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How should cancer patients be fed and supported?

Tuesday, September 7, 2021


Nutrition and phytotherapy are very important for cancer patients. Because it can change the quality, effectiveness and survival of the patient. In this article, I shared the details of the oncology nutrition I have been working with for a long time.

Cancer continues to climb up the list of diseases that cause death. Despite the increase in treatment options, I have seen a big problem. Cancer nutrition and phytotherapy is still a big taboo.

Because the patients are complex, few dietitians are interested. Physicians in the field of phytotherapy, on the other hand, do not use support due to interactions except for a few names.

While my oncologist friends have a lot of knowledge about their fields, they support and the ideas about nutrition are like going on with their normal lives.

But the situation is very different for patients. Nutritional and phytotherapy supplements are very important for them, which will extend their life span and even help to get rid of the disease by making the treatment more effective. The only problem is to use it correctly and apply it. Now that I have a lot of questions about this subject, I now want to prepare a wide guide.

In this article, how should cancer patients be fed? I will answer the question and will mention phytotherapy support in individuals with cancer.

What should cancer patients eat or not?

I want to start with nutrition, but nutrition alone has quite a lot of detail. Because one of the factors that change the life expectancy of cancer patients is nutrition.

Let me explain to you the importance of the situation. 50% of cancer patients lose 5% of their body weight during the illness and 20% of patients lose their lives for this reason.

So it comes to this point. The survival of cancer patients and their chances of survival (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, etc.), nutrition and phytotherapy determine. We didn’t come to the quality of life. Because the quality of the period is important as well as the quantity.

What is done in cancer treatments is generally to remove harmful and rapidly proliferating cells. At this point, healthy cells are damaged as well as cancerous cells, and the patient struggles with serious side effects. Preventing this relaxes the process makes the person happy, so the quality of life increases.

Okay, now we understand the process. Let’s go deeper and see the details.

Caloric intake in cancer patients

Calorie intake should be examined first after diagnosis and treatment planning of cancer. Because research shows that normal-weight cancer patients (whose body mass index is between 18-25) suffer less damage and have additional problems than overweight or weak patients.

Then we need to adjust the calorie intake to the weight and feed the patient correctly and provide energy. This is because cancer cells consume much more fuel because of the rapid and inefficient production of oxygen-free energy. This situation causes individuals to become weak and weak in the process.

The solution to prevent the problem is to increase calorie intake. Although there is not a complete opinion, 25-35 kcal energy intake per kilo is required in cancer patients.

If the patient is overweight, this value can be reduced to the 18-20 kcal / kg limit. Similarly, in hypermetabolic conditions, an indirect calorimeter can be used.

How much protein consumption should cancer patients have?

Protein takes part in every part of the body, participates in the structure of the muscles and forms the main body. Therefore, we never want an individual to do protein destruction.

In addition, proteins gain a different importance in cancer patients. The reason for this is a special problem called “cachexia syndrome.. The mechanism is very simple.

Cancer cells consume more energy than normal. Fats break down to meet energy in normal individuals, while the need for glucose in cancer patients outweighs the çağr call for glucose production ta in the body.

There is only one source for glucose production. Proteins!

Tissue proteins are broken down to produce glucose. As cancer spreads, more protein breaks down and more muscle loss occurs. In other words, the body begins to disintegrate itself to spread cancer cells.

In the diagnosis, it is sufficient for the physician to detect and mediate inflammation mediators in the blood.

I don’t know why, but these tests are not routinely applied in our country.

As a result, a person’s kidney function, muscle mass should be taken into consideration should be determined daily protein amount. This figure is 1-1.5 grams per kilo for patients I follow in general.

If cachexia, hypermetabolic condition or protein-lost enteropathy is present, this amount can be withdrawn to the limit of 2-2.5 g / kg under the control of a physician. Otherwise, the body will cachexia and weaken.

Problem appearance not health. Because the weakening of the muscle bones weakness causes the patient’s immune system to weaken.

The result is to stay connected to the bed.

Here’s a typical cachexia look. You see how the muscles decrease, don’t you? It is possible to slow down!

Carbohydrate and fat consumption in individuals with cancer

The first thing I do when regulating the nutrition of my patients in the clinic is to determine calorie intake and protein level. Then I allocate the remaining calories to carbohydrate and fat consumption according to the needs of the person.

