Nutritional Support for Cancer Treatment and Recovery

Nutritional Support for Cancer Treatment and Recovery


 

 

 

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, no one has to tell you how devastating that diagnosis can be…

Your life literally changes overnight…

You’re faced with the reality of treatment and that usually means

∙           Surgery

∙           Chemotherapy

∙           Radiation

∙           Experimental treatments including possible hormone therapy

And all the side effects that come with each of those cancer treatment options.

If you’re a cancer or post chemotherapy patient and you suffer from

∙           Loss of appetite

∙           Nausea

∙           Post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy, including nerve pain and/or balance and gait issues

∙           Dry mouth

You may be missing a very important piece of the cancer recovery puzzle…

Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery.

Trying to recover from cancer without giving your body what it needs to build itself back up is like trying to rebuild a house after a tornado without 2×4’s and nails.

If your body doesn’t have the essential materials it needs to heal, no medical treatment has any hope of succeeding.

Granted, food may not sound appealing right now.  Talk to your medical team to put together a cancer recovery diet plan that will make food taste good and give you the nutrients you need to heal.

Here are some things to think about when designing a cancer recovery nutrition program:

Basic Cancer Nutrition Tips[1]

If you’ve undergone chemotherapy or you’re preparing to, you need to support your immune system.  Your best option for doing that is a diet rich in whole foods that are easy on the digestive system.  Make sure your cancer recovery diet includes foods that are high in anti-oxidants and protein.  Your diet plan should include foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamins C, D and E and nutrients like soy isoflavones, amino acids, folic acid, l-glutamine, calcium and carotenoids.  Drink as much water as possible and don’t worry about keeping your calorie count low.  This is the time to take in all the calories you need.

Chemotherapy and radiation may affect your ability to digest foods so invest in a good food processor and/or juicer.  Both of these tools will allow you to prepare foods that are easy to ingest and digest while still getting the nutrition you need.

Try These Foods To Rebuild Your Body[2]

It’s easy to say “eat foods that are high in vitamins” but you may not know exactly which foods you need.  Here are some suggestions for foods to aid in your Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery and chemotherapy symptoms:

Vitamin C

∙           Red cabbage

∙           Kiwi fruit

∙           Oranges

∙           Red and Green Bell Peppers

∙           Potatoes

Vitamin D

∙           Salmon and tuna

Vitamin E

∙           Nuts, including almonds and peanuts

∙           Avocados

∙           Broccoli

Carotenoids

∙           Apricots

∙           Carrots

∙           Greens, especially collard greens and spinach

∙           Sweet potatoes

Soy Isoflavones

∙           Soybeans

∙           Tofu

∙           Soy milk – this could also be helpful if you need to go lactose-free

Folic Acid

∙           Asparagus

∙           Dried beans

∙           Beets

∙           Brussels sprouts

∙           Garbanzo beans

∙           Lentils

∙           Turkey

These are just a few examples.  Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ clinician for a specially prepared diet plan that incorporates all the foods you need to rebuild your immune system.

Use Herbs and Spices to Give Your Food More Flavor

Herbs and spices are a natural way to flavor your food without adding man-made chemicals.  And many herbs have natural medicinal properties of their own.  Try some of these to make your food taste better:

∙           Cinnamon

∙           Basil

∙           Coriander

∙           Cumin

∙           Ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties, too)

∙           Garlic

∙           Mint (great for fighting nausea as well)

∙           Fennel

∙           Turmeric

We hope this gives you the basic knowledge you need to talk with your health care team, including your local NeuropathyDR treatment specialist about cancer recovery nutrition and your pre and post chemotherapy diet.  Working with your medical team to design a cancer recovery diet plan that works for you will ensure that you’re not neglecting the missing piece of the cancer recovery puzzle – good nutrition.

For more information on Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery and coping with the symptoms of your cancer treatment, including peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

Call us for personal help at 781-659-7989


[1] www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment

 

[2] www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor

Relieve Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort with These Simple Stretches

Relieve Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort with These Simple Stretches

A Series of Simple Daily Stretches Could Help You to Reduce Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort

Neuropathy pain can lead you to feel immobilized. It’s easy to gradually become fearful of making the pain and discomfort worse by moving around too much, in the belief that too much exercise could increase your pain.

