There may come a point in your life when you find a loved one undergoing a loss of appetite. It may be a result of an ongoing illness, stress, depression, or a result of trauma after an accident. Whatever be the cause, loss of appetite is something that should be a cause of concern, as it would later lead to other disorders, no to mention the disturbance it causes to the sufferer’s loved ones. While loss of appetite may look a difficult condition to remedy, it can still be curbed by using some tried and tested methods. So we bring you some effective techniques that will help remedy loss of appetite in your loved ones.
The first step towards helping your loved one get over loss of appetite is by being supportive towards them. Most of the people who experience a significant loss of appetite are usually aware of it, and their condition becomes even more cumbersome when they start worrying about it. So you can start by reminding your loved one that this is a common symptom of many illnesses and while it is difficult to reverse, it can definitely be worked upon. This is also true for people with serious illnesses who have an appetite but find it difficult to eat due to eat due to mouth sores and gastrointestinal symptoms.
In both such cases, pushing patients to eat would only aggravate their frustration related to lack of appetite. Instead encourage them to eat by making mealtimes an opportunity for them to socialise. Even if it is difficult for them to eat, you can make a supportive gesture by inviting them on the dinner table. If they are bedridden, then family members can take turns on sharing their meals at their bedside. Not only will these gestures make them feel included but may also improve their appetite.
Celebrate Small Victories
Another crucial step of improving the appetite of a person who’s been having trouble keeping it up is by setting realistic goals. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and the journey of regaining lost appetite is a long one. So make sure you set small achievable goals and celebrate every small achievement. This will give them the necessary psychological motivation to try and rebuild their appetite. By doing this, you will allow the patient to become an active part of the solution instead of just being told what to do.
Offer Favourite Foods
When dealing with appetite loss initially, it’s important to get the patient to eat something (or anything) instead of focussing on just feeding them healthy food. So make it a practice to offer them their favourite foods in meals. If they are undergoing a severe appetite loss, chances are that they would refuse any conventionally healthy food you’d offer to them. For this reason, it makes sense to offer them food that they love so that they at least get started on the path. When they start to feel like eating, you can offer them meals that are high in fat and calories so that their taste buds remain tempted. You can also make their meals more tempting by offering them colourful foods of different textures so that they find the act of eating more appealing.
Plan Small, Frequent Meals
It often happens that people suffering from loss of appetite find the idea of sitting down for a big meal quiet apprehensive. It doesn’t help the case when they know that it would be a meal that they wouldn’t eat. So instead plan small, frequent meals for them so that they can snack without undergoing the pressure that accompanies one huge meal. So offer them smaller portions at different times of the day, after every few years. You can also experiment with different food groups like fruits and dairy so that it would make things more interesting for them. This will also make it easier for you to ensure they get their daily dose of nutrition even when they miss one or two meals in between.
Avoid Food With Strong Odors
Many people suffering from long-term illnesses not only have a sensitive sense of taste, but a sensitive sense of smell as well. So if your patient is extremely sensitive, it would be a good idea to steer clear of serving them with meals that have strong odors or flavours. We’re talking about food items such as seafood, stinky cheese, boiled eggs, Brussel sprouts, and other forms of fried food. Conversely, you can offer them cold foods since they have fewer odours and will be bearable for those who find certain foods particularly nauseating.
While treating loss of appetite may look like a long and lonely road, remember that it’s a thousand times tougher for the patient. Remember that all your patient needs is some understanding, support, and patience from your end, and then the problem wouldn’t be too hard to overcome.