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Greetings folks

I was wondering what you guys think about the nutritional shakes like Ensure, Boost, Glucerna, and Walmart's Equate? I asked my Oncologist about them because I was concerned that the excess protein might hurt my kidneys. They are not those of a spring chicken by any measure as I border on CKD. Well, she said "no worry about that" and she went on to say that she is a strong believer in their use by her patients. Infact she seemed pleased that I was consuming them. 

I was initially attracted to them because I am experiencing that chronic constipation issue, that has plagued me forever, and seems to be getting worse. So, I decided to try a liquid diet, for a few days, and give my GI tract a rest, and maybe reset things. I was drinking more and more Mag Cit along with daily Miralax and Senote tabs, than I was comfortable with. Anyway, the change has seemed to help some, although I still have issues. I am due for my quarterly serial chest CT scan, and I asked the Onc if she would add my abdomen and pelvis to it, because it has been awhile since we looked down there. That is a go, and i hope that whatever is causing this constipation is something benign. I believe it is a partial obstruction which could be a few things... I am trying to think positive.

Getting back to the drinks, interestingly, I found that the "Boost for Men" is aptly named as it has definitely given me a boost! I am more motivated and energetic after drinking one than I have in a log while. No ephederine or caffeine in them as far as I know, either, which is a huge no no for me. Good carbs and vitamins only. I think maybe the sugar and the B vitamins might have something to do with the lift?

I remember an emergency physican in his thirties that worked in our local Emergency Department a few years back, gee, now that I think on it, more than a few years back! More like thirty or more....smh Anyway, he literally lived on Ensure. Said it had everything that he needed. I wouldn't care to live on them, and the taste is an accquirred one. They aren't cheap  and I don't believe that is healthy in the long run to over indulge, but as a supplement, I think they have some great value. 

Any feed back is appreciated.

Jack

 

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Hey Jack-

Personally I’m not a fan of these drinks anymore.  When I was rowing I was a frequent user of protein shakes from Costco.   Today I won’t eat any processed foods, particularly anything with more than five ingredients.  Constipation is something I always have to battle too.  I’ve resorted to making easy smoothies in the Magic Bullet- pumpkin, pear, walnut with cinnamon & nutmeg,  blueberries, avocado & spinach with cinnamon or baked sweet potatoes works really well.   I try to eat an apple a day with some almonds.  It’s the perfect blend of a sugar, fat & fiber- great for constipation & a solid energy boost.   
I think sugar is the enemy of all cancer patients & I try to avoid as much as possible.   
I know this isn’t the easiest solution but it’s worked for me.   The magic bullet does a great job & is super quick.  
Michelle 

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14 minutes ago, Rower Michelle said:

Hey Jack-

Personally I’m not a fan of these drinks anymore.  When I was rowing I was a frequent user of protein shakes from Costco.   Today I won’t eat any processed foods, particularly anything with more than five ingredients.  Constipation is something I always have to battle too.  I’ve resorted to making easy smoothies in the Magic Bullet- pumpkin, pear, walnut with cinnamon & nutmeg,  blueberries, avocado & spinach with cinnamon or baked sweet potatoes works really well.   I try to eat an apple a day with some almonds.  It’s the perfect blend of a sugar, fat & fiber- great for constipation & a solid energy boost.   
I think sugar is the enemy of all cancer patients & I try to avoid as much as possible.   
I know this isn’t the easiest solution but it’s worked for me.   The magic bullet does a great job & is super quick.  
Michelle 

Thanks Michelle that sounds reasonable to me and worthy of checking out.

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How do you get your B6 and B12 vitamins? Salmon? I read that B6 in particular is a potent cancer fighter. I think from what I have read that refined sugar and carbs messes with the insulin production and insulin - like growth factors and that can effect cancer cell division and inflamation.

 

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I just read where Dr Andrew Weil, (my go to source for nutrition info) says that they have discovered that Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, have a compound that prevents cancer, that is so potent that it is being researched for use as a chemotherapy agent.

He also believes that organic vegetables are especially beneficial for cancer patients not just because they lack chemical compounds that come from herbicides and pesticides, but these plants develop more intense phytonutrients to protect themselves from diseases, predators like birds and insects, and the sun. And these componds are beneficial to us. onsuming less red meats, and refined sugars etc are also important in this integrative medicine approach. Consuming the good nuts, and oils, and a good assortment of various colored fruits and vegetables is a key too.

 

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Hi Jack-

I also forgot a few other constipation tips- plenty of water (at least 64 Oz) & morning coffee- all helps.

As for the B6 & B12, I take a prescribed Folic Acid supplement & B-50 in addition to the Salmon & veggies you mentioned.  Essentially I’ve been following the Weill Anti Inflammatory Diet for a couple of years now.  
 

You will need to have your PCP draw a baseline B vitamin panel & an iron absorption panel to determine what your levels are before taking any B supplements.  The downside to B vitamins is that if you have too much it can cause neuropathy.   I have my B levels drawn once a year now.  When I was first diagnosed I took a B-100 & as my nutrition improved, it was reduced to B-50.  
 

For the most part following the anti inflammatory diet has been pretty easy but requires a lot of prep work because nothing comes out of a box with instructions. 

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When I had esophagitis, my oncologist gave me some Boost Soothes. I lived on those and Ensure. But I wouldn't suggest them for long-term use. My father now can only consume thickened Ensure due to swallowing difficulty. His hospice nurse says that the Ensure diet and being bed-bound are contributing to breakdown of his skin. So they have their uses but also drawbacks. 

I recently found out my B12 is low (probably still due to chemo), so I got a B12 shot at the doctor's and am now taking 1,000 mcg B12 daily. I really don't notice a difference though. 

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