Chemotherapy and Eating ~ Health Guide

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Chemotherapy and Eating

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

Eating well

Try to eat as healthy a diet as possible, high in protein and carbohydrate with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sometimes you may not feel hungry; do not force yourself to eat but try and catch up on days or times when you do feel like eating. Eat small meals or snacks if your appetite is poor. A referral to dietitian may help to plan your meals.

Extra fluid is needed so that the drugs can be removed from your body once they have done their work. Ask your doctor or nurse how much you need to drink and when. Soups, jellies, icy poles and fruit, as well as more frequent drinks, will all help to give the extra fluid you need.

A loss of appetite during chemotherapy is quite common. Some drugs can also cause your taste to change; food may taste more salty, bitter or metallic. These changes may mean you go off certain types of food, so experiment with different foods to find those that you can enjoy. Normal taste will usually return once the chemotherapy treatment is over.

  • Small frequent meals may help
  • Sometimes a small glass of alcohol before a meal can help to stimulate the appetite. Do check with your doctor or pharmacist first as a few drugs interact badly with alcohol.
  • Avoid neat spirits, tobacco, hot spices, garlic, onion, vinegar and salty food. These may increase abnormal tastes and irritate your mouth.

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