I love that fellow bloggers share the same interest with me and are willing to share their knowledge. Today we have a guest blogger here on Lifestyle4Life, who has written an excellent article on Cancer and the way to cope with treatment through food.
Making Nutritional Changes to Find Relief from Cancer Treatment Side Effects
For those who have been diagnosed with cancer and who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment, finding relief from side effects can be overwhelming. For many, nutritional changes can offer remedies for many of the most common symptoms.
One common side effect of chemotherapy is increased levels of fatigue. This can be caused by treatment but it is also aggravated by factors of emotional stress, increased levels of pain and anemia. One way for individuals to find relief from severe fatigue is to increase levels of protein in their diets. Protein provides long-term energy and increased vitality. The most common sources of protein include dairy products and meats. Foods like yogurt, milk and cheese provide protein and are relatively easy to incorporate into an existing diet. In addition, lean meats, fish and poultry products offer increased protein without compromising health. These foods provide lasting energy and improve overall feelings of health. It’s also important to maintain hydration by drinking at least 8 cups of liquid every day. This is an important rule for the general population but it is especially vital to fighting fatigue. Appropriate liquids include water, milk, juice, broth and many other beverages except those that have caffeine. Adequate hydration protects against various ailments and allows for greater energy levels and increased clarity. For further relief from fatigue, multivitamins can be a great remedy. It’s important to find a vitamin that provides 100% of recommended daily nutritional allowances. This can help replace nutrients that might be lacking and thus provide relief from symptoms of fatigue.
Another very common side effect of chemotherapy or radiation is nausea. Not only does nausea cause serious discomfort in itself, it can also prevent adequate nutrition and aggravate other ailments. One way to find relief from nausea is to keep crackers nearby while resting, as many individuals report feeling especially nauseous in the morning or after napping. The crackers can help soak up the stomach acids that cause nausea and help settle the stomach. In addition, for those that find strong smells especially nauseating, it can be helpful to avoid hot foods for a while. Cold foods often have a less obvious smell and can be much easier to stomach. Good options include cold cereals, pudding and sherbet. Foods with less overwhelming flavors- including toast and many fruits and vegetables- can be similarly helpful.
In a similar vein, treatment and factors related to treatment can cause symptoms of anorexia. This can be caused by decreased appetite as well as increased levels of emotional stress. To remedy this, individuals can first try to create more relaxing and pleasant dining situations. This can mean taking more meals with close friends and family or even playing peaceful music while dining. Individuals should also try to eat snacks that have high calorie and protein levels, such as cheese and many nut products. This can provide relief from symptoms without the added pressure of having to consume large meals. In addition, some find assistance and relief through nutritional counseling. It’s important to check with your cancer center to see if they provide this type of program.
While these remedies might not completely alleviate symptoms, they are simple changes that can provide some level of relief and make the treatment process more manageable. Many of these recommended changes provide relief from multiple symptoms and allow for increased strength and vitality.
Healthy Eating, Healthy Living!