Loss of Appetite

Hi All

My name is Lynda and I was diagnosed mid September 2014, had a simple mastectomy right side/ reduction left side on 31st, October. Then I had my first chemo on 17th December. I am currently having a few problems and wondered if anyone could help?

Last Thursday,I had my second cycle of EC chemo and am struggling to find things to eat. My first cycle I was able to eat egg on toast but this time I don’t really fancy anything. I really need to kick start my eating soon or constipation will be my next problem. I am managing shredded wheat and bananas and toast and marmalade

but that is hardly my 5 a day.

Any hints or tips would be much appreciated

Thank you, Lynda xx 









Hi LyndaMarie

I have put for you below links to some of BCC’s publications and information pages that you might find helpful.




Take care,

Jo, Moderator

LyndaMarie it’s hard when you don’t feel like earting. Is it because of nausea or taste changes? I find the first 5 days of my FEC cycles I have loss of appetite because of nausea and now I have horrid taste in my mouth. I find I fancy fresh things like satsumas which help. Speak to your oncologist if it’s nausea as mine adjusted my chemo drugs and antisickness drugs to make it more tolerable.

They also gave me movicol for the constipation but you need to get food in if you’re going to pass it out!

Try making soup during you’re good days and keep it in the dresser, you can pack you’re 5 a day in there. Other girls have talked about juicers and smoothies which might help.

Hope you find an answer soon

Hi Lynda, I can empathise as have just completed my 3rd FEC and am finding the nausea, bad taste and heartburn worse this time. I can manage to eat pretty much anything as feel my nausea’s worse when my stomach’s empty but have found that anything too spicy/acidic really causes terrible heartburn. Don’t know if you can stomach avocados? They’re bland but filling in a comforting way and am pretty sure they provide quite a lot of nutrients. To be honest I haven’t worried too much about 5 a day at the moment as I think we’re dealing with so much here, if you can get anything into your stomach, you’re doing well. Might be worth asking about something for the heartburn. Hope it eases for you x

Hi Lynda,
I’ve found that the bad taste eases off a bit about 10 days after each treatment (which coincides with the end of tablets (antifungals) and generally feeling sick. It does come and go though and I’ve started to suck strong mints when I notice it. Might not be possible though if your mouth is sore and don’t know if mints may make the heartburn feel worse? Pleased you’ve got something sorted with the medication though. I hope you take to avocados as they’re so kind to your system (I read recently that in some cultures babies are weaned on them). I’m starting to worry about my desire to eat stodge constantly. I’ve never ever had to worry about my weight before but seriously think I’m gaining now at an alarming rate!! Not going to think about it until after this journey though… X

Hi Lynda, I found that my appetite went too - well for the first 10 days of each cycle, I would eat fruit - melon and grapes,ice lollies, crumpets and drank alot of fizzy water. After the 10 days my appetite would come back and I would get some strange cravings - sausages, KFC! to name a couple, a few days before my next FEC I would be back to normal so made sure I always had a nice meal the night before chemo. I found this was the cycle I went through while having chemo and it was only after I had finished the course that my tastebuds started to come back. Im a year on now and I am eating everything again. Hang in there it does get better. Lisa xx

Hi Lynda,

Sorry to hear you are struggling with horrid side effects. Like you, I’ve found it really hard to eat or drink for the first 10 days after treatment (EC) as everything tastes and smells horrible. I made some lovely wholesome nutritious soups before my last treatment but just could not face them either. I find very bland things like buttered crackers, pasta with a little pesto & jacket potatoes have just about got me through the 10 days. Not great I know but better then nothing…My husband started to just present me with food and I found this easier than looking through the cupboards trying to find something that didn’t made me feel ill.

Even the smell off cooking can set me off which is a challenge with two teenage boys in the house who are always hungry lol …


I also got heartburn after the second treatment but have been given meds to prevent it so it’s worth asking your team for something to help you. I did try gaviscon but it didnt work for me and I got heartburn with every single thing I ate and drank. Fingers crossed the meds work for the 3rd cycle which is due tomorrow. I’m dreading it …but at least I will be half way through the EC.


(no idea why the text suddenly changed to italics)


Hope you feeling better today. Take Care.


Love Caroline xx

Hi Lynda, it sounds like you’re doing really well with it, I think trying to ignore the bad taste and just get on with it is probably what I’ve been doing too. I think I’ll try tic tacs instead of the strong mints and I think Caroline’s mention of the ice pops is something I’ll try to organise for next time round. I never got round to buying a veg/fruit juicer as was discussed previously with some of the other girls but I am trying to do my own soups (when I’ve got the energy!) as can stomach them a little better when I feel dodgy. My 4th cycle is on 28th Jan so you’re the day after me. I’ll be thinking of you and really hoping it goes as painlessly as possible, lots of love, Rachel xx

Hi Hopalong, like you my treatment is all (F)EC so I’m always dreading the return of the nausea. I consider myself lucky as have been able to cook as normal and eat regularly. I generally cook for my husband and kids so it’d be a big shift in routine if I couldn’t face cooking!! I like the idea of the M&S meals though, I may tell everyone else to fend for themselves while I eat those!! Really hope things aren’t too bad for you tomorrow with your penultimate treatment. All the best x

Hi Girls,
Im all EC too & struggling with taste smell making it hard to cook which is a challenge with a family but planning ahead has helped this cycle.
I have lost lots of weight in first 2 weeks after chemo but try to make it up in the third week.
Had 3rd ec last Thurs & feeling rubbish. Ice pops didnt work! But hay I know it will pass & only 3 to go.
Good Luck today hopalong & take care everyone
Love Caroline x

Hi Lynda, thanks for your kind wishes. I’m just hoping my veins hold out for tomorrow as have had problems with them recently. I’m making the most of these past few days of no nausea or metallic taste whilst also dreading the return of them tomorrow! In case I’m too out of it tomorrow, I’m wishing you all the best for your treatment on Thursday and hoping the appetite isn’t too affected. Lots of warm wishes and hugs, Rachel xx

Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell Caroline and in hospital (!) I couldn’t have my 4th FEC last Weds as my WBC count too low, so may have to start injecting to get them up…desperately hoping we’re good to go tomorrow. Hoping you’re not feeling too awful after your last treatment Lynda, hoping also that you’re able to face those M&S meals! Like you Marli I found the high carb foods really comforting and craved them after my treatments. I have started to make vegetable and fruit smoothies which have been actually very tasty and easily digestible. I do think though that the few days after treatment will also contain loads of crumpets with butter, pizzas and fish&chips! Hugs and good wishes to all you brave ladies xx

Hi ladies.
Can anyone help with heartburn please? Ended up in hospital overnight with a low temperature and bad stomach pain. They have put it down to constipation and advised me to take senna. I did mention the heartburn but it seemed to have been forgotten with everything else going on.
Are rennies any good? X

I found gaviscon better for heartburn, also omeprazole but that may just be on prescription. Just check side effects of what you’re taking for the top end doesn’t make the bottom end worse! Also ask gp for movicol or laxido for constipation.