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Symptom and description
Loss of appetite is a loss of the desire to eat. Not eating can lead to weight loss. Weight loss can cause weakness and fatigue, which affect your ability to perform normal activities. Proper nutrition also helps your body prevent and fight infection. Weight loss or lack of appetite may be due to the cancer or sometimes to treatments for the cancer.
You will need to learn the possible causes for loss of appetite and inform your doctor of the signs. You should report the following causes for loss of appetite:
Taste changes, such as with sugar, salt, caffeine, meat
Side effects from medications
Prevention and management
Increasing food intake is important in maintaining your weight. Maintaining your weight will help you perform your daily activities.
To stimulate appetite:
To avoid a feeling of fullness:
Avoid high-fat foods.
Drink liquids at least 30 minutes before meals.
Chew food slowly.
Avoid gas-forming foods, such as cabbage or broccoli and carbonated liquids such as beer or soda.
Cook all raw protein foods, such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish.
Thaw frozen foods in refrigerator or microwave, not at room temperature.
Wash all fruits and vegetables.
Use only pasteurized dairy products.
Wash hands well with soap and water when preparing or serving foods.
Use strict cleaning procedures for all utensils and cooking/storage containers.
Refrigerate all foods in need of refrigeration after shopping or meal completion.
Serve hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Avoid leaving foods at room temperature.
Do not use foods beyond expiration dates.
Other methods of appetite stimulation may include the use of medications approved as appetite stimulants, as recommended by your doctor.
To manage side effects:
Report any side effects to your doctor or nurse, for instance, dry mouth, mouth sores, nausea and vomiting, or constipation.
Ask if your medication needs changing.
Keep a log or diary of changes in mood, appetite, or other feelings you experience.
Management of weight loss or lack of appetite is aimed at increasing food intake. To monitor your success:
Notify your nurse and/or doctor if any of the following occur:
Make Your Dreams Come True: Get a Better Night's Sleep
A good night's sleep is essential to good health. Make your dreams come true by finding solutions to your sleep disorder with Broward Health's experienced and specialized team of sleep specialists. Broward Health Sleep Disorders Centers are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). We offer a comprehensive program that is dedicated to evaluating, diagnosing and treating sleep disorders in adults and children. Our sleep medicine specialists and registered, highly trained polysomnographic technologists use new state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and computer monitoring equipment to identify and treat sleep disorders at Broward Health Sleep Centers.
Common Sleep Disorders
There are over 80 different types of sleep disorders that affect more than 40 million Americans. Some of the most common sleep disorders include:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS): This breathing disorder is common in people who are overweight. It happens when the upper airway gets completely blocked. OSAS signs and symptoms include: excessive daytime sleepiness, choking or gasping for air, morning headaches, mood swings, feelings of irritability, memory loss and trouble concentrating.
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): This neurological disorder causes extreme discomfort in the legs. Complaints may be a tingling, prickling or a creepy-crawling sensation that is experienced while awake. The discomfort usually subsides with walking or running.
- Periodic Leg Movement Syndrome (PLMS): Signs of this involuntary disorder may include repeated leg twitches, kicking and jerking. This can all lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, restless sleep and waking frequently. A person with PLMS may not be aware of their leg activity. PLMS causes include uremia, anemia, diabetes, pregnancy and taking or withdrawing from certain medications.
- Parasomnias: These abnormal limb and/or body movements that occur during deep sleep may cause injury to the person or anyone around them. It is common in both children and adults, and is often described as sleepwalking, sleep talking, bruxism, nightmares, night terrors, confused arousals and REM behavior sleep disorder.
- Insomnia: The inability to easily fall asleep or remain asleep due to stress, anxiety, depression or poor sleep habits. People with insomnia may not be able to fully function when awake and may have excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Central Sleep Apnea: When the impulse to breathe is blocked, there is no airflow and no chest or abdominal movement. This can happen in people who have heart conditions or neuromuscular diseases.
- Narcolepsy: This genetic disorder is characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks, usually noticeable during the teen or young adult years. Symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, sudden loss of muscle tone when emotional, hallucinating, and not being able to move upon waking.
