Mesothelioma patients are encouraged to have a healthy diet for quicker recovery. Although it can sometimes be challenging, eating well helps a mesothelioma patient cope better with the condition and the effects of its treatment. Like any other type of cancer, mesothelioma affects your metabolism, making it difficult for you to enjoy food. Even though the mechanism for that is unclear, mesothelioma could impact eating behavior. When undergoing mesothelioma treatment, nutrition experts suggest that you need up to 20% more calories and 50% more proteins than normal. This means you have to adjust your diet significantly. Research shows that mesothelioma patients who drink and eat well can effectively handle the side effects of the condition and its treatment.
Besides, patients eating a healthy diet will easily fight off any infection that could worsen their health. This is the case because nutrients strengthen the immune system. Besides, eating well will greatly improve your appearance and attitude. Given that mesothelioma can affect your metabolism, you need to find ways to cope with it and maintain a healthy diet. One of the biggest challenges mesothelioma patients face in the quest to eat healthily is a lack of appetite. Most patients have reported not having the urge to eat, especially after chemo. This is understandable because mesothelioma treatment can affect your metabolism and ability to enjoy food. As a mesothelioma patient, knowing the importance of good nutrition is crucial. Eat foods that supply your body with key nutrients such as calories and projects.
Importance of Nutrition for Mesothelioma Patients
A nutritious diet is vital for patients before, during, and after mesothelioma treatment. Various types of mesothelioma demand different nutrients from your diet. For instance, patients with malignant mesothelioma should maintain a nutritious diet to help improve their quality of life. This will also help stabilize their health. There are key nutrients that help you maintain muscle strength and manage malnutrition. You should increase the update of useful nutrients depending on the condition you are battling. Besides, proper nutrition and a good diet also help mesothelioma patients manage the effects of its treatments, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Remember that nutrition is the process of consuming food for strength and growth. Nutrition also helps replace damaged tissues and strengthen them for a more energetic body. Generally, nutrition involves drinking and eating foods and liquids rich in essential nutrients. Some of the important nutrients for mesothelioma patients include minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, water, and fat. You are encouraged to eat foods rich in these nutrients because they are vital in boosting your immune system. If you want to maintain your overall health. You can be approved for aggressive mesothelioma treatment if you are not in good physical condition. Highly effective treatments like mesothelioma need patients in good health before the procedure. The same applies to other methods of treatment, such as multimodal therapy. If you didn’t know, multimodal therapy combines different surgeries such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and standard surgery. When you change your diet for a better one, you will easily cope with the side effects of cancer treatment.
If you are in the early stages of a mesothelioma diagnosis, you can adjust your diet to address the specific side effects you are feeling. For the best results, you should work with your doctor to find the best solution for your diet. The doctor will make a few dietary changes that they think will help you get better. These changes may improve your appetite, maintain a healthy metabolism, and eat with some comfort. Besides, some dietary changes can help mesothelioma patients manage other effects such as sore throat, nausea, and appetite loss. These fixes will help you enjoy your food and increase the uptake of nutrients. Keep in mind that mesothelioma’s effects vary from patient to patient. This is why dietary changes for mesothelioma patients are based on the individual’s condition. Some other factors include the type of treatment they are exposed to and the stage of cancer. The dietary changes for a mesothelioma patient on chemotherapy might be different from a patient on medication. Also, the type of medication you have been prescribed will determine your diet.
The Ideal Diet for Mesothelioma Patients
An ideal diet for mesothelioma patients addresses their nutrient problem. Doctors advise that you significantly adjust your eating habits if you want to improve your health. Some of the changes in your diet might include eating fruits rich in nutrients, such as blueberries and strawberries. Besides, colorful vegetables such as squash and yams could also be part of the ideal mesothelioma diet. Additionally, your body can benefit from consuming more protein-rich foods, such as eggs, nuts, and tofu. Drinking a lot of fluids is also part of the ideal diet for mesothelioma patients. Fluids help keep your body hydrated and stronger, making it possible to fight off other infections. It also helps prevent you from having bad taste in your mouth. Also, opt for foods rich in calories, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. A supply of these and other nutrients will help your body function efficiently. Proteins are important because they help repair and build damaged body tissues. Doing so gives your body renewed strength to fight off infections. Calories are also important because they prevent the body from digesting proteins. That is likely to happen if you have an extremely low-calorie intake. Therefore, you should adjust your diet according to your needs.