But in truth, mild exercise is likely to actually help you feel better on a daily basis. If moderate exercise causes more neuropathic pain for you, try some of these simple stretches, which you can even do lying down or in bed. You can repeat each stretch five or six times.

  1. First, gently spread your fingers wide apart, then loosely close them into a fist. Spread your toes wide, then curl them up.
  2. Next, begin making circles with your wrists and ankles. Be sure to rotate in both directions several times.
  3. Now pull your hands in toward your shoulders and bend your knees in gently toward your chest. Gently relax back into your original position.
  4. Slowly bring up your arms toward your ears, then back down to a resting position.
  5. Last, lift one leg as far as you comfortably can while keeping your knee straight. Gently lower the leg, then repeat on the other side.

These stretches are great for anyone with neuropathy pain that results in limited range of motion. They can help to improve circulation in your legs and arms in addition to giving your joints a gentle workout.

Remember, even mild and occasional exercise is helpful in keeping yourself as healthy and pain-free as possible. Start at a very slow pace, only going as far as you feel comfortable, and then build up your stretching stamina on a daily or weekly basis. Of course, be sure to speak with your NeuropathyDR® clinician before initiating any new exercise program.

Want to know more about stretching as a way to reduce neuropathy pain? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.

How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment (Part 2): 5 Surprising Ways to Meditate

How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment (Part 2): 5 Surprising Ways to Meditate

Chronic neuropathy treatment can be supported with meditation—and it doesn’t have to be fancy, structured, or even spiritual in nature. Here’s a list of 5 ways to begin a meditation practice today on your own, for free.

When you think of meditation, do you picture a very serene-looking monk sitting cross-legged on a cushion? Or maybe a young man or woman in yoga gear on a cliff by the ocean? Maybe you’ve heard that there’s only one right way to meditate, and you’d need to watch a DVD or attend a class to find out how.

But I have great news for you! The truth is that you don’t need a class, a DVD, or a perfect body to meditate. You don’t even have to sit on a cushion on the floor. Best of all, meditating is so easy, you can start today.

Here are 5 kinds of meditation that don’t require any kind of training. You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes each day.

1. Sitting meditation

Sitting doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion. You can sit upright in any chair that is comfortable for you. The key factor is in having appropriate posture. Think of your head as a balloon that is rising toward the ceiling on a string; let it float over your shoulders. Now think of having a strong, upright back and an open, receiving heart. Sit in this way for 5 to 10 minutes and just notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, like clouds floating by in the sky.

2. Walking meditation

This is a special way of walking that holds less danger of repetitive stress, because you won’t cover much ground in 5 minutes. It might more accurately be called balancing meditation. Simply slow down each step and notice every aspect of it: shifting your weight onto one foot, letting the other foot rise forward, contacting the ground, shifting your weight again. Then repeat on the other side. It’s just like walking, but at a glacial pace that allows you to really notice the sensations of movement and balance.

3. Meditating in bed

For those who find sitting or walking meditation too painful due to neuropathy symptoms, the wonderful thing to know about meditation is that you can do it in any position—even lying down. (The Buddha himself said so!) The key practice isn’t your body position, although it’s best to be in a posture that allows for effective breathing. Instead, the key is in noticing sensations and thoughts and simply allowing them to pass by without judgment.

4. Mindfully doing a creative act

Meditation doesn’t even have to happen in stillness. It’s possible to engage in a daily meditative practice involving any creative act, such as cooking or creating music. Again, the key to a meditative practice is in being fully aware in each moment of how you are feeling, what you’re thinking, and what judgments are arising about the situation. If you find that your attention drifts, just gently bring it back to this moment.

5. Mindfully completing any household chore

Finally, meditation works with any activity, regardless of its nature. The dullest of household chores can be a form of meditation if they are done mindfully—that is, with your attention on sensation and awareness. For example, when you are washing the dishes after dinner, spend those 10 minutes noticing how the soapy water feels on your hands and being aware of the pattern of your breathing.

