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Question
Posted by: Angie | 2010/08/10

weight gain and building up after long illness

my dad had been very ill. He is finally getting better after a 3 month ordeal. He has lost 30kg over the 3 months and is now very thin. I battle to get him to eat. What can I give him to build him up? He is still very weak from the illness and the drastic weight loss. I have started taking him on short walks down the passage. I give him a fruit and yoghurt smoothie first thing i the morning. All bran for breakfast, baked beans mid morning, a small meal of a protein like chicken with some veges and rice for lunch, a fruit for afternoon, or if I am really lucky half a muffin. then a dinner consisting of mash, veges and a protein. He has also started hiding his food. His current BMI is 19.1 and only weighs 53kgs. Please help! He is just fading away.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Angie
I am so sorry to hear that your dear Dad has been so ill and is now hiding his food. You don't mention what illness he suffered from, so it is a bit difficult to judge what types of food he can and cannot eat. I would firstly recommend that he should consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will be able to obtain a medical and diet history and then advise what foods he can eat and in which quantities. She/he will also be able to give you tips on how to stimulate his appetite. In general there are certain things you can do to boost a patient's energy intake. For basic information click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone the Nestle Consumer Services at 0860 09 6789 and ask about Nutritional Supplements to boost your Dad's energy intake. You can purchase liquid meal supplements at most chemist shops. Talk to the pharmacist about your Dad's need to gain weight and see which products he or she will recommend. Basically he needs to eat more food either by gradually increasing how much he eats at each meal, or by taking supplements IN ADDITION to his regular meals (not to replace meals), or by having more snacks between meals. If he uses a liquid meal supplement at the rate of 200 ml 3x a day, then he should gain 1 kg per week. Feedback from other Readers has indicated that they have successfully gained weight by using a meal supplement.
Holding thumbs for both of you
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Angie | 2010/08/12

Thanks Doctor. Dad is diabetic. He had gastric flu and bronchitus in the beginning of May. After 3 courses of antibiotics, his immune system was compromised. His blood sugar went out of control. He went into a diabetic coma, then he had a stroke. He has had a really rough time. Thanks for all the advice. I will definately use it.

Reply to Angie
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/08/12

Dear Angie
I am so sorry to hear that your dear Dad has been so ill and is now hiding his food. You don't mention what illness he suffered from, so it is a bit difficult to judge what types of food he can and cannot eat. I would firstly recommend that he should consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will be able to obtain a medical and diet history and then advise what foods he can eat and in which quantities. She/he will also be able to give you tips on how to stimulate his appetite. In general there are certain things you can do to boost a patient's energy intake. For basic information click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone the Nestle Consumer Services at 0860 09 6789 and ask about Nutritional Supplements to boost your Dad's energy intake. You can purchase liquid meal supplements at most chemist shops. Talk to the pharmacist about your Dad's need to gain weight and see which products he or she will recommend. Basically he needs to eat more food either by gradually increasing how much he eats at each meal, or by taking supplements IN ADDITION to his regular meals (not to replace meals), or by having more snacks between meals. If he uses a liquid meal supplement at the rate of 200 ml 3x a day, then he should gain 1 kg per week. Feedback from other Readers has indicated that they have successfully gained weight by using a meal supplement.
Holding thumbs for both of you
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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