Caring of a good nutritional status
Rediscovered her Taste for Life
The power of nutrition
A good nutritional status is an optimal basis during treatment. The nutrition team caring for you will respond individually to any problems and difficulties, and adjust the intake of nutrients to meet your individual needs. Trust the recommendations from your doctor, dietitians and other healthcare professionals.
When a normal diet is not sufficient
If, however, you sometimes are not able to maintain a good nutritional status during your medical treatment, there are solutions. At times like this, nutrients can also be supplied in concentrated form as part of nutritional support. Oral nutritional supplements offer varied and tasty products for this.
Tips on nutrition during cancer treatment
- Have plenty to drink, especially if you are suffering from nausea or vomiting
- Eat a little of what you fancy when your appetite allows
- Try to include a variety of foods to help prevent taste fatigue
- Avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol
- Practice good oral hygiene to remove any bad tastes or odour
- Allow yourself time to eat, and make yourself comfortable
- Eat with other people, as this stimulates the appetite
Maintaining your nutritional status and avoiding weight loss
Undergoing cancer treatment affects people in very different ways. Symptoms such as unplanned weight loss, tiredness or lack of appetite frequently occur. Recovering from surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy takes up a lot of strength and energy. Check your own nutritional status regularly, as this is an important indicator of your overall health.
Benefits of an optimised diet during cancer
- Feel better
- Keep up your strength, energy and immune functions
- Preserve your lean body mass and your body’s store of nutrients
- Better tolerate treatment-related side effects
- Improve your quality of life – and your overall Taste for Life
Tina’s new life
Thanks to her active involvement and an improved diet, Tina had more strength to get through her strenuous cancer treatment. With balanced supplementary nutrition she was then able to make a rapid recovery, and as she regained her energy, she rediscovered her Taste for Life.
She has now also returned to the stage, and is once again meeting up with her friends and family. She has recognised the benefits of optimal nutrition: nutrition makes a difference.
How to deal with nutritional problems?
Some of the side effects of cancer treatment have a direct influence on your nutritional status. We have put together a few tips for you to help handle things if you suffer from symptoms like this.
Changes to your sense of taste
Taste changes are common during and after treatment for cancer. It can be a side effect of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and there is no need to worry. Many people report a metallic taste, it might be worth trying to use plastic cutlery - this might be a simple solution to the problem. There is no need to worry about preferring just a few simple foods that you enjoy. After a while you will feel like trying other things again. It just takes time. Using oral nutitional supplements can be a good way of reducing the concern you may have whilst your oral intake is limited.
Problems with swallowing & chewing
If it is painful to eat or swallow, liquid food or soft food such as soups, pasta or puree are often easier to swallow. Try avoiding very hot or very cold foods/drink as these can further add to that pain. In addition, avoid consuming acidic foods/drinks such as fruit juices as they may irritate the inflammed cells. Food and drink supplements such as Fresenius Kabi's Fresubin and Supportan provide nutrients and energy in concentrated liquid form, and you can get your nutrients without the need to chew, in case chewing hurts. Ask your doctor, dietitian, pharmacist or healthcare professional about an individual solution.
Nutrition for tiredness or lack of appetite
Eat when you feel well. It is better to eat small portions at meals and spread them out regularly throughout the day. Take advantage of the good days to eat plenty, in the most pleasant environment possible. Try to keep a stock of food that is quick and easy to prepare.
Nutrition regulates the digestion
In the event of constipation, taking in more liquids in the form of herbal teas, fruit juice or water can lead to improvement. Prunes or syrup of figs together with fluids and yoghurt-style products have a natural laxative effect. In the event of diarrhoea, on the other hand, easily digested foods are suitable: cooked vegetables, rice, fish, potatoes, lean meat. You should avoid foods that cause flatulence, such as pulses, onions or cauliflower. As with everything, check with your health care professionals if you are unsure which foods to consume.