View Full Version : Not able to eat, any useful suggestions?

08-31-2011, 06:35 PM
Due to some sort of stomach issue I am unable to eat, food cant drain from stomach to intestines so anything I eat just sits in my stomach and I eventually throw it up.

The GP I saw today didnt seem concerned and prescribed maxolon and told me to figure out what foods causes this.

Anyway, she was very little help. I know others on here suffer from similar... wondering if you have suggestions? I feel so weak from not eating... what do you guys do when you cant eat? Losing weight isnt an issue, Im overweight anyway and I guess this is why no one has any sympathy for my stomach issues.

My lupus has been insane as well, my head is killing me I have a fever and my joints hurt like mad.

08-31-2011, 07:35 PM
Sounds like you have gastroparesis....here is a link. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastroparesis/DS00612. I have it and I take Reglan. Reglan can have serious side effects for some people, so if ever being prescribed that, ensure you are aware of the side effects.

You should have a gastric emptying test conducted...A gastric-emptying study measures how long it takes for food to move through your stomach...you eat food that contains a small amount of radioactive material. A scanner that detects the movement of the radioactive material is placed over your abdomen to monitor the rate at which food leaves your stomach. I had this done, they used a scrambled egg for my test...

I drink high protein drinks when I feel I can't eat. It empties from the stomach faster...They say fatty items stay in the stomach longer, but for me, usually it is when I eat carbs I have the biggest issues with them.

I also have GERD and take Protonix...

Or get an upper endoscopy... may help rule out other conditions that can cause delayed gastric emptying.
edit...I just noticed Maxolon is another brand name...it is the same as Reglan....

Be well...hugs. O

08-31-2011, 07:42 PM
I know it's not a solution really but when I went through something similar I lived off of oreos and milk, protein drinks, and Ensure. Anything more solid caused me such pain. Either going down the esophagus or causing horrible lower gi spasms. The oreos I would soak in the milk so they were basically mush. And of course the protein drinks and ensure were liquid calories. but it's not a long-term solution. Still, if you can handle something like the drinks to at least keep your strength up until you get a real solution... The mushy cookies gave me the *impression* of eating something solid.

08-31-2011, 08:50 PM
Thanks heaps guys!!! Both of these were helpful. Maloxon is the same thing so maybe its not as dangerous as I thought. I was worried about taking it.
Yeah I have VERY slow digestion... and have for a long time and have been frustrated because the doctors do NOTHING. I think it is because I am overweight :/ They figure I am getting enough nutrition LOL

The doc did at least tell me to stay away from carbs because they are likely to make it worse. Truthfully, I eat NO fat but that means I eat a moderate amount of protein and more carbs. I am going to cut the carbs out almost entirely... leave myself with meat and vegies for food... I really already eat very very healthily... now I am going to cut out all rice and oats and rye and wheat etc :/

I have currently been surviving on "up n go" and powerade... today I had some soup... but the biggest problem with this as you would both no doubt know... is it doesnt feel right to not eat solid food lol And I was looking for a way to trick myself into thinking I am "eating" rather than drinking... so I love your soaked biscuits idea.
However I am lactose intolerant as well!! LOL so the up n go drinks have lactose, which is a problem. I can get lactose free milk though, perhaps I need to look into protein shakes.

Thanks heaps guys : ) I dont think this is an issue I will get a solution to any time soon so any coping strategy you can share is muchly appreciated.

09-01-2011, 09:18 AM
I have developed a bit of a problem with milk as well. Don't know if it's the lactose or not. I've had a box of almond milk in the 'fridge for a couple of weeks (unopened) that I haven't braved yet. I miss milk terribly but was drinking it at night to help me relax and make me feel full before going to sleep. Only to wake up with some pretty miserable "effects." :P So I'm afraid the ol' biscuits and milk wouldn't work this time around for me. But if the almond milk doesn't irritate my gut I may at least have that if I get into trouble. Don't know the carb count on that though. Might be high. Soy's not a great idea for us so I didn't bother with trying soy milk. My issue was with solid proteins in terms of trying to digest them - meats were killer. And anything fried. So it's just dependent on the individual and what they're fighting. Powerade has a lot of sugar. We get the Powerade Zero. Don't know if you have that there or if you can tolerate sweeteners but if you need to avoid sugars, then you might look into it. My husband has to watch his blood sugar so that's why we avoid the regular Powerade. the Zero keeps the electrolytes solid but doesn't spike his blood sugar. But of course, not everyone can tolerate sweeteners.

