Cancer significantly changes the body's need for nutrients. Therefore, the patient's diet should be composed in such a way that a properly nourished organism has the strength to fight the disease. How to eat, what to eat, what to avoid and what specialist medical nutrition is and why should it be an integral part of the treatment?
What can cause weight loss in people with cancer?
During an oncological disease, the metabolic rate and the body's need for nutrients often increase. What is more, there are often numerous side effects that make it difficult to take meals, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth, or even anorexia. In some cases, food intake is additionally hindered by irritation of the oral and gastrointestinal mucosa or difficulties with swallowing. In such a situation, ensuring adequate nutrition is a real challenge.
2. what can be done to eat properly despite these undesirable effects?
First of all, it should be remembered that a properly composed diet can significantly reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and improve the effects of treatment. Despite these ailments, it is extremely important to meet the body's daily nutrient requirements. Composition of an appropriate diet is always an individual matter, so each patient should consult his or her menu with a doctor or nutritionist.
3) Should the patient's diet differ from that of a healthy person?
If the patient does not experience any side effects of the treatment, the diet should not differ significantly from the optimal, balanced diet of a healthy person. Very often it is necessary to increase the amount of protein in the menu. It is important that the diet fully responds to the body's demand for all nutrients. However, there are situations when a traditional diet is not enough. Then it is advisable to introduce oral nutrients (e.g. Nutridrink), which contain a large dose of energy and nutrients supplementing the daily diet in the right proportions. As a result, they help to maintain the proper nutrition level of the sick person's body, which increases the chances of improving the general condition of the body and preparing for the process of therapy.
4) Are there universal principles of nutrition that should guide sick people?
There is no universal diet suitable for every patient. That is why all patients, when starting the treatment process, should benefit from a professional dietary consultation. There are, however, a number of rules that can make eating easier. First of all, it is worth taking care of regular meals in small portions from 5 to 6 times a day. This will help to avoid excessive strain on the already weakened digestive system. A daily diet should contain fresh fruit and vegetables (raw, cooked or baked depending on the patient's health condition and type of cancer). The most important role in the diet are products with a high protein content, such as lean quark, natural yoghurt, lean meat or sea fish. These products should not be missing in the daily menu. The sources of energy should be found in black bread, pasta, groats, as well as in a small amount of vegetable fats. To hydrate your body properly, drink about 2 litres of water a day. Uncarbonated water, light tea, cereal coffee or some small amounts of freshly squeezed juices with no added sugar will be ideal.
5. what is medical nutrition and is it necessary to introduce it into the patient's diet?
Medical nutrition is a high-energy, specialised nutrient formulations containing an appropriate composition of nutrients, such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The purpose of oral nutrition products is to cover the increased demand for essential ingredients when a traditional diet is not sufficient or in cases where the patient has difficulty in taking meals. Early introduction of medical nutrition supports treatment and adds strength to the fight against the disease.
6. how to use special dietary preparations?
Oral nutrition preparations are best used as a supplement to the daily diet. The body's need for particular ingredients may vary from one patient to another. Usually it is recommended to consume 2 bottles a day, but it can sometimes increase to 5 or 7 bottles a day, depending on the preparation chosen. The preparation is best eaten chilled, because then it tastes best. Rapid intake of the product, due to the high concentration of nutrients, may overload the digestive tract, so it is recommended to consume it slowly, for about 30 minutes. Specialist food preparations can be used alone between meals, as a base or as a food additive to increase their nutritional value.