Protein Powders, Calorie Boosters, Appetite Stimulation?

Posted by brittbk @brittbk, Jul 27 8:53pm

Hi, all.
Looking for recommendations on protein powders, calorie boosters, appetite stimulators. My father has metastatic disease and has been off of therapy for 2 months now in preparation for clinical trial participation. Sadly, we just learned last week after he completed all screening procedures that the trial is not moving forward. We transferred his care to a new oncologist who is recycling the first chemo regimen he was on (gem-abrax) since he never had disease progression on that (have separate questions about this). However, because of receiving no treatment for this long, his disease has progressed with significant increase in pain. Palliative care has increased his dose of oxycodone to manage the pain, and this is making my father so loopy… which is now severely affecting his food intake. So, we are looking for things to "hide" in his food to keep his weight up and performance up until his resumption of chemo (and throughout), that will hopefully help control/reduce the disease and alleviate some of the pain to the point that he can reduce the oxycodone.
We have tried many options since the start of his journey. He hasn't really ever tolerated Boost or options that aren't clear. He does tolerate Ensure Clear, so he has those. Just looking for other options, or even things he can take to stimulate appetite (he refuses MMJ).

Please HELP and THANKS!!!

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Pure protein shake has 30 grams of protein per shake, 140 calories, Jevity 1.5 has 355calories,15.5 grams of protein per 8 oz container. Muscle milk has 40 grams of protein shakes but 5 bucks plus each, the others are 2 bucks

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We've been giving my mom this protein powder for the past couple of months, and I really feel like it's made a big difference: https://unjury.com/protein/unjury-unflavored-protein-container/. She lost ~15 pounds before she was diagnosed, kept her weight stable during chemo with Soylent drinks (we prefer them to Ensure because they have way less sugar), and has since gained back all her weight!

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By the way, that specific protein powder was recommended by my mom's dietician who works with oncology patients.

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@whilted

By the way, that specific protein powder was recommended by my mom's dietician who works with oncology patients.

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Thank you very much!

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My dad had some Megestrol syrup while in rehab and it definitely stimulated appetite. They don't like to continue it for too long, as it has some black-box warnings, but I don't think the potential side effects are as bad as starvation or pancreatic cancer. He also refused the MMJ.

His hospice staff later recommended another drug that he never got to try. It was some sort of anti-depressant (could help mental status as well) that had increased appetite as a side effect. I will update this post if I can find the name.

One thing to consider with opioids is constipation. Simply being "backed up" can also negatively affect a patient's attitude toward more food, so management of that may also provide benefit.

My dad also liked the Ensure Clear drinks (8g protein, 37g carbs on web nutrition label). They had no fat, but that's another decent way to get calories. I used to get 800 calories/day just from heavy whipping cream in my coffee. (Post-Whipple pancreas required a change from that!)

But also check for diabetic status, which can also affect calorie absorption.

Mayo in Jacksonville also has a clinical trial going on that combines Gem+Abrax+Cisplatin + "TTF" (Tumor Treatment Fields) equipment for pancreas cancer with mets to liver, but it's a one-site study that's not easy to get into.

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Thank you so much!
Are you thinking of Remeron? His Palliative Care doc just prescribed that today. He's also taking Miralax to help prevent constipation from the increased opioid use. I think he was also just prescribed Senokot.

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@whilted

We've been giving my mom this protein powder for the past couple of months, and I really feel like it's made a big difference: https://unjury.com/protein/unjury-unflavored-protein-container/. She lost ~15 pounds before she was diagnosed, kept her weight stable during chemo with Soylent drinks (we prefer them to Ensure because they have way less sugar), and has since gained back all her weight!

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Is the soy in this protein powder GMO?

I ask since I don't seem to get along with anything GMO. (Yes, I know that goes against accepted "wisdom" – just sayin')

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So sorry to hear about the clinical trial not moving forward! That is a huge bummer. I enjoy & highly recommend Organifi brand protein powder made with pea protein, plant based & very palatable. I like the vanilla as you can mix in different fruits like wild blueberries which are richest in antioxidants. You may want to avoid too much soy protein. I have read varying things about soy. I add bottled organic pomegranate juice to my vanilla protein powder. You can find that in many health food stores and at Whole Foods markets. Super delicious with the vanilla powder & frozen wild organic blueberries! You can also add broccoli micro greens which are extremely nutritious plus chia seeds to the blender for added cancer fighting nutrients. Protein smoothies are a great way to get additional nutrients! I would definitely stay away from any protein drinks with high sugar content! Muscle milk not so good. Organifi has pea protein in it. It is one of the top brands on the market. The pomegranate juice that I add, is high in antioxidants so a great booster to the immune system.

Best wishes and tell your dad to keep fighting!

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I have been trying with Fairlife protein drinks. They have 30 grams of protein. I like to eat carbs instead of drinking them in a shake. Fresh fruits have been appealing. I have nut butters for some fats. I had a Whipple' June 21st and am supposed to eat smaller more frequent meals, which means eating about every three hours. It is difficult to eat by the clock rather than because I feel like eating, It seems like having the protein drinks is good because they don't seem as filling as the solid foods. I had to adjust to a lot of digestive issues. Constipation now pretty well under control and helps to prevent some of the full feeling and loss of appetite I had when I was having difficulty with constipation

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I recommend KateFarms “standard sole-source nutrition formula.” My husband (pancreatic cancer) drinks about two of these a day, chocolate flavor is his preferred flavor. These are hospital grade meal replacement shakes which can be taken by mouth or through a feeding tube. We get a carton of 12 delivered every week (no delivery charge). Dairy free, soy free, gluten free, 455 calories, in other words a full meal replacement or addition. Nothing else compares, in my opinion. Good luck, Beatrix

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