Here’s What to Avoid During Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is, without a doubt, a potentially life-saving journey. However, during the process of destroying harmful cancer cells, noncancerous cells can be in the crossfire, leading to challenging side effects. The physician will offer guidelines on what cancer patients should do to minimize these effects, but it’s just as important to know what to avoid during chemotherapy.
Wondering What to Avoid During Chemotherapy?
- Probiotics: Probiotics contain beneficial yeast and bacteria, but skip them during chemo because of the body’s weakened immune system.
- Vitamins: A 2019 research study pointed to evidence of a decrease in chemo’s effectiveness and a substantial reduction in the desired outcome by people who were taking certain vitamins (including A, C, and B12).
- Smoking: Smoking may cause hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) in cancer tumors and other parts of the body that may impact the efficacy of chemo and worsen side effects.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can exacerbate the negative side effects of chemo, even in very small amounts.
- Strenuous work and exercise: This includes both mentally and physically taxing tasks, which could exacerbate stress, fatigue, mood swings and nausea.
- UV light: Limit exposure to sunlight and stay away from tanning beds, which can have a more severe effect on the skin in an individual receiving chemotherapy.
- Infections: Because the immune system is compromised during chemotherapy, it’s very important to stay away from people who are sick.
Additionally, there are many foods to avoid during chemotherapy, including:
- Raw honey
- Spicy and acidic foods and condiments
- Soft-cooked or raw eggs
- Grapefruits and grapefruit juice
- Raw nuts
- Raw fish and shellfish
- Seville oranges and their juice
- Foods from bulk bins
- Hard, sharp foods such as potato chips, crackers, cookies, and granola
- Blue as well as other moldy cheeses
- Fresh salsa and salad dressing
As you’re avoiding the items above, consider these helpful tips that could be beneficial to your chemotherapy journey:
- Mitigate appetite problems by eating smaller, more frequent meals (including a lot of protein), drinking at least 8 – 12 cups of water each day, and staying as physically active as possible to help increase appetite
- Minimize fatigue by arranging for transportation to and from chemo appointments and designating both the day of and the day after chemo as a day of rest
- Protect the skin from dryness and sensitivity through the use of gentle soap and moisturizing the skin often, wearing sunscreen, and selecting loose-fitting clothes and a hat when outdoors
- Decrease the risk of infection by washing hands frequently, avoiding large crowds, and getting flu and COVID-19 vaccinations (if approved by the physician)
Remember, support is vital during chemotherapy treatment. Build a strong network of friends and family and include a professional caregiver to make certain all needs – emotional, physical, and spiritual – will be met throughout this difficult time.
Cancer care can be complex. Let Responsive Home Care’s fully trained and experienced care professionals help. Contact us online or at (954) 486-6440 to hear more about our services and to learn which areas we service.