Avoiding weight loss and dehydration is an important part of cancer treatment, and sometimes the side effects of chemotherapy make it difficult to eat enough food and drink enough water. The nausea and lack of appetite can make it difficult to get enough calories, and some of the side effects of chemotherapy can make it difficult to eat. Your cancer treatment specialist should be consulted before you take any medication to help with the side effects of chemotherapy, especially herbal supplements, as they can interfere with the drugs used during chemotherapy. Here's what you need to know about eating well and staying healthy when you're undergoing chemo.
Stay Hydrated By Consuming Plenty Of Water
When you're undergoing chemotherapy, it's important to stay well-hydrated by drinking at least eight cups of water a day. Common side effects of chemotherapy such as diarrhea and vomiting can eventually lead to dehydration. Inform your oncologist if you frequently suffer from diarrhea or vomiting. Your oncologist may be able to adjust dosage or modify your treatment regimen to reduce or eliminate these symptoms.
Some people undergoing chemotherapy suddenly find that water tastes incredibly bad, making it difficult to drink the quantities that you need. If this happens, try switching to a different brand of bottled water or try mineral water. The taste of water comes from its mineral content, and another brand may be more appealing. Adding a small amount of lime or lemon juice to your water can also make it more palatable. Carrying a water bottle with you all day long and taking small sips of it can also help you drink the amount of water you need to stay hydrated and healthy.
Avoid Herbal Supplements, As They May Interfere With Medication
Some herbal supplements can interact with the drugs used for chemotherapy and make them less effective. You should ask your oncologist about any herbal supplements before taking them to avoid this. You should also ask your cancer treatment team about any over-the-counter antioxidants or multivitamins as well, as these can sometimes contain hidden herbal ingredients.
Don't Let Nausea Keep You From Eating
During chemotherapy, it's important to eat a balanced diet and make sure that you are eating enough calories to support regeneration of healthy tissue after your chemotherapy sessions. If you suffer from nausea or a lack of appetite as a result of your chemotherapy treatment, this can be difficult. Switching to a more bland diet can help; often strong smells and strong tastes will trigger feelings of nausea. White rice, toast or steamed vegetables are an excellent choice. Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of a few large ones will also reduce the amount of nausea you experience and make it easier to eat enough calories if you are experiencing a lack of appetite; preparing meals ahead of time and eating small portions throughout the day will help you meet your nutritional goals.
If You Experience Oral Sores, Avoid Acidic Or Spicy Food
One common side effect of chemotherapy is the development of sores in your mouth or in your throat. Eating food that's spicy or acidic can aggravate these sores and prevent them from healing. Avoid citrus fruit, vinegar, tomatoes and tomato-based sauces to reduce acidity in your diet. You should also avoid foods that are dry or that have hard pieces that can irritate your sores, such as popcorn. If you have especially large or painful oral sores, switching to foods that are soft and easy to chew will minimize irritation.
Visit a website such as http://swoncology.net/ for more information.Share