Chemotherapy is one of the popular options available for treating cancer. Although the therapy primarily targets the malignant cells of your body, normal cells are also damaged by the chemotherapy drugs. Side effects of the chemotherapy treatment develop due to the destruction of the healthy cells of the body. Luckily, most of the side effects of the chemotherapy treatment reverse naturally, as the damaged healthy cells start repairing. The chemotherapy side effects usually depend on the specific chemotherapy regimen, the amount of drugs administered, the length of the therapy and the overall condition of your help. Here are few tips that could help you to cope with some of the common side effects of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy side effects and remedies
The red blood cell count often falls during chemotherapy. To deal with this condition, you should take adequate rest, especially in between activities. Limit vigorous physical activities that would cause shortness of breath or increase your heartbeat. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. Drink plenty of water and fluid. Increase intake of iron rich foods such as spinach, lentils, peanuts, almonds and eggs.
Risk of infection
Chemotherapy can even bring down the white blood cell count in your blood. Low white blood cell count will make you susceptible to infections. To reduce the risk of infections, stay away from people who are sick. Frequently wash your hands. Avoid uncooked or undercooked foods. Do not share foods with others. Always ensure that the utensils and crockery are cleaned properly before using them. Annual influenza vaccination might be needed to prevent flu.
To cope with diarrhea, you should drink plenty of fluids including water, juices and clear broth. Reduce fiber intake. Eat foods that are rich in sodium and potassium. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, foods that increase gas formation such as cruciferous vegetables and carbonated drinks, strong spices and milk and dairy products. Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy. After vomiting, do not eat for few hours. Include bland and dry foods in your meals. Drink plenty of clear fluids. Ginger tea or ginger ale could help to reduce nausea.