Meditation of any kind can be an effective stress relief and a self-help supplement for your chronic neuropathy treatment.

Have you tried meditation? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.

Pain Management Options for the Peripheral Neuropathy Patient

Pain Management Options for the Peripheral Neuropathy Patient

Person Who Can't Sleep

If you’re a patient suffering from peripheral neuropathy as a result of

 

·           Diabetes

·           Post-chemotherapy

·           Shingles

·           Guillian Barre Syndrome

·           HIV

·           Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

·           Or any other peripheral neuropathic pain

One of your greatest challenges (other than dealing with the pain and disruption of your normal daily activities) may be finding a medical professional to treat you with empathy and a real understanding of what you’re dealing with as a peripheral neuropathy sufferer.

Neuropathy pain can be hard to describe and even harder to measure.  You can’t put a number on it and you can’t always give a concrete definition or explanation for your symptoms.  That makes it difficult for the medical community, a community of science, to effectively treat you as a neuropathy patient.

The difficulty in finding a doctor well versed in treating peripheral neuropathy, in all its various forms, can make your life an exercise in frustration.  Not only are you dealing with your peripheral neuropathy pain but you can’t find anyone to treat you with any success.

It might help to know what your treatment options are so you can interview your potential treater with some background knowledge about the pain management options available to you as a neuropathy patient.

Here are some of the options for pain management in peripheral neuropathy patients:

Medication[1]

The first line of therapy for peripheral neuropathy patients is usually pain medication, sometimes in combination with antidepressants.  There has been some success with drugs used to treat epilepsy as well as opioids.  Opioids may be effective but the dosages are very high and only help specific patients.

Always ask your treating physician about side effects from any medication prescribed.  Many of the drugs used to treat neuropathy pain can have serious side effects and you need to take that into consideration before you use them.

Topical Treatments

Some creams can be help if you have small areas affected by your neuropathy.

Topical treatments usually don’t provide long lasting relief so talk to your doctor about a more permanent therapy if that doesn’t interest you. The exception are the cremes used in conjunction with the NeuropathyDR Treatments you’ll find HERE

Physical Therapy

Study after study has shown that active people heal faster.  Period.  By exercising your muscles, you will more easily adapt to your other physical limitations such as balance or gait issues.

Another benefit of physical therapy is that by keeping your muscles active and loose, you are less likely to suffer from severe muscle spasms, a common symptom in neuropathy patients.

But be prepared.  NOT all PT is good and many PTs are NOT trained to help Neuropathy specifically.

When you first begin a course of physical therapy to treat your neuropathy pain, you will probably experience a little more pain than usual.  You probably haven’t used those muscles in a while and they’re adapting to the treatment.  If you need a boost in your pain medication until the muscle pain subsides, ask for it.

Psychotherapy[2]

Chronic pain or chronic illness leads to depression in many neuropathy patients.  Treating the psychological aspects of your peripheral neuropathy pain is just as important as treating the physical symptoms.  Any successful pain management therapy should include psychological counseling.  Ask your doctor for a referral to a good therapist to talk about the emotional and psychological aspects of your neuropathy.  You’re not overreacting to your pain and you’re not imagining it!

Other and “Alternative” Therapies

A good body/mind therapy regimen can be really helpful in dealing with your peripheral neuropathy.  Consider yoga, acupuncture, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, or any other meditation technique as a complement to your pain management program.  Any of these alternative therapies can increase the production of endorphins in your brain and help the body manage your pain in unison with any other medical treatment.

Neurostimulation And Laser

Applying small amounts energy via light AND or electrical stimulation (NDGen(TM) in various shapes or waves to the nerves and muscles may be successful in cutting pain levels dramatically and aiding them in functioning normally again. There are home AND clinic options with this unique tool!

Far from ordinary TENS, this combination treatment when properly applied cuts pain often dramatically and may even stimulate the nerve to function more normally again.

Learn more about the NDGen™ Home and Clinic treatment protocol or better yet, go visit a NeuropathyDR clinician in your area.

Our NeuropathyDR Clinician is a specialist in using the NDGen™ treatment protocol to cut your pain and drug use in many cases helping them to function more normally again.

For more information on coping with your peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our Bi-Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.