Sleep Testing Services
We offer these sleep testing services see if you may need to be treated for a common sleep disorder:
- Polysomnography: This painless sleep study evaluates whether or not you have a sleep disorder. You must sleep overnight at the hospital or sleep center. A technologist monitors your sleep throughout the night from a separate control room to ensure your safety. The test lasts six to eight hours. Several electrodes and monitoring devices are attached to you to record your brain waves, eye movements, chin muscle activity, heart rate and rhythm, breathing, leg movements, snoring, oxygen levels and body position with an infrared camera. You may go home or go to work after the test. All patients are invited to attend a sleep center orientation/walkthrough before their appointments to get a better idea of what to expect before the overnight stay.
- Home studies: Broward Health offers home sleep study testing for patients who are at least 18 years old and don't have serious medical conditions.
Sleep Disorder Treatments
If you're diagnosed with a sleep disorder, we'll design a treatment plan specifically for you. Depending on the sleep disorder, treatment could include medication, changing your current medication, medical equipment to use at home, psychological counseling or surgery.
The complete analysis is performed by registered polysomnographic technologists and the interpretation of the sleep study is performed by the sleep panel doctors. Broward Health will send a comprehensive sleep report with diagnosis and recommendations to your primary care physician and/or specialist.
The Pillar Procedure is a treatment for patients diagnosed with snoring and mild sleep apnea. It is an outpatient procedure that can be performed within 30 minutes. A local anesthetic is used to numb the soft palate in order to insert three polyester implants into the soft palate. Over time the implants help stiffen the soft palate and decrease the vibration, which can cause snoring and mild sleep apnea. It is not recommended for patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. For this reason, patients should have an overnight sleep study done in order to determine if they will benefit from this procedure.
Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
- Try to sleep only when you're drowsy and try to keep your room conducive to sleeping.
- Maintain a regular "wake up" time each and every day.
- Try to reserve your bed for sleeping and intimacy only. Do not use your bed as an office, to use the computer or to watch television.
- Avoid napping during the daytime, unless you have found that napping does not interfere with your sleep at bedtime.
- Keep a regular schedule for having meals, taking medications, exercising and
- Avoid caffeine within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid using nicotine close to bedtime.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid large meals at bedtime. A light snack may help promote sound sleep.
- Avoid strenuous exercise within 6 hours of bedtime.
- Minimize light, noise and extreme temperatures in the bedroom.
- When you cannot sleep after ten or fifteen minutes of trying, get out of bed and go to another room to read or to watch TV until you become sleepy.
- Avoid sleeping pills and try to only use them sparingly if needed. Most sleeping pills will lose their effectiveness after two to three weeks.
- Never take sleeping pills with alcohol.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I call and make an appointment for a sleep study after my doctor refers me for a test?
Yes, please contact the Broward Health's Central Scheduling Department at 954-759-7500. Your doctor's office will need to fax your sleep study prescription and your medical history notes to the scheduling center at 954-759-7510.
How do I find out about my test results?
Once the test is done, the Sleep Specialist at the sleep center will review the test results and send the diagnosis with recommendations to your referring physician.
Please contact us at 954-344-7431 if you have more questions.
How do I get an appointment for a sleep study?
You must see your doctor and get a referral before you can have a sleep study scheduled at Broward Health. Any type of physician may refer you to the sleep center.
Will I have to sleep overnight in the sleep center?
You will be required to sleep in the sleep center for 6-8 hours so that a sleep technologist can monitor your sleep. Please arrive at 8:15 p.m. The test will begin by 11 p.m. and end by 6 a.m. You will be discharged to go home following the sleep study.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of a sleep study?
Most health insurance providers, such as Medicaid, Medicare, HMOs, and PPOs, will pay for a sleep study. You or your doctor's office will be responsible for getting your insurer’s authorization or approval to have the sleep study. You may contact your insurance provider to make sure our sleep center will accept your insurance and to verify what your copay or
out-of-pocket costs will be for the sleep study.
Are sleep studies painful?
No; you will have several electrodes and monitoring devices attached to you that will monitor brain activity, eye movements, breathing, snoring, leg movements and oxygen levels. But it is not painful.