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Do I need nutritional supplement drinks or foods?

Nutritional supplements are drinks or foods that contain lots of energy and protein, and often vitamins and minerals.  They are normally available on a prescription from your GP and are used if people are unable to meet their nutritional needs with food alone.  

If your appetite is not very good, you have lost weight or you are struggling to eat well for other reasons your dietitian or doctor may recommend that you try taking a nutritional supplement. 

Good nutrition is important to help give you strength and energy, and is needed for your body to fight infections and heal wounds.  Improving the amount of nourishment you get could help you cope better with your treatment and recover more quickly once you have finished treatment. There are lots of ways to maximize the number of calories in your diet and you may need to change the overall balance to include more energy dense food and drinks. 

If you are struggling to eat normally, or are losing weight please ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to a dietitian who will discuss the different types of supplements available and will help to find one that you like.