Amy  Thomas

Amy Thomas, Patient Expert

Amy wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Cancer and Nutrition.

Alternative forms of feeding: Parenteral Nutrition

Sometimes a person with cancer cannot properly nourish their body through eating and drinking, and their doctor may recommend alternative modes of nutritional support. If the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is functioning normally, a feeding tube is usua...
Amy Thomas

Feeding A Child With No Appetite

It’s hard enough getting any three year old to eat, but parents of children with cancer face a special challenge ensuring their child is getting adequate calories each day. In addition to natural childhood stubbornness about food, treatment side effe...
Amy Thomas

Taking care of your bones

Healthy bones can be the key to good health and happiness. Consider what you couldn’t do without strong, healthy bones. No running, walking, jumping, bending, gardening, dancing, or holding a baby. So it’s important to take good care of your bones, e...
Amy Thomas

Hard to swallow part 3: Tube feed or not tube feed

When someone is aspirating food and drink, and they don’t improve with exercises or drink thickeners, their doctor may recommend they don’t take anything by mouth. The person may then need to obtain primary nourishment from an enteral feeding tube, o...
Amy Thomas

Hard to Swallow Part 2 - Understanding dysphagia and thickeners

My last post discussed the evaluation of dysphagia, aspiration, and the modified barium swallow examination. This post covers thickeners, which can be beneficial for a select group of people who have trouble swallowing. When someone aspirates (breath...
Amy Thomas

Hard to swallow: Understanding Dysphagia

Difficulty swallowing, also called dysphagia, can occur in cancer patients for many reasons, particularly in those receiving chemotherapy and radiation for head and neck cancer. Conditions or treatments that damage the muscles and nerves that control ...
Amy Thomas

The Benefits of Garlic

The anti-cancer properties of garlic were first recognized in the 1950’s when scientists linked allicin, a principal component of garlic, to tumor inhibition. Since then scientific investigation has consistently demonstrated that regular garlic consu...
Amy Thomas

Nutritional considerations during steroid treatment - Part 2

My last post reviewed some of the common adverse nutritional effects caused by steroid therapy, including stomach irritation, weight gain, and vitamin D and calcium deficiency. Additional complications of steroid treatment include protein breakdown, ...
Amy Thomas

Nutritional considerations during steroid treatment-Part 1

The medical use of steroids is constantly reexamined because the agents have numerous side effects. While popular media coverage highlights concerns regarding their risks, steroids do have a multitude of beneficial properties and are often a key comp...
Amy Thomas

End of Life Care and Diet

While for most people the primary goal of eating and drinking is to sustain energy and life, the goal of nutritional care for those with advanced cancer is quite different. Advanced cancer usually refers to cancer that can no longer be cured, and car...
Amy Thomas