Nutrition Therapy: Quality of Life
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Managing nutrition-impact symptoms
Some cancer treatments may cause side effects, such as nausea or loss of appetite, which can interfere with your ability to eat. In addition, some cancer patients experience tumor-induced weight loss, or cachexia. This process is stimulated by the tumor’s release of cytokines into the blood which alter the body’s use of macronutrients (e.g., carbohydrates, protein, and fat).
At CTCA, we do not dismiss these side effects as a normal or expected part of treatment. Instead, we address them head on.
Your dietitian understands that poor use of calories, combined with decreased appetite, fullness, and pain from incomplete digestion can contribute to malnutrition. Throughout your care, the nutrition team will proactively manage your symptoms.
If you are dealing with nausea, your dietitian may encourage you to eat more cold foods because they don’t have a strong odor, as well as lower-fat items since fats take longer to digest. If you are experiencing gas and bloating, they may recommend you avoid certain vegetables, such as cabbage, onions, and garlic. If you feel full after eating only a small amount, your dietitian may recommend you eat four to six small meals a day, instead of large meals.