I do understand. I remember thinking back then - if you had asked me as a kid or in my twenties if I would ever get tired of biscuits and milk I'd have thought you were absolutely insane. But after about two years of that "diet" (I lost 26 lbs in 3 months doing that, btb - not good) I was so sick of Oreos it was ridiculous. Now that my gut has healed significantly, I want them back. But my cholesterol goes up too easily so they're off the list. :)

Good luck.

09-01-2011, 01:26 PM
Giggle, my daughter suffers with the same kind of symptoms and the GI doc finally said that she obviously has slow motility, but stopped short of diagnosing gastroparesis. She takes Reglan, which helps, but also Amitiza (to help with constipation) and Creon (pancreatic enzymes that help digest the food). The Creon actually helps quite a bit! Both are prescription.

Fiber makes my daughter worse, because it slows down digestion. She does best with simple carbs and goes through cycles - sometimes she eats almost normally, other times she can't eat at all. The gastric emptying study for her was sort of helpful. Her stomach emptied really well for the first 17 minutes and then stopped. Nothing else left her stomach over the last 43 minutes of the test.

I understand about the weight issue and doctors blowing you off because of it. My daughter was actually gaining a significant amount of weight when this started up, despite having to be on nausea meds around the clock. Fortunately we found a compassionate GI doc who did the gastric emptying study and endoscopy and the abnormal results were enough to keep the doctors interested. If you haven't already seen a GI doc, that might be the way to go.

09-01-2011, 03:06 PM
Giggle..Other things I do and eat. I don't go to bed with a full stomach. Eat small meals and chew my food thoroughly. I use Splenda and not sugar or other artificial sweeteners as per DR instructions regarding Lupus. Sugar, simple carbs are related to causing inflammation in your body and Lupus is an inflammation to the whole body disease....eat in moderation.

I make the following recipe for nutritional value when I can't eat.

1 1/2 cups Kefir Yogurt...bottle like a thick milk. I use plain. Maybe they have lactose free yogurt?
1 cup of frozen whole berries.
1 tsp of Splenda
Blend till smooth and drinkable or can be thick like soft serve ice cream.

I also drink Atkins drink because of the higher protein. I prefer Dark Chocolate. This is made from Dairy protein...so maybe not a good choice for you.

I do not eat raw foods when my stomach is acting out... like bananas, broccoli and etc. Steam all vegetables.

Soy milk....seems more digestible at times, but each person with Lupus is different, so some people may not tolerate soy very well. People associate soy with estrogen and think it is inflaming...correlation that Lupus maybe estrogen hormone related. For me, it does not aggravate SLE

Maybe try not combining food. Like just eat steamed veggies at one sitting, and poached or boiled chicken at another.

Sometimes when I eat dense food, they are slow going down my esophagus. I have narrowing of the food tube...so I have had it dilated.

DR are sometimes ignorant because over weight people can be malnutrition too.

I hope things are better for you today. Sounds like you are in a flare. For me, showering daily helps to keep my body moving and seems to lessen the flare while I shower...gives me a break in the day...

Be well...hugs. O.

09-01-2011, 03:23 PM
i have this problem ocassionally so when i do i stick to jelly, yogurt,clear soups, such as broths, and if you are not gluten intolerant. arrowroot biscuits soaked in hot water having protein drinks is good idea, i also take maxolon good luck hope you feel better soon hugs

09-01-2011, 04:59 PM
Thanks guys : )

The Doc did give me some rules to follow but I forgot a lot of them until I read your suggestions!

KCat... I was feeling queasy on the powerade and told the doctor and she scalded me for drinking it straight, so I dilute it now. But sweeteners tend to make me feel a bit breathless and light headed so I try to stay away from them. In the past two days I have lost 3kgs, I think thats about 6 or 7 pounds. Maybe I should call it my rapid detox diet lol

Gizmo... I dont think they want to put a label on it, I know I worry I might have something wrong with my pancreas and thats the cause of all of this. I will have to mention it to my GP when she gets back. The sad thing is Im not obese or anything or terribly over weight... Im just not clearly starving lol But at the same time my weight has NOTHING to do with what I eat and everything to do with not having the energy to exercise.

