Leukemia Naturopathic Medicine
Learn More About Naturopathic Medicine for Leukemia: Chat with Us | Email Us
Naturopathic Medicine for Leukemia
Every leukemia patient who comes to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has the opportunity to meet with a naturopathic oncology provider.
As a member of your overall CTCA care team, our naturopaths act as consultants to your oncologists, and can support you on many levels during your leukemia treatment.
Naturopathic medicine uses non-invasive, non-toxic therapies to strengthen the body’s ability to heal itself. When used throughout your care, naturopathic treatments can help to:
- Strengthen your immune system
- Boost your energy level
- Support normal metabolism and digestion
- Reduce treatment-related side effects
- Support long-term health and wellness
Naturopathic Therapies During Leukemia Treatment
When you arrive at CTCA, your naturopath will conduct a 30-minute consultation with you. During this time, you’ll discuss your health history, previous treatments, and any symptoms you are experiencing.
Using this information and the results of your diagnostic tests, your naturopath will develop a naturopathic treatment plan that supports your medical care. Your individualized plan may include any of the following naturopathic medicines:
- Nutritional supplements (e.g., vitamins)
- Botanical medicine (e.g., herbs)
- Homeopathic medicines
- Auricular acupressure
- Detoxification therapies
- Essential oils (e.g., aromatherapy inhalers or topical products)
Throughout your leukemia treatment, your naturopath will monitor your supplement and vitamin intake to ensure safety from potential drug-herb and drug-nutrient interactions.
Managing Side Effects with Naturopathic Therapies
Leukemia and its treatments can affect the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, bladder and nervous system in different ways, causing a variety of symptoms. These side effects can interfere with your treatment regimen and, ultimately, your healing.
Naturopathic treatments can help ease these side effects. The following are some examples:
- Cardiotoxicity: Your naturopath may use certain antioxidants, herbal medicines or amino acids to support the heart muscle, since some leukemia treatments can damage it.
- Cytopenia: Leukemia treatments commonly lower blood cell counts. Your naturopath may suggest various nutritional products, homeopathics and sometimes acupuncture to help raise blood counts.
- Neuropathy: Some leukemia treatments may cause peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet). Your naturopath may use certain amino acids, essential fatty acids, herbs or vitamin complexes to help protect your nervous system.
- Mucositis: Certain leukemia treatments may damage the cells lining the mouth, resulting in mucositis (mouth sores). Your naturopath may recommend different mouth rinses, nutritional supplements and/or a baking soda/sea salt mouth rinse to improve the healing mechanisms of the mouth.
- Fatigue: Fatigue, or lack of energy, is a common side effect of leukemia. Your naturopath may recommend a variety of vitamin and nutrient combinations, different herbs and homeopathic remedies to help combat fatigue.
Nausea: Your naturopath may recommend herbs such as ginger, acupuncture treatments, acupressure, wrist bands, homeopathics and aromatherapy to ease nausea caused by some chemotherapies and immunotherapies for leukemia
- Diarrhea: Some leukemia patients experience diarrhea during treatment. Your naturopath may use certain amino acids, nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies or herbs to minimize diarrhea.
- Constipation: Your naturopath may recommend diet and lifestyle interventions, fiber supplements, herbal laxatives, essential fatty acids, stool softeners, hydrotherapy, homeopathy or acupuncture to ease constipation.
- Skin Rash: Your naturopath can provide various topical creams or ointments and other remedies to relieve skin irritation caused by certain leukemia treatments, such as radiation therapy.
Care Under One Roof
Throughout your leukemia treatment, your naturopath communicates regularly with your oncologists and the other members of your CTCA care team. Everyone works together to find solutions that meet your individual needs.
In addition, our Patient Empowered Care® clinic allows you to enjoy greater comfort and convenience by bringing your medical oncologist, clinic nurse, registered dietitian, naturopathic clinician and nurse care manager to you in one room.
After your leukemia treatment is complete and you return home, the naturopathic medicine team will continue to be available through phone consultations to address any underlying health issues and help prevent recurrence.
Next Topic: Pain Management for Leukemia