Weight gain

Weight gain

Weight gain is an abnormal increase in overall body weight that can result in obesity. It is a common side effect of several cancers and cancer treatments. More than half of breast cancer patients gain weight during their treatment. It is linked to a poorer chance of recovery. Being overweight can also increase the risk of health problems. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems.

Some types of weight gain are related to a natural process rather than a disease. When you reach middle and older ages, it is a common symptom as your metabolism slows down.

It is very important for you to learn how bad (severe) your symptoms are.

How bad is my weight gain?

Baseline: It is an initial measurement of a condition that is taken at an early time point. It is useful for comparison over time to look for changes.

Mild weight gain: 5 – 10% from baseline. Most of the time, mild weight gain can be safely managed at home by following the tips given in the section below. People can make simple changes to their daily habits, like eating healthier and being more active, to help manage their weight.

Moderate weight gain: 10 – 20% from baseline. If the weight gain is moderate, people may need some extra help. They may need to see a doctor or therapist who can give them medicine or counseling to help with their weight. They should still try to eat healthy and exercise too.

Severe weight gain: Consult your doctor or dietician if you gain weight equal to or more than 20% from baseline. If the weight gain is severe, people may need to go to the hospital for treatment. Doctors will try to help them get healthy again by giving them medicine, therapy, or even surgery.

Keep track of your weight using Ankr (myAnkr web portal or the Ankr app). It will help you describe the problem to your doctor or nurse.

Warning signs/severe symptoms of weight gain that need immediate medical attention

Supportive care for weight gain?

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit fat, sugar, and refined flour.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use healthier cooking methods whenever possible.
  • Regular physical activity (walking or bicycling) can be helpful during and after cancer treatment.
  • Explore exercise classes designed for people diagnosed with cancer.
  • Try strength-building exercises if you have lost muscle.

What caused my weight gain?

  • Chemotherapy can lead to excess weight by causing edema, fatigue, increasing nausea, triggering intense food cravings, and lowering your metabolism.
  • Steroids prescribed during cancer treatment can lead to excess weight by: increasing appetite, decreasing muscle mass, and increasing fat tissue in the abdomen, neck, face, or other areas with long-term use.
  • Hormonal therapy can decrease the amount of certain hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone). Decreasesed hormone levels can increase fat, decrease muscle, and make it harder to burn calories.

How can Ankr help with your weight gain?

You are not alone in the journey of fighting weight gain. Use Ankr to:
(1) learn about the common symptoms of weight gain
(2) send message to your Doctor if they use Ankr platform*
(3) be better informed about how to prevent another weight gain

Sign up for a free 30-day trial now

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