Chemotherapy is arguably one of the most effective treatments for cancer, but it can bring some pretty unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, hair loss and taste changes. The good news is that making some lifestyle changes can make things a little easier. Here are four helpful tips for dealing with chemotherapy side effects:
Change Your Eating Habits
Nausea is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy and is more common among women and people younger than 50, according to the Mayo Clinic. Luckily, you can reduce nausea symptoms by changing your eating habits. Instead of eating large meals, try to eat five or six small ones throughout the day. Try to avoid foods that are fatty, spicy or fried. It is also helpful to drink plenty of fluids during the day, such as water or ginger ale.
If you are going through chemotherapy treatments, you may find exercise beneficial. It is very important to choose a low-impact exercise that is easy on your muscles and joints, such as yoga. According to City of Hope, yoga has been known to reduce nausea, joint pain and insomnia. It is helpful to work with a yoga instructor who has experience with cancer patients. He or she can show you how to do the moves properly so that you avoid injuring yourself.
Do not Wash Your Hair As Often
Because hair loss is common with chemotherapy, it is important to be extra gentle with your hair. For example, you should reduce how many times you wash your hair during the week. Try not to shampoo your hair more than once every two or three days.
Treat Mouth Sores
If you are getting mouth sores, it is a good idea to rinse your mouth with water every couple of hours and use a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean your teeth. If you use mouthwash, choose one that does not contain alcohol. Also, avoid spicy or citric foods, as they can irritate your mouth sores. If you still can't get relief from your mouth sores, your doctor can prescribe you medication.
Chemotherapy is certainly no walk in the park, but it does not have to be completely unbearable. If you follow these helpful tips, you can feel better while you go through chemotherapy. However, if you still feel awful during your cancer treatments, you should talk to your local specialist in oncology, such as Sturdy Memorial Hospital.