse to smell of certain foods, offer bland foods
5.) If he cannot eat by himself, you can offer to feed him by yourself, read a book or give him a massage
6.) If he can't stand the metallic taste, let him use plastic cups and forks.
7.) Ask him to avoid stress and practice relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation
8.) Let him exercise regularly and go for brisk walks for 30 to 40 minutes daily
9.) Keep a record of what he drinks and eats
10.) See to it that he sticks to his treatment plan and take him for regular follow up.

Take him to his Doctor immediately if:

1.) He has nausea and vomiting for more than 24 hours
2.) He has Pain while swallowing
3.) He is constipated
4.) He Passes less urine in a day.

Hope I have answered your Query, I will be available to answer your Follow up Queries.

Wish you Good Health.

Take Care.
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