[1][1][1][1] See www.touchneurology.com/articles/treatment-options-neuropathy-patients

 

[2] See http://www.supportiveoncology.net/journal/articles/0102107.pdf

Peripheral Neuropathy and Your Quality of Life

Peripheral Neuropathy and Your Quality of Life

There are things you can do to lessen the physical (and emotional) effects of peripheral neuropathy and help you function as normally as possible!

If you’re suffering from peripheral neuropathy, you know how much it affects your life.

Every single day…

Senior Couple Sitting In ParkEven the simplest tasks can be difficult if not impossible…

To anyone unfamiliar with peripheral neuropathy and its symptoms, they might just think “your nerves hurt a little…”

But at a peripheral neuropathy sufferer, you know better…

Peripheral neuropathy not only affects your health, it can wreck your quality of life.

How Do You Define Quality of Life?

Generally speaking, Quality of Life is a term used to measure a person’s overall well-being. In medical terms, it usually means how well a patient has adapted to a medical condition.  It measures[1]:

  • Your physical and material well being
  • Your social relationships – how you interact with others
  • Your social activities
  • Your personal fulfillment – your career, any creative outlets you may have, how involved you are with other interests)
  • Your recreational activities – your hobbies, sports, etc.
  • Your actual health – what your health is really like and how healthy you believe you are

How do you feel about these aspects of your life?  Your attitude and approach to your illness, both your neuropathy and the underlying cause of your neuropathy (i.e., diabetes, HIV/AIDS, lupus, etc.) can make a huge difference in how well you adapt to your neuropathy symptoms.

Neuropathy Symptoms Aren’t Just Physical

The pain of peripheral neuropathy falls into the category of what is considered chronic pain.  It usually doesn’t just come and go.  You can’t just pop a couple of aspirin and forget about it.  It’s pain with its root cause in nerve damage.

The nerves that actually register pain are the actual cause of the pain.  When you’re in that kind of pain on a consistent basis, it affects you in many different ways[2]:

  • You become depressed and/or anxious
  • Your productivity and interest at work is disrupted
  • You can’t sleep
  • It’s difficult for you to get out and interact with other people so you feel isolated
  • You sometimes don’t understand why you’re not getting better

What You Can Do To Improve Your Quality of Life

You may feel like your situation is hopeless, especially if you’ve become mired in depression.

But it isn’t.

There are things you can do to lessen the physical (and emotional) effects of peripheral neuropathy and help you function as normally as possible:

  • Pay special attention to caring for your feet.  Inspect them daily for cuts, pressure spots, blisters or calluses (use a mirror to look at the bottom of your feet). The minute you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician for help.  Never go barefoot – anywhere.
  • Treat yourself to a good foot massage to improve your circulation and reduce pain.  Check with your insurance company – if massage is actually prescribed by your doctor, they may cover some of the cost.
  • Only wear shoes that are padded, supportive and comfortable and never wear tight socks.
  • If you smoke, quit.  Nicotine decreases circulation and if you’re a peripheral neuropathy patient, you can’t risk that.
  • Cut back on your caffeine intake.  Several studies have found that caffeine may actually make neuropathy pain worse.
  • If you sit at a desk, never cross your knees or lean on your elbows.  The pressure will only make your nerve damage worse.
  • Be really careful when using hot water.  Your peripheral neuropathy may affect the way you register changes in temperature and it’s really easy for you to burn yourself and not even realize it.
  • Use a “bed cradle” to keep your sheets away from your feet if you experience pain when trying to sleep.  That will help you rest.
  • Try to be as active as possible.  Moderate exercise is great for circulation and it can work wonders for your emotional and mental health.
  • Make your home as injury proof as possible – install bath assists and/or hand rails and never leave anything on the floor that you can trip over.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.  If you don’t know what you should and shouldn’t eat, talk to your NeuropathyDR® clinician about a personalized diet plan to maintain proper weight and give your body what it needs to heal.
  • Try to get out as often as possible to socialize with others.

We hope this information helps you to better manage your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.  Take a look at the list above and see how many of these things you’re already doing to help yourself. Then talk to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician about help with adding the others to your daily life.

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