I need to make an important reminder here. Although I always recommend low-carbohydrate nutrition, cancer patients are no exception. Because metabolic processes work differently than normal and low carbohydrate nutrition – especially ketogenic diet – can only be applied in selected patient groups. He’s in hospital conditions.

Therefore, suggesting low-carbohydrate foods is quite dangerous and unreasonable.

In which cases should the amount of carbohydrate or fat be increased?

This question is especially asked by my dietitian friends. Because there is no clear formula. Status and adjustment are generally associated with intestinal motility, energy need and side effects of medical therapy.

I made a table for you. Here you can see in which cases you need to increase your fat consumption and carbohydrate consumption.

-Increase fat intake —— Increase carbohydrate intake
—-Food smell ———————– Constipation
Decreased Appetite ——————— Diarrhea
—-Weight loss ———————– Weight gain
——Mucositis —————— Nausea and vomiting

Of course, the above list may be extended and may not apply in all cases. Here, the oncologist and nutritionist should be in contact with the nutritionist and constantly regulate and keep the patient stable.

Support products: When and how?

After the diagnosis, cancer patients face fear of death due to society’s judgments and wrong thinking. This is very natural and then the defense mechanisms begin to develop.

The most obvious defense mechanism I have seen is the search for miracles with its support and herbal products. In other words, ık we made a herb / mixture, my uncle passed the cancer ”rhetoric is now said more often than ever.

Which support should be used when? Do we know the answer to the question? Of course yes! Here are some commonly used supports and clinical uses.

Arginine: Although not essential, intake may be needed depending on the metabolic status. Arginine can help the process by activating the immune system cells and accelerating wound healing.

This feature helps the cancer patients who are operated (surgery) to recover faster and smoothly.

Fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids: suppress inflammation (leukotriene-4 series and prostoglandin E2) structures. Thus, omega-3 oils prevent the patient from losing weight and weakening the immune system.

Glutamine: Because it is the most common amino acid in tissues, it has a distinct value. It helps to produce structures such as macrophages (immune cells), enterocytes (intestinal cells), which are frequently damaged especially in cancer patients and which need to be reconstructed quickly.

This ensures the protection and restoration of the immune system, digestion, etc., which are particularly damaged during radiotherapy and chemotherapy. We already see glutamine in many cancer supplements.

How should it be fed and supported during chemotherapy or radiotherapy?

This issue is more important than the nutrition of cancer patients. Because it carries great risks. The reason is all about the mechanism of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Many chemotherapy agents break down into different metabolites after they enter the body and activate different mechanisms. Supports can cause unpredictable reactions, making the treatment ineffective or harmful.

I would like to share an example that I like very much. It’s fish oil. My favorite oncologist, Dr. When I was talking to Atakan Demir, he asked my opinion about fish oil. My answer was in a snap olmaz nothing happens but let’s see ç.

Later, while browsing the literature, I found that very harmless fish oil makes the cells insensitive to several chemotherapy drugs. So it makes the treatment ineffective. You know what that means?

Tens of thousands of pounds of drugs that can save lives are useless! I know the situation is terrible!

So what do we do?

Talk to your treating physician and find someone who works with you. Make sure that you receive the appropriate supplements with the medications you are using and that you are safe.

Never use supports provided by the neighbors, neighbors recommended or super blind. The result can be very heavy.

I know you have questions. Here are those questions and answers.

Can cancer patients eat dessert?

Definitely yes. There are no restrictions. The only thing to be aware of is insulin resistance in chronic patients. Insulin resistance, which occurs with the metabolic stress that the body enters, causes the blood sugar to rise.

In sweet consumption, this situation worsens and increases blood sugar overhead. Therefore, in the decision and the right patients there is no harm in consumption of sweet.

Can cancer patients eat honey?

Honey is very valuable and a very useful nutrient when it is in a good composition. But there is an important detail here. Pollen of plants and active substance pool.

Bees make a wide mixture of honey and pollen of the plants they roam. Therefore, during treatment – especially chemotherapy – the honey consumed may cause harm to the patient due to the active chemicals in it.

My advice is to start consuming honey for a while (depending on the medication) after the end of treatment or to consume honey for some time before treatment. In addition, the honey is really “quality” needs to be sure.

Can cancer patients drink milk?

Let me answer from the beginning. Yeah. But this answer is unfortunately not always valid. Because dairy products are fermented in the intestines due to the disrupted digestive system of the patient, especially during treatment and cause a serious gas formation.

Already deteriorated defecation function worsens and the patient suffers severe pain. He even goes to