Your dietitian or doctor will help you make these adjustments and create the best mesothelioma diet for your individual needs. When dealing with the effects of mesothelioma, a diet plan will help you figure out what you need to eat at every meal and how much of it. Besides, meal planning is a way for care providers to help mesothelioma patients to maintain a healthy plan. This is why you need to have a close relationship with your doctor or dietitian when managing your health. Despite your stage of mesothelioma recovery or treatment, you will need a balanced and effective diet. In fact, eating well is one way to recover. As earlier indicated, your specific nutrition plan might differ from other patients depending on where you are in your treatment or recovery journey. For instance, a nutritionist or dietitian might recommend a diet rich in high fat to combat the effects of chemotherapy. On the other hand, a patient recovering from mesothelioma and not any treatment will need a different diet plan. The point is that every patient has a diet customized to their needs and the state of their condition.
If you need a diet customized to your needs, your medical team or dietitian will work with you to develop the best diet. Most meal plans for patients battling mesothelioma include foods rich in protein, such as eggs and chicken. These foods are necessary because they help preserve the muscles. Besides, your dietician can look at your medical records to identify the nutrients you need. Understanding the different dynamics involved in choosing a meal plan for mesothelioma patients is crucial. Some of the major factors influencing this decision include;
- Side Effects: What kind of side effects are you experiencing? Different mesothelioma treatments have varying effects on the body. The dietician will study these effects and devise a meal plan to help you recover. Those going through extreme side effects will need a different meal plan from those experiencing mild effects.
- Type of Treatment: A mesothelioma patient’s treatment could also influence the meal plan. As you might already know, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are some of the most common mesothelioma treatments. Each of these treatments could have specific side effects on a patient. Therefore, your dietitian will need to know the kind of treatment involved before coming up with the ideal meal plan.
- Stage of the Condition; Are you currently in recovery or treatment? The dietitian or nutritionist will need to know your current state for an effective meal plan. Those recovering from mesothelioma will need different nutrients from those still under treatment. This is the case because mesothelioma treatment tends to have various effects on your body.
Therefore, you are encouraged to discuss your dietary plans with your nutritionist or doctor. Let your medical team know how you are feeling and what might help you recover. Throughout your mesothelioma journey, you will have unique nutritional needs. Staying updated on the most recent needs will go a long way in helping you recover.
Foods That Might Help Mesothelioma Treatment and Recovery
Some foods can be effective in helping mesothelioma patients manage the effects of their treatment. In many cases, the foods mesothelioma patients should eat are associated with a healthy and balanced diet. Foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are quite helpful for those battling mesothelioma. While these foods are necessary, certain dietary adjustments specific to a patient’s needs might also help. You already know that eating well helps fight off the effects of mesothelioma and other forms of cancer. While high-fat foods might not be healthy for a normal person, they are highly recommended for mesothelioma patients. Eating high-calorie foods and healthy fats is a known way of getting a mesothelioma patient back in good shape. Different types of food groups might be included in a mesothelioma diet to help your body fight the condition. Here are the benefits of different types of foods included in a mesothelioma diet.
Even in normal circumstances, vegetables are very necessary. Dark and leafy greens such as collard greens and kale contain folate. Folate is an important nutrient, especially for patients battling mesothelioma. This is the case because it helps with DNA repair. Besides, other common vegetables like sweet potatoes contain carotenoids. For a mesothelioma patient dealing with the side effects of its treatment, carotenoids are very helpful because they can reduce inflammation. Besides, they help keep your bones strong.
