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kay2 (@kay2)

Digestive issues and pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer | Last Active: Sep 15, 2022 | Replies (29)

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All, my husband had the Whipple in April 2020 and immediately gained back 20 of the 70 pounds he lost through the diagnosis and treatment program. He has struggled since the surgery to control very loose stools and in the past two months, developed a partial blockage in his colon, which was relieved with a stent placement (the new problem then is trying to control fecal incontinence but that's another matter). My inquiry today is looking for any and all advice on how to put weight back on! He has a good appetite and eats everything but it just doesn't stick, he has no fat on his body at all and it's depressing. Has taken Creon since the Whipple with a brief detour to ZenPep with no improvement so back on Creon. Docs and nutritionists have him on Immodium and Benefiber for the diahrrea but told us that sugar contributes to this problem, so we have to back off on that for a weight gain solution. Butters, cheeses, gravies, mayo, etc. – none of it seems to help him put weight back on. We do daily Ensures with high calorie content but not gaining ground. Has anyone with a Whipple ane resulting digestive/weight gain issues found something that works for you? Thanks in advance!

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Replies to "All, my husband had the Whipple in April 2020 and immediately gained back 20 of the..."

@buckslayer sorry to hear about your husband. My wife had an Appleby as well as other organs removed including the gallbladder. You don't mention whether your husband had his gallbladder removed. The loose stools/chronic diarrhea and weight loss have all been issues for my wife since her surgery 1 year ago. Unfortunately, I can't say that we have a remedy. We worked with a nutritionist to get coaching on food selection but that wasn't as helpful as we hoped since she already has good dietary habits, but try it if you haven't already. We have also seen a gastroenterologist to rule out whether blockages in the rerouted ducts were an issue. The most likely issue for my wife was that bile was uncontrollably dumped. She now takes cholestyramine to help limit the bile but it's only marginally effective. It can take a long time to gain weight while all this is going on so look for small victories. Has his weight stabilized yet? Good luck and God bless you both.

I should have mentioned also, that the dietary supplement shakes don't always work. Everyone wanted my wife to use them and we even found one that was mostly "clean" (Enu). Most of the shakes are filled with chemicals AND sugar, lots of it. While she was supplementing with shakes only once per day, the diarrhea escalated. She stopped the shakes and things improved slightly. The docs unfortunately mean well but the dietary aftercare isn't something they seem to know much about.