My Energy Levels Are Low During Cancer Treatment, Is There Anything I Can Do Or Take To Feel Less Exhausted?

Linda A. Lee, M.D, Hopkins

Question: My energy levels are low during cancer treatment, is there anything I can do or take to feel less exhausted and fatigued?

Answer:Unfortunately, there is no supplement that is going to take the place of eating a healthful diet. Now, many patients going through cancer therapy find this a challenge because for many reasons they have difficulty eating and maintaining their weight. It is very common for patients to experience disturbances in taste or other digestive symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. So even with these symptoms, what we try to do at our integrative medicine center is to help teach patients and their families how they can get adequate nutrition during this very difficult time. For example, we know physiologically that liquids pass through the stomach much more readily than solid foods. If you're experiencing nausea and vomiting, this is not the time to try to eat salads and raw fruits and other vegetables. But that is in their whole form. What you could do, however, is use a blender and begin to blenderize these very healthful foods and liquefy them so that your gastrointestinal tract can better digest them. These are the kinds of things that we really recommend to patients rather than taking a supplement.

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