Protect Your Health

Protect Your Health

Nutritional Intervention For Chemotherapy Side Effects

by Claire Ward

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, then your oncologist may have referred you to a specialized treatment center offering breast cancer treatment services. The physicians at the breast cancer treatment center will monitor the effects of your medications and treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and anti-estrogen medications.

While chemotherapy is effective in eliminating cancer cells, it can also damage healthy cells in your gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere in your body. Because of this, you may experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, mouth sores, suppressed immunity, and hair loss. Here are some nutritional interventions your doctor may recommend to help you cope with your chemotherapy side effects. 

Low-Fiber Diet

Certain cancer treatments can result in constipation. A diet high in fiber can help relieve constipation. However, eating fiber-rich foods can make you feel full, bloated, and uncomfortable. When this happens, you may lose your appetite, making chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting worse.

High fiber diets can be difficult to digest, resulting in digestive problems. Because of this, your doctor may recommend a low-fiber diet to help prevent feelings of fullness and loss of appetite. When you consume a low fiber diet, you may be able to consume more calories so that you can regain your strength, while preventing fatigue. 

Increase Protein Intake

Another nutritional intervention that your physician may recommend to help you cope with your chemotherapy side effects is consuming more lean protein. Sources of lean protein include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and beans. Not only can these foods help build up your strength, but they may also help prevent chemotherapy-related anemia.

Lean protein foods may also help relieve gastric distress such as nausea and vomiting. They may even help lower your risk for hair loss, fingernail problems, and skin abnormalities that may develop while you are undergoing your cancer treatments.

If you do not have an appetite, your oncologist may prescribe a medication to stimulate your appetite or recommend meal replacement shakes. These shakes are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. While protein-rich diets can help you manage your chemotherapy-related side effects, they may not be recommended if you have kidney disease. Before your doctor recommends an increase in your protein intake, they may recommend blood tests to evaluate your renal function.

If you have breast cancer and will be starting chemotherapy, talk to your physician about how nutritional interventions can help you cope with your side effects. When you combine appropriate nutritional interventions with your traditional medical treatment, you may enjoy a more robust appetite, less fatigue, and better immune function. 


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Protect Your Health

A few years ago, my father visited a dermatologist for the first time in his life. During this visit, he was diagnosed with several skin cancers. Thankfully, my dad’s dermatologist expertly removed these cancerous spots. If you’ve haven’t visited a dermatologist before, consider doing so sooner rather than later. Many forms of skin cancer are completely treatable if they’re detected early. Besides seeing a dermatologist, you should inspect your skin for any changes regularly. This is especially important if you have numerous moles on your body. On this blog, I hope you will discover ingenious tips to help you protect your health. Enjoy!

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