A patient with anorexia can be a challenge, especially if it becomes a chronic problem for the patient.


The first step is to evaluate the patient:

(1) to identify factors that contibute to the anorexia.

(2) to identify those foods that patient does and does not enjoy.


Interventions to increase caloric intake:

(1) Encourage food intake at meals timed for when the patient feels best.

(2) Encourage frequent snacks throughout the day, using energy-rich foods.

(3) Supplement favorite foods with additional protein and/or carbohydrate.


Interventions to stimulate the appetite:

(1) If the anorexia is related to drug therapy, then consider changing the drug, dose or timing to minimize anorexia.

(2) Consider use of a small amount of alcohol (beer, wine, appertif) before and during a meal

(3) Identify activities or routines such as light exercise or relaxation prior to meals that may improve food intake.

(4) Engage the patient in meal planning and preparation.

(5) Try to have meals in a pleasant environment.


Additional concerns:

(1) vitamins and essential nutrients

(2) control of concurrent any concurrent nausea or vomiting

(3) adequate fluid intake


If all else fails, medical marijuana or THC may be appropriate for some patients.


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