Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that combines a series of drugs to kill malignant or cancerous cells. The drugs that make up chemotherapy are so strong that they damage cells in the body that are growing, including healthy cells, and this is precisely what causes the side effects of this treatment.
Undergoing chemotherapy involves not only the emotional discomfort that the person is going through following the diagnosis of cancer, but also adds a series of symptoms that considerably worsen the quality of life. Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, weakness, fatigue, exhaustion and changes in the buccal mucosa are some of the consequences of chemotherapy, and in view of this situation, it is urgent to look for alternatives to improve this symptomatology so that the person with cancer regains its stability and physical capacity. For this reason, in this article we offer some home remedies to reduce the effects of chemotherapy and thus make this process more bearable.
Remedies to calm nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are perhaps one of the side effects of chemotherapy that few people escape, but these are also one of the most annoying symptoms, since they make it practically impossible to try any type of food, which can be unbalanced to the person, dehydrated or compromise their nutritional level. Some remedies to reduce the effects of chemotherapy that can be very helpful in controlling nausea and vomiting are:
Eating large amounts of food, like drinking lots of liquid, stimulates nausea and vomiting. Try changing portions and eating small amounts of food throughout the day instead of making three hearty meals. As for drinks, it is advisable to drink them slowly to avoid vomiting.
Avoid strong smells and flavors
The aromas and flavors can trigger nausea. For example, very sweet or fatty foods often have stronger smells and tastes that cause upset stomach during chemotherapy. Prefers cold foods, also stay away from any smell of creams, soaps, perfumes, detergents, etc., that you consider that your discomfort worsens.
The best clothing during chemotherapy treatment is loose clothing, as tight-fitting garments exert an abdominal pressure that can worsen the discomfort of vomiting and nausea.
A side effect of chemotherapy is the change of the oral mucosa, which can make you taste metal in your mouth. To combat it and avoid the nausea that it suggests, chew a mint gum. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash or with baking soda and salt.
Infusions to the rescue
Some medicinal plants have the property of reducing nausea. An infusion of mint or ginger can be a great help to feel better.
Remedies to combat fatigue
It may be asking for a lot, but it’s not about running around the city, it’s about getting out of bed. While the discomfort of chemotherapy causes a physical and mental exhaustion that triggers chronic fatigue, being all day lying down can worsen that symptom. Taking a walk once or twice a day will allow you to raise your energy level. You can also leave the house to do some activity that you enjoy or simply to visit loved ones, which will also help you to feel more animated.
Keep an agenda
If after the first dose of chemotherapy you write down how you have felt each day, you can determine before the second dose when you are most active. Thus, you can allow yourself to rest during those bad days and you can be encouraged to leave the house or walk during good days.
Yes. Physical activity is important, but rest too. When your body asks you to stop, stop and lie down in your bed to rest so that you recharge your energy. Also, it is important to avoid insomnia, very common in people with cancer, so avoid stimulant drinks such as coffee and tea during the night and prefer a valerian infusion to get deep sleep and improve your mood.
Eat foods rich in iron
During chemotherapy, red blood cell levels can fall and lead to anemia, a condition that includes weakness and fatigue among its main symptoms. To prevent this from happening, consume iron-rich foods such as beets, watercress and peas to keep the production of these globules stable.
It also seems impossible to ask, but it is necessary. Anxiety is part of chemotherapy, and to decrease it we recommend you practice relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Talking to people who are going through the same thing as you will also help you feel better. Also, to relax is important to avoid everything that worries you, work and household chores can go forward without you.
Remedies to reduce constipation of chemotherapy
Eat more fiber
The foods rich in fiber stimulate intestinal transit and help soften stools, making bowel movements are much more frequent and less painful. Whole wheat bread, wheat, oats, mango, pears, apples, blackberries, raspberries, almonds, peanuts, artichokes, peas, carrots, broccoli, soybeans and beans are ideal to include in your diet.
It is no longer about fatigue, in this opportunity we recommend a daily walk to stimulate the functioning of your intestine and reduce constipation of chemotherapy.
The water also acts on the organism increasing the volume of the feces and softening its composition, which facilitates its expulsion. Daily we must consume 2 liters of water, because this dose rises to 2 and half liters and you will notice the difference. If constipation is very chronic, consult your doctor to prescribe a stool softener.
Home remedies for sores in the mouth
Another unpleasant consequence of chemotherapy is that it alters the buccal mucosa and the person is more prone to suffer sores that are painful and worsen the inappetence. To reduce them, keep these recommendations in mind.
Take care what you eat
Avoid citrus, spicy or very hot foods, as they only worsen the condition of the sores. An excellent remedy to reduce the effects of chemotherapy is to suck ice or eat ice cream, as the cold will give a refreshing sensation while reducing inflammation. Also, it is important to avoid caffeine, tea or energy drinks, as these substances can irritate the sores.
To prevent them from proliferating or irritating, it is important that you keep a proper oral cleaning, to do so rinse your mouth with baking soda and clean your teeth with a soft swab, taking care not to break or hurt any of the sores. Cleaning the mouth with a little warm water including salt will also be of great help to prevent sores from becoming infected while deflating them.
Other remedies to reduce the effects of chemotherapy
To boost the immune system
Chemotherapy has the ability to depress the immune system, which is important to avoid not catching any virus or bacteria and to recover more energy. The consumption of omega 3 supplements or foods rich in antioxidants is important to raise the body’s defenses and make it stronger. Add strawberries, orange, guava, fish, anchovy, tuna, sardines, clams, mussels, watercress, broccoli and spinach to your diet.
To cleanse the body of toxins
Chemotherapy introduces to the body a series of chemicals and very strong substances that fill the blood with toxins. An ideal way to purify blood flow is by taking aloe vera juice every day, which is also a very energizing drink and will help decrease weakness and fatigue.