Oluwa... The doctor said that sugar will cause further inflammation and will eat away at stomach lining. :/ and i LOVE steamed vegetables but I live in mackay! LOL We have very few vegies here. I might make a trip down to the shops today and buy up bunches of vegies. I have a similar breakfast to that every morning... a handful of frozen raspberries, some low fat yoghurt, lactose free skim milk and some ice cubes... blend it up to make a smoothy : ) its delicious.

Your suggestions are great especially not combining food... that will help me find out what makes things worse. I also wonder... I skipped a few days worth of plaquenil, perhaps that made things worse... I might try it out again in a month to see if it happens again.

kim,l... jelly!! : ) I didnt even think of that. But does jelly have gluten? I wonder... I might check that out : )

Thanks heaps again guys, Im heading off to the shops to check out what I can do. : )

Linda From Australia
09-01-2011, 10:12 PM
Giggle when do you take your Plaquenil? If you take it at night time before you go to sleep, most of the symptoms happen when you are alseep.

Also the dietitian at the hospital put me on Ensure Plus to try to stop my rapid weight loss. You can only get Ensure Plus with a perscription. You can get a lower calorie Ensure from some pharmacists. Perhaps you can have those instead of eating. I was told a liquid diet is easier to tolerate and absorb for a short period of time.

I do hope you can resolve the difficulties VERY SOON!

09-04-2011, 02:55 PM
Thanks Linda : )

Yep I take my plaquenil very last thing before bed. If I dont, I feel rather off from it. I would hate it if for some reason the doctor didnt want me to take it at night anymore, it would make living very hard.

I dont know whats causing the stomach thing... but for example (WARNING REALLY GROSS PART COMING UP) I had eaten fish, rice, salad and sweet n sour sauce at 6:30pm, by the time I went to bed I was really bloated and in pain... burping and spent the whole night feeling like I would vomit. The next morning I got up at about 8am and was so weak I had to shower sitting in a chair... got out to try dry myself and vomited all of the previous nights dinner, the whole thing. So that food had been sitting in my stomach for over 12 hours. That also makes vomiting even less pleasant than usual. Later that day I tried to eat toast and just vomited it back up that night. I haven't eaten anything solid since. I have been steaming the heck out of vegetables until they are virtually mush... I dont vomit it up, but it sits in my stomach for HOURS.
The doc I saw last time said it was a food reaction... but I dont think it is, because it seems to happen randomly.

Linda From Australia
09-04-2011, 06:04 PM
Sounds like you are going through a terrible time. Have you written a food diary? That might give your doctor some clues. I really think your doctor needs to take this a bit more seriously!

09-04-2011, 06:12 PM
Sounds like you are going through a terrible time. Have you written a food diary? That might give your doctor some clues. I really think your doctor needs to take this a bit more seriously!

Have I mentioned how glad I am that you are back? I, and the forum, appreciate you. (Will ask how you are feeling in PM LOL)

09-04-2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks Linda for the suggestion!!! I actually do keep a food diary but for weight loss purposes... I might see if I can print it out and take it to the doctor or just start keeping a written food diary. I didn't even think of that : ) I will start one today.
I think my big but keeps the doctor from taking it seriously lol I think they always think if it was causing a problem I would be thin and getting thinner.

Linda From Australia
09-04-2011, 10:27 PM
I spent close on 3 weeks in hospital and the primary reason written on my admission papers was "unintentional weight loss". I am not underweight, but they still took it seriously for me. It doesn't matter how much weight you loose, if it is unintentional and chronic, it needs to be taken seriously. Mind you though, it has been very expensive getting all the tests done. I am out of pocket thousands of dollars! There goes my holiday money!

09-05-2011, 02:37 PM
When I told the doc last time that I had lost weight... she said "well thats good, you could stand to lose a bit"


I dont know why, Im just one of those people that look fatter than they are. For my height the healthy weight range is 66 - 75kgs... a few years back I went to the doctor for birth control and the first thing he asked me was my weight, said I should lose a few pounds. I was 73kgs.
Another doctor I went to because I had gained weight with no reason and was 79kgs, told me I should weigh more like 59kgs!
Check out the BMI yourself, I am 176cm tall.
Maybe its the huge boobs, I dont know, but its pretty demoralizing :(

You look trim in your avatar there. I think appearance is 90% of the battle.

Shame you lost your holiday money... you could have used a holiday after all the dramas!! I cant imagine 3 weeks in hospital, I would have pulled my hair out after a week!