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Top 10 Eating Problems During Cancer Treatment

Nausea, appetite loss, and dry mouth are among the top 10 eating problems that can occur during cancer treatment. These problems can have a real impact on your treatment, since not eating enough can lead to malnourishment. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to address these issues, such as switching to soft, easy-to-swallow foods. Fortified liquids can also come in handy if you need to avoid solid food for a while.


The Importance of Nutrition

Proper nutrition is a critical part of successful cancer treatment. When you have cancer, you need to keep up your strength and energy to heal your body and to tolerate side effects of the therapy. Dietary needs and eating habits are affected differently based on the type of cancer and its treatment. Read on to learn about the top 10 eating problems that occur during cancer treatment and what you can do to solve them.

Appetite Loss

It is very common for people with cancer to have a poor appetite. It can be caused by many things, including the topics discussed later in this article. You should think of food as a necessary part of your therapy. Try to eat when you have the biggest appetite, which is usually in the morning. Drink plenty of liquids, especially on days that you cannot eat. Liquid meal supplements or smoothies will provide extra calories and protein.

Changes in Sense of Smell or Taste

Changes in smell and taste can result from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, dental problems, or the cancer itself. If you have a metallic taste in your mouth, try cooking in glass pots and pans and using plastic spoons and forks. Marinate meats in fruit juice, sauces, or dressings that you like to make them taste better.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva. It often occurs after radiation treatment of the head and neck. Chemotherapy, breathing through the mouth, and dehydration can also cause dry mouth. Carry a water bottle with you and frequently sip water, or buy artificial saliva products at a drugstore. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and acidic or rough foods that can irritate your mouth.
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