Having a proper diet is always an essential element of maintaining your health, but it’s even more important to pay attention to how and what you eat when undergoing chemotherapy.
Diet and Chemotherapy
Communicate with Your Treatment Team
Chemotherapy can have unpleasant and unanticipated side effects on your eating habits. You may find that your appetite or preferences are altered. While this is an anticipated result of treatment, it may have an adverse effect on your ability to obtain all the nutrients you need to sustain a healthy diet. One of the most important steps you can take to combat this possibility is communicating with your medical team. Make sure you keep them apprised of all your symptoms– keeping a journal can sometimes help with this– and consider consulting an Oncology Dietitian, who will have experience in assisting you in creating a concrete plan for stabilizing your eating habits.
An essential aspect of eating while undergoing chemotherapy is to pay special attention to the safety of your food. Ensure that everything you eat is clean by washing your hands, the foods that need it, and keeping your counters and cooking implements clean. Some foods should be avoided altogether, like undercooked meat, sushi, unpasteurized milk, and ceviche. Be sure to store foods at the appropriate temperature to prevent spoilage and avoid contamination of other foods by raw meat.
Ensuring Proper Nutrition with Supplements
It may be necessary to alter your regular eating habits while undergoing chemotherapy. You may need to eat certain foods to regain weight or compensate for side effects that make eating difficult, like mouth sores. Your medical team can help you select foods that work around these changes while still ensuring that you have the proper nutritional balance to stay healthy. If it is not possible for you to obtain all the necessary nutrients from your food, your doctors may recommend supplements for you to take. It’s essential to listen to them and not add supplements they do not approve or recommend, as these can contain ingredients that may negatively affect your body.
Follow Your Doctors’ Advice
Listening to your doctors and the medical team regarding proper nutrition during chemotherapy is vital to maintaining your health and wellness during the treatment and contributes to a smooth, speedy recovery. Make sure to take care of yourself and provide what your body needs to repair and maintain itself during cancer treatment.