Fresh Fruits and Berries
Despite their naturally sweet taste, berries and other fresh fruits are quite helpful for mesothelioma patients. They are rich in essential nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins, which might provide a wide range of nutritional benefits. Consuming these foods will help strengthen the immune system and prevent the contraction of other infections. Besides, these nutrients help the patient cope well with the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Calories and Proteins
These are one of the most important nutrients for mesothelioma patients. Generally, mesothelioma patients don’t have adequate calories and proteins due to nausea, and lack of appetite, among other side effects. Thankfully, foods rich in proteins such as eggs, nuts, and tofu can help prevent malnutrition. You are encouraged to eat these foods as much as possible to enrich your body with proteins. Besides, high-calorie foods, such as avocados and peanut butter, will help the body maintain a healthy weight. One of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is weight loss, and these foods will help manage it. By consuming them, you will maintain a healthy weight.
Whole Grains and Fiber
Your body also needs whole grains and fiber. This food group is necessary because it helps mesothelioma patients maintain a healthy metabolism. Without proper metabolism, your body will struggle with the effects of malnutrition. By consuming enough fiber and whole grains, you improve your metabolism significantly. Some of the foods rich in these nutrients include fruits, bran, vegetables, and oats. You are also encouraged to drink enough fluids alongside these foods for the best results.
While fats might not be ideal in normal circumstances, healthy fats are fundamental to the well-being of a mesothelioma patient. You are encouraged to eat healthy fats from foods such as nuts, salmon, and plant oils. Healthy fats are ideal for mesothelioma patients because they help with cell development and inflammation. Remember that chemotherapy, a common form of mesothelioma treatment, kills some of the good cells. This means your body will need help developing new cells, and healthy fats do exactly that.
Mesothelioma patients can also make use of dietary supplements. These supplements come in handy, especially if you have an allergy to specific mesothelioma diet foods. There are many types of dietary supplements you can choose from. For instance, you can go for protein drinks, snack bars, and supplemental shakes.
From this large collection of foods that can help fight against mesothelioma, your doctor or dietitian will help you determine which ones are good for you. Every patient has different nutritional needs, and only an expert can advise accordingly. You should tell them if you have any allergies before creating a meal plan for you.
Foods You Should Avoid
Consuming foods rich in all the required nutrients will go a long way in improving your health and helping in the recovery process. However, you should also know which foods you should avoid. During your mesothelioma treatment, certain foods might not be good for your health. Even after treatment and in the recovery phase, some of these foods might still be harmful. For instance, your doctor or dietitian might warn you against eating red meat because it might affect your body. You could also be warned against alcohol, and trans fats, which can undo the treatment progress. Consuming such foods might affect your body’s ability to fight or prevent cancer cells from spreading in your body. Besides, these foods can also increase the risk of developing cancer.
Some of the common foods mesothelioma patients are encouraged to avoid include;
- Unhealthy fats
In the previous section, you learned about healthy fats; in this section, we are referring to unhealthy fats. Also known as trans fats, unhealthy fats are the direct opposite of healthy fats, and you should avoid them. These fats have been linked to diabetes and other chronic conditions that might only worsen mesothelioma. If you develop diabetes, your overall health will significantly drop, and the body won’t put up a brave fight against mesothelioma.
- Processed and Red Meats
Although red meat is a popular delicacy in the normal setting, mesothelioma patients are warned against it. Studies show that both processed and red meat can promote inflammation. Inflammation is dangerous for mesothelioma patients because it promotes cancer-causing activities. For instance, your body could experience DNA damage and cell division due to inflammation. All these factors could lead to the development of a new form of cancer. When you prevent these meats, you help your body remain strong and fight against cancer.
Alcohol harms your health, which applies to everyone, especially mesothelioma patients. Whether you are still on mesothelioma treatment or recovering from it, you shouldn’t consume alcohol. Consumption of alcohol will damage the DNA, affecting your general health. If you are on any medication, taking alcohol might affect its effectiveness.
It is vital to discuss any concerns you have regarding your diet with your doctor or dietitian. These professionals have the knowledge and skills to provide trustworthy health information and individualized care. Besides, they will help you come up with the best dietary adjustments.