After her Stroke my mom does not want to eat pushes her food way.

Posted by jules17 @jules17, Mar 1, 2019

My 83 year old mom who was in good health before her stroke 6 weeks ago… Mom always had a great Appetite and a healthy diet. She has recently passed the swallowing test but refuses to eat, she pushes her food away. Anyone have any ideas on how we can try to help or want to eat?

We have tried the change of scenery different ideas… she did have a lot of problems with her tummy and the liquid meds that they had to give her through the stomach tube could that be discouraging her thinking that eating has consequences of a bad tummyache ?
Thank you
Julia

I'd like to ask @lakelifelady @jmjlove @rldawg @pegharlow and @bermuda to join this discussion about eating after stroke.

Jules, it's not uncommon to experience a loss of appetite after a stroke. Your mom has had a lot of changes. You mention that she pushes her food away. Is she able to talk? Does she tell you why she doesn't want it? Does she push everything away or eat a bit and then push it away?

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JULES, I know how mom feels. Stroke wiped away my appetite, too. Hunger pains were rare, so had little clue I was hungry. Maybe taste buds are off, creating a bland flavor, with even the best of foods. Mine are partly dead, or so it seems, then sometimes there is a metallic flavor (chocolate, various sweets, even spicey foods). Of course it's not the food, it's my dysfunctional taste buds. Some seem to work, but those on left side of tongue do not. Between taste buds and plain lack of appetite, I learned to eat to live. I ate little, but tried to consume healthy food.

Also, don't know if mom communicates, but I had a major problem biting inside of lips and cheek. Chewing, as well as, minor sluggishness in tongue, contributed to making eating literally bloody business, lol. I had sensation on my left side, just poor control. Don't know if mom deals with this, but just throwing those things out as contributing factors to her disinterest in food.

For months after my large cerebellar stroke each and every activity was troublesome, overwhelming, challenging, and just plain work. Even eating. If she eats little, pack her *little* with high quality calories. Keep available to her calorie rich drinks, like "boost". Her therapy may help her work up appetite, maybe plan eating for after therapy? Stroke patients are frustrated. We seem to complicate even simple activities, like eating, because strokes suck the life out of us, though usually not literally. They can extinguish a sparkling personality, not necessarily with depression. Emotionally, I sort of flatlined. Life had a bit of a surreal quality. It was all around me, so apparently life goes on….but my place in it, my participation, no longer seemed important, had little satisfaction, and required so. much. work. I lost my usual zest for life. Hard to believe, instead of depression, I dealt with my own lack of will to participte, because participation required lots of thought, clumsy attempts at family dinner, using my stupid walker, and being upright. I was so tired, I just wanted to sleep. Not work on my participation skills, lol. As I improved, the veil lifted a bit, I began to find my place, enjoy humor again, use my deficits as my daily challenges and embraced working on them. Didn't love it, or enjoy it, didn't get all sporty, lol. But I knew I would not improve unless I put the effort in. God bless.

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After my accident I lost ten pounds and was very thin. My mouth was so dry that food had no taste and Food had an unpleasant taste. I drank Ensure for some time in addition to eating as much healthy food as would go down. Plus, I had a neck brace that pushed my head up a bit so I had to use a mirror in front of my face to see where my mouth was to put food in, which would often spill on my neck collar. It was miserable but I got through it.
Maybe your mom would drink Ensure or smoothies. Be sure she takes a multivitamin in some form. There is a special toothpaste called Biotine and there are lozenges, mouth washes or sugarless gums that help with dry mouth…..that is if she is able to take those products.

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@colleenyoung

I'd like to ask @lakelifelady @jmjlove @rldawg @pegharlow and @bermuda to join this discussion about eating after stroke.

Jules, it's not uncommon to experience a loss of appetite after a stroke. Your mom has had a lot of changes. You mention that she pushes her food away. Is she able to talk? Does she tell you why she doesn't want it? Does she push everything away or eat a bit and then push it away?

Jump to this post

Thank you all for your comments … It has been it has been over 10 weeks since the stroke. My mom has started being able to eat a little more variety… they have started her on different foods and she has Started getting her appetite back a little bit. She stills has her feeding tube in:(.
Hopefully it will be removed soon…
I appreciate your all the answers and help thank you so much

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@jules17

Thank you all for your comments … It has been it has been over 10 weeks since the stroke. My mom has started being able to eat a little more variety… they have started her on different foods and she has Started getting her appetite back a little bit. She stills has her feeding tube in:(.
Hopefully it will be removed soon…
I appreciate your all the answers and help thank you so much

Jump to this post

Hi, @jules17 – how are things going with your mom?

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Hi everyone,

I'd like to invite you to join us today, Wednesday, May 1 at 12pm CT for a video Q&A. Drs. William (David) Freeman and Rabih Tawk will be discussing all aspects of stroke, and will answer questions during the live broadcast.
Simply click https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-stroke-2/ for details.
Drs. Freeman and Tawk will answer questions live. Post your questions before and during the broadcast.

Return to this page, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-stroke-2/ to take part in the video Q&A live on May 1 at noon CT. It will also be archived on this page.

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