My mother had a carcinoid removed from her bowel a few weeks ago. Since then they have found more in her body (don't have a lot of detail, parents in Florida) via MRI and doctor told her that at this point they are not cancerous, but will do a monthly "shot" of something (didn't have name for it) as treatment to try to get rid of them. I will be going to Florida next week for 10 days and during that time i'm hoping to help with her nutrition, obviously find out more FROM the doctor (not parental version) and try to get her eating optimaly. Are there supplements recommended? Things to eat, not eat, etc. that I can at least help her with? She's 76, at this point weighs 96 pounds, (6 pounds UP from leaving the hospital), has no appetite but is trying and seems willing to listen to me. If anyone knows ANYthing about this please input. Thank you kindly in advance for whatever bits of wisdom you care to impart...i'm feeling a bit lost, worried, shattered...
We have similar situations. I asked what my 95 lb father should eat to gain weight and it appears protein powder (there are some good ones) mixed with heavy cream. Also bananas. And sweet potatoes smothered in butter. Dad appears to be able to digest these well where as meat has been tough for him to eat.
Also, we put my dad on medical marijuana and eats it in lemon bars they sell at the club. They have been instrumental in increasing his appetite.
My mom had early colon cancer and couldn't eat hard foods after removing part of the intestine. Is your mom in the same condition?
If it's a serotonin-secreting carcinoid (by far the most common, and treatment with octreotide suggests it is), she'll likely become niacin deficient (serotonin and niacin are made from the same tryptophan precursor), which could lead to pellagra. Pellagra is classically described as dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death if untreated, but more specifically: red rash and sensitivity to sunlight, often with a swollen red tongue, hair loss, and swelling of extremities; insomnia, weakness, and confusion; hypersensitivity to light, sound, smell, and sudden movement; stumbling, hyperactive reflexes, and aggression.
Consuming foods rich in niacin (B3) and avoiding leucine (excess has been implicated in carcinoid syndrome) might help. I'm unsure about tryptophan ... it makes sense that avoiding it while consuming niacin would inhibit the creation of serotonin, but I don't know how this works out in practice. Dr. Kruse, what's your take on tryptophan intake in carcinoid? Helpful or harmful?
She's 76. At this point, your mom no doubt knows what she likes and what she doesn't and knows what works for her.
It sounds like calories is what she needs (95 lbs!) and not a whole lot else. Tell her to eat what she likes and enjoy it; no matter what she does she's at the point where the end is far closer than the beginning. A weird regiment of food management is the last thing on the list of needs.