Multiple Myeloma Naturopathic Medicine
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Naturopathic Medicine for Multiple Myeloma
The side effects of multiple myeloma can make it difficult to get through treatment. Every multiple myeloma patient who comes to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has the opportunity to meet with a naturopathic clinician, who will use natural therapies to support the immune system and reduce side effects throughout your multiple myeloma treatment.
When you arrive at CTCA and meet with your naturopathic clinician, you’ll discuss your health history, previous treatments and any symptoms you’re experiencing. Using this information, along with the results of your diagnostic tests, you’ll receive an individualized plan that supports your advanced multiple myeloma treatments.
Your naturopathic treatment plan may include any of the following therapies:
- 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 treatment, your naturopath will work with your oncologists and the rest of your CTCA care team to monitor your supplement and vitamin intake to ensure safety from potential drug-herb and drug-nutrient interactions.
Managing Side Effects with Naturopathic Therapies
Multiple myeloma and its treatments can affect the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, bladder and nervous system in different ways, causing a variety of symptoms that can interfere with your treatment regime.
The following are examples of how naturopathic medicine can help ease side effects:
- Low Blood Cell Counts: Your naturopath may suggest various dietary supplements, homeopathics and sometimes acupuncture to help raise blood counts.
- Neuropathy: Some multiple myeloma treatments may cause peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet). Your naturopath may use amino acids, essential fatty acids, herbs or vitamin complexes to help protect your nervous system.
- Cardiotoxicity: Since some multiple myeloma treatments can damage your heart muscle, your clinician may use certain antioxidants, herbal medicines or amino acids to help support the heart muscle.
- Mucositis: Certain multiple myeloma treatments may damage the cells lining the mouth, resulting in mouth sores. Your naturopath may recommend dietary supplements and/or a baking soda/sea salt mouth rinses to improve the healing mechanisms of the mouth.
- Fatigue: Lack of energy is a common side effect of many cancers and their treatments, not just multiple myeloma. Your clinician may recommend a variety of naturopathic treatments, such as vitamin and nutrient combinations, herbs and homeopathic remedies to help combat fatigue.
- Nausea: Your naturopath may recommend herbs like ginger, acupuncture treatments, acupressure, wrist bands, homeopathics and aromatherapy to ease nausea.
- Diarrhea: Your naturopath may recommend certain amino acids, dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies or herbs to minimize diarrhea.
Constipation: Your clinician may recommend diet and lifestyle interventions, fiber supplements, herbal laxatives, essential fatty acids, stool softeners, hydrotherapy, homeopathy or acupuncture to ease this symptom.
- Skin Rash: Your naturopath may recommend topical creams or ointments to relieve skin irritation caused by some multiple myeloma treatments, such as radiation therapy.
Multiple Myeloma Care Under One Roof
Throughout your multiple myeloma treatment, your naturopath communicates regularly with your oncologists, hematologists and the other members of your multiple myeloma care team. Being able to work together in close proximity allows us to share specific challenges and find naturopathic treatments and advanced medical solutions to meet your individual needs.
After your 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.
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