Chemotherapy Patient Nutrition

Unfortunately, the increasing number of people suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer has skyrocketed, increasing the number of people who are suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy. Here are some helpful ideas to make sure that you, or a loved one, get the nutrients you need.

Many people undergoing chemotherapy find that their tastes change and they are no longer interested in eating heavy foods like red meat. If this is the case for you, it is important to keep in mind that your body really needs protein to rebuild healthy cells that are damaged by chemotherapy, and so you should use alternate sources. Beans, tofu, fish, and eggs are often lighter sources that can be used to supplement your dietary needs. The combination of beans and rice is particularly effective in ensuring you get complete protein.

Many people experience constipation as a side effect of chemotherapy. Eating plenty of fiber can help ease the symptoms. You don’t have to choke down a glass of Metamucil or a handful of prunes, either; eating a couple pieces of delicious fruit a day can be enough to solve your issues. Try particularly flavorful fruit, such as pineapple or clementines, to compensate for the reduced sensitivity of your taste buds.

It is extremely common for people to become dehydrated. It is even worse for chemotherapy patients because they frequently sweat more and have to use the restroom more than most people. If you don’t want to drink 10 glasses of plain water a day, you can drink flavored water, juices, or broths to make it more palatable. You are more likely to drink enough fluids if you’re looking forward to it. It can also be helpful to keep it located close at hand- keeping a water bottle just an arms-length away will make you more likely to sip frequently than having to walk across the house to the refrigerator.

Eating carbohydrates is a good way to get your body to use the hormonal stimulants of appetite. When your blood glucose is low, you will feel hungry because of the effects of glucagon. when your blood glucose is high, you will not because of the effects of insulin. Eating carbohydrates is a good way for your body to regulate these effects, and as an effect, you will feel hungrier more often, which makes sure you get the food you need.

Avoid greasy foods if you are experiencing diarrhea. The slippery fats that you will have more trouble digesting due to chemotherapy will just come right out undigested. It is better to eat more fruits and vegetables to increase your fiber content until it resolves.

Chemotherapy is difficult enough without maximizing the amount of discomfort you have due to side effects. While we can’t eliminate them entirely, you can certainly minimize your unwished weight loss, appetite issues, digestive issues, and loss of energy by making sure that you get the food you need by following these great tips. With luck, you’ll be able to recover in fairly short order.