Dr. Conners answers the question: What are some things to help with weight loss (cachexia) in Cancer? He discusses the use of medical marijuana, exercise, IV nutrition and more.
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Dr. Kevin Conners
So the first question about dealing with weight loss, how do you deal with weight loss? So weight loss, uncontrolled weight loss with cancer is called cachexia. So uncontrolled weight loss with cancer is called wasting syndrome or cachexia. That’s typically if you’re losing two to four pounds a week and you’ve not changed your diet, you’re not trying to lose weight. You’re at a state where you’re well below your normal weight, your desired weight, that you can’t seem to put the brakes on that weight loss. What are there for things to do? Now, I did share the whole video and blog posts on this, so do search for that on our blog as well.
But just briefly, some of the things that would be beneficial is marijuana. So marijuana can be really beneficial, using medical marijuana in a case of cachexia. Why? Because one of the things that marijuana does, using it as an edible or even smoking marijuana, can cause a person to have an increased appetite. So medical marijuana, the side effect, can increase a person’s appetite, can give a person the munchies, that has been known to say. And getting an increase in appetite is hard because usually with cachexia, it’s not that the person is eating 3000 calories a day and is still losing weight, they have other issues that are going on there. They’re nauseous, they’re not feeling well, they’re having a plate put in front of them and have a meal, and they’re able to eat a few bites. They just feel like they’re eating and can’t eat any more. Well, using marijuana could decrease nausea, could increase appetite, can decrease pain, can increase rest. So it could increase the depth of sleep that you’re getting. So that could give a person more energy by using medical marijuana. So it has some benefits there. And then also, doing some exercise, even if you’re confined to bed, getting some five pound weights and doing some arm curls. If you can stand up, doing some squats. Stimulating large muscle groups is very beneficial with cachexia, because if you’re stimulating large muscle groups by doing arm curls, if you can curl 10 pounds or 15 pounds or 20 pounds, do so. It’s very beneficial.
Your calling on the need for glucose in the muscles to make ATP, to make energy, to use the muscles, it steals ATP, it steals energy, it steals glucose away from the cancer. It can be very beneficial to help with muscle wasting syndrome. IV nutrition can be beneficial. So if you’re at a place where you could get IV vitamin C, you could also get IV nutrition, IV vitamins, that can be helpful. Even IV fluids can be helpful in these cases. Drinking protein shakes. But again, most people that are in a state of cachexia are like, “yeah, I made a protein shake for my husband, but he only drank a few sips of it and he just won’t drink anymore.” That’s where medical marijuana has its benefits because we could increase that appetite. So do go back and watch the video on the blog for more information on that, that could be helpful.