Coping with diet symptoms

You may find that problems with your digestion and diet are hard to deal with and affect how you feel.

Food is an important part of everyday life for many people, and eating with friends and family can be an important social activity.

Some people find that worries about eating and symptoms can affect their mood – for example, they may feel more anxious or down than usual. People often worry about losing a lot of weight, losing their appetite and feeling pressured to eat more than they can manage. If you have lost weight you may also worry about how you look.

Symptoms such as diarrhoea or sickness can be stressful and make it harder to eat. You may worry about going out in case you can’t find a toilet when you need it. Macmillan Cancer Support has a toilet card that helps you access toilets in places like cafes and shops when you are out.

Your family may also worry about you, and whether you are eating enough. But they can also be a huge support. Try talking to them about how you feel, and things that you might find helpful. For example, some people need smaller meals and more snacks. Others find that the smell of food makes them feel sick, so it helps if someone else cooks.

If you are struggling at all, speak to your dietitian, doctor or nurse. They can provide emotional support as well as medical care.

How can we help?

You can speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line with any questions about managing your diet. They can also provide emotional support.

You may find speaking to others in a similar situation helpful. We have an online discussion forum where you can speak to others affected by pancreatic cancer. We also hold Living with Pancreatic Cancer Support sessions which give you the chance to connect with others with pancreatic cancer.

Finding ways to manage your diet and symptoms can help you feel more in control.

Read more about dealing with the emotional impact of pancreatic cancer.

Get support

Updated January 2020

Review date January 2023