Multiple Myeloma Nutrition Therapy
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Nutrition Therapy for Multiple Myeloma
Many multiple myeloma patients who come to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) are malnourished. Malnutrition has a significant impact on your ability to tolerate treatment.
The nutrition therapy team will help you stay strong and nutritionally balanced so your multiple myeloma treatment is not interrupted and you can maintain your quality of life while fighting the disease.
Your Individualized Nutrition Therapy
During your first visit to CTCA, you’ll meet with a registered dietitian who will evaluate your nutrition status based on factors like weight changes, food intake and nutrition impact symptoms.
Since multiple myeloma affects each person differently, you’ll receive an individualized nutrition therapy plan. Your dietitian may encourage you to follow a plant-based diet, including less red meat and processed foods, and more fish, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Throughout your treatment, your dietitian will monitor your nutrition status, and make modifications to your diet as needed. You and your loved ones will also learn about healthy eating habits so you can continue to make good choices once you return home.
Nutrition Support After a Stem Cell Transplant
For multiple myeloma patients who undergo a stem cell transplant, nutrition plays an essential role. After the transplant, your blood counts, including infection-fighting white blood cells, will be lower, making you more susceptible to infection. A strict adherence to food safety is very important at this time.
For a period of time following the transplant, your dietitian may recommend a neutropenic diet. Diet restrictions may include avoiding raw/undercooked foods (e.g., meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables or unpeeled fruits) or unpasteurized dairy products.
Managing Side Effects With Nutrition Therapy
Multiple myeloma and its treatments can cause side effects that affect your appetite, such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, pain and fatigue. These side effects can result in weight loss and malnutrition, which can delay or interrupt your treatment.
Because nutrition for cancer patients is critical, your dietitian will closely monitor your status and may use various
nutrition interventions to combat the side effects of multiple myeloma treatment, such as:
- Weight Loss: Your dietitian will monitor you closely to ensure you are maintaining a healthy weight, since weight loss can delay or interrupt your multiple myeloma treatment.
- Constipation: Your dietitian may recommend you increase your fiber intake and stay hydrated to relieve constipation.
- Fatigue: Your dietitian may recommend small, frequent meals and nutrient-dense foods to give you more energy.
- Nausea: Your dietitian may recommend a low-fat, bland diet of cold foods, ginger products, peppermint or sea bands to combat nausea.
- Anemia: Your dietitian may recommend iron and folic acid supplements to boost your red blood cell count.
- Low Blood Counts: Your dietitian may recommend a well-balanced, protein-rich diet to help your blood counts return to a safe level.
Multiple Myeloma Care Under One Roof
Throughout your multiple myeloma treatment, your dietitian will work closely 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 nutrition challenges and find solutions to meet your individual needs.
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