During your battle with cancer, you will discover that many cancer treatments come with unpleasant side effects. Although there may not be a way around these unpleasant symptoms, several nutrition tricks can assist you in navigating through them.
Survivors and patients often joke about the mental cloudiness that accompanies chemotherapy, but for those experiencing this phenomenon, it can be stressful and disconcerting. You may find it difficult to multitask or remember certain things. Fortunately, researchers have found plenty of foods that boost brainpower, and they can help with the chemo fog too. First, eat those veggies. Then, focus on the wide variety of foods known to improve brain function. These include grapes and grape juice, apples, blackberries, spinach, salmon and curry. (Source: http://www.mesothelioma.com/treatment/side-effects/chemo-brain.htm and http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/09/08/cookinglight.food.boost.mind/index.html)
Mouth Sores or Ulcers
Many patients undergoing chemotherapy develop sores or ulcers in the mouth that can make eating uncomfortable. Focus on eating soft or cool foods that don’t exacerbate the problem. Avoid particularly acidic or spicy foods, and stay away from foods such as chips or crackers that have sharp edges. Cool fruit smoothies and other nutritious drinks can be ingested using a straw to help keep the liquids away from irritated portions of the mouth.
Dehydration brought on by chemotherapy often causes vomiting. In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, you can decrease the incidence of vomiting by eating slowly and chewing your food well. Rather than consuming a few large meals, eat frequently and consume smaller amounts at one time. Sit up while eating, and if you need to rest immediately after consuming food, do it while sitting in a chair rather than lying down. Also, avoid pungent odors. While particularly unpleasant smells may trigger vomiting, during cancer treatment you are likely to develop an aversion to a variety of strong odors. Avoiding these as much as possible will help to minimize nausea and vomiting.
Navigating through cancer treatment can be difficult. If you aren’t getting proper nutrition, the task will become even more so. Put these tips into practice, and consult with your doctor or nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns about your eating habits or nutritional intake. Proper nutrition isn’t a cure by itself, but getting the nutrients your body needs will help fuel you with the energy and stamina necessary to win in your fight against cancer.
Photo Credit: raworganicfooddiet.wordpress.com
About the Author:
Joining the MCA in 2011, David Haas is the Director of Awareness Programs. In addition to researching much of the information available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs available and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. David is a fitness enthusiast who frequently runs, climbs, and bikes for enjoyment. He is also very involved in outreach associated with awareness about the dangers of asbestos for many different organizations and groups of people.