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Topic Quick question about loss of interest in food Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Emma On 2009.10.28 10:55
My husband has lost 30 - 40 lbs over the past several months. He was overweight to begin with so in and of itself that's not an issue. He says he wants to lose weight but that's not what I'm really seeing. He seems to have little interest in food and pushes it away, except for ice cream (which he eats enormous quantities of) and a strange fascination he has with string cheese. He insists that he's not having swallowing problems. I'm concerned about this. I know that others have mentioned lack of interest in food. What causes it, besides swallowing problems? I need some insight.

By annwood On 2009.10.28 12:17
Many things can cause a loss of interest in food - disease, depression, loss of smell and swallowing problems are a few. It is fairly common in PD as is the craving for sweets. At some point you give up any idea of a balanced diet and let them have whatever they want. The goal is to get in the calories. I would mention it to the physician and see if he wants to order a swallowing test even though your husband denies problems. Bottom line I think it is part of the disease.

By Emma On 2009.10.28 13:15
Thanks annwood. I think I will ask the doctor about a swallowing test. It can't hurt.

By karolinakitty On 2009.10.29 19:05
Emma ... my PDr too has lost about 60 lbs in the last 6 months, was overweight but most of his loss is due to Requip .... It has caused a great deal of nausea, so he couldn't eat. However, we did some research and found about the proteins having an effect with certain drugs, Requip one of them. He has leveled off now due to the new diet we came up with. Since both of his have been in Food Service for a combined total of about 75 years, and worked in many assisted living and nursing homes we know alot about what foods have proteins and what don't or have minimum amounts.
I have come up with a diet that has none for breakfast, a little for lunch and then for dinners i alternate a protein free dinner with protein dinner. Over the last 6 weeks or so it has worked beautifully. Nausea is about down to none and he can eat a full meal as he used to do. Also we time our meals around the meds. It has to be either 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking meds. It took awhile but we finally got it down and its working great.

Check on the meds he's taking before going into the expense of the test if you can. Jim still eats alot of sweets, but from what i've learned that's A-typical for PD patients......

By Emma On 2009.10.30 02:48
Karolinakitty, that's interesting information. I'm going to do a little research, you've got me curious now. Thanks!

By WitsEnd On 2009.10.30 08:53
A swallowing test is good. They also have some drugs that they give to help appetite that may be of some help.

Don't forget the Ensure and beefing up vitamins. Also check to see if certain foods are better than others because they are more or less spicy. And don't forget that even if he is having swallowing some foods...just about anything it seems can be pureed.

By Pick On 2009.10.30 16:42
I agree with annwood that it's wise to mention the weight loss to a physician. It could be due to any number of things related or not related to PD. Just a quick thought about one possibility in case it hasn't occured to are his fine motor skills? Is he pushing food away because he is having a difficult time using the eating utensils (the two foods you mentioned he likes are easy to eat)? If so an occupational therapist might be able to help. Good luck!

By Emma On 2009.10.30 16:55
Thank you all for the good suggestions, I will follow up on all of them. Pick - his fine motor skills are OK as far as managing his utensils to cut, stab and scoop. He does however have trouble at times getting the food to his mouth without spilling all over. Sometimes he puts huge inappropriate amounts of food on his fork too. We have an OT who comes to the house so I'll have her check it out. Good heads up, thanks!

By bandido1 On 2009.11.02 13:20
Emma: patient bob speaks out:

My motor skills disappeared some time ago. I began eating with a spoon about six months ago and I shove my food onto this spoon with a butter knife. I lost my sense of smell about two years before being diagnosed. None of this has decreased my appetite. I think the advice you have received is appropriate. An ice cream diet is not exactly what the Dr. will order. Surely you can come up with some alternatives. On the other hand, I don't believe in strict diets and I eat pretty much what my body tells me it needs. I have always been the cafeteria type.

To deal with sloppy eating you might consider buying an ample supply of bibs. My sister in law presented me with a dozen handcrafted from old toweling for my 78th birthday present

By dkleinert On 2009.11.05 01:59
Emma: My husband has the same issue. Give him ice cream and he gobbles it down. Give him hamburger steak, broccoli and potatoes and he leaves half of it on his plate. Worrisome and aggravating, both. My husband has lost 20-30 pounds in the last 6 months - and he didn't need to at all. I have had to take in (and am still doing the mountain of altering) all of his pants, both length and around the waist. I now watch him pretty closely when he eats, and he seems to swallow, and never complains of nausea. Good suggestions on here from everyone. Hugs to you - Emma.

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