If you have cancer, there is a good chance that you are going to need to undergo radiation therapy in order to make sure that you are able to beat the cancer and successfully move on with your life. However, radiation therapy can significantly impact your eating habits during the treatment. This can cause your weight to change drastically, which can affect your recovery from the treatment. Many patients during radiation treatment lose weight because they have a hard time eating, but patients with certain types of cancers are more likely to gain weight. Here are some tips for managing your weight during radiation therapy.
1. Eat a Variety of Foods
Don't make any changes, such as going vegetarian or only eating organic foods, right before you start radiation treatment. The reason for this is that radiation treatment can make you nauseous and limit the foods that you are able to eat. Eating a variety of foods will help you stay healthier and ensure that you are getting proper nutrition, as well as help you manage your weight. Limiting your food choices through voluntary diet restrictions is going to make it hard for you to eat a variety of foods.
2. Stay Hydrated and Increase Caloric Intake at the Same Time
If you are having a hard time during treatment because you are losing a lot of weight, you might need to increase the amount of calories that you are taking in each day. You know that you need to stay hydrated in order to maintain your body's energy during radiation therapy. Combine hydration and caloric intake by drinking 100% fruit juice or other drinks that have nutritional value, hydrating power, and calories.
3. Control Your Weight Loss
If you are overweight when you start radiation therapy, you might see the weight loss as a silver lining. However, you want to slow down the weight loss to around one pound per week if possible in order to make sure that you don't go too low and are able to maintain your weight changes after the treatment. You can help increase the chances that you maintain your weight loss after treatment by eating a mostly plant-based diet for several months after your cancer has been removed. Talk to your doctor for more details.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in radiation therapy. They will be able to help you manage your weight as well.