Good nutrition is an important part of taking care of yourself. This is especially true if you are undergoing treatment for cancer.
When you are starting treatment, now is a good time to establish a routine for nutrition. This will help minimize side effects you may encounter as treatment progresses.
Try to do the following:
- Start or continue taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement
- Emphasize fluids (non-caffeinated is best)
- Eat small frequent meals. 4 to 5 small meals will work better with your treatment schedule and (recommended) nap during the day.
- Snacks should contain protein from the meat or dairy group
- Add yogurt to breakfast or as a snack to help offset gastrointestinal upset
- If constipation is a problem, try 1 ouce of power pudding per day
- ¼ cup bran cereal
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup prune juice
- ¼ cup stewed prunes (remove pits)
Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.
Serve 1 ounce per day as a laxative, along with extra fluids.
Many people welcome the idea of losing a few extra pounds. But during cancer treatment, rapid weight loss is a result of under-nutrition while your body is under the stress of radiation or chemotherapy.
The weight lost is typically muscle weight because the body is using up protein stores. This results in a loss of strength and endurance.
If you get behind on fluids, dehydration can progress to:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Potential drop in blood pressure
It is important to keep up with fluids especially on days when you don’t feel like eating much.
To meet with a dietitian
To talk over your nutrition needs and concerns, you may want to meet with a dietitian. At HealthEast Cancer Care, we have dietitians on staff who focus on the unique needs of patients undergoing treatment.
- Ask your doctor for a referral
- Check with your insurance about coverage
Then, call us to make an appointment at 651-232-7970.