Palliative care - fluid, food, and digestion
It is normal for a person who has a very serious illness or who is dying not to feel like eating. Body systems that manage fluids and food may change at this time. They can slow and fail. Also, medicine that treats pain can cause dry, hard stools that are difficult to pass.
Constipation - palliative care; End of life - digestion; Hospice - digestion
Palliative care is a holistic approach to care that focuses on treating pain and symptoms and improving quality of life in people with serious illnesses.
When Your Body has Problems Handling Fluids and Food
You may experience any of the following:
What you can do to Feel Better
When to Call the Doctor
Call a member of your health care team if you have nausea, constipation, or pain that cannot be managed.
Baracos VE. What therapeutic strategies are effective in improving anorexia and weight loss in nonmalignant disease? In: Goldstein NE, Morrison RS, eds. Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 29.
Levine SK, Shega JW. How should medications be initiated and titrated to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting in clinical situations unrelated to chemotherapy? In: Goldstein NE, Morrison RS, eds. Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 26.
Levine SK, Shega JW. What interventions are effective for relieving acute bowel obstruction in cancer and other conditions? In: Goldstein NE, Morrison RS, eds. Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 27.
Review Date: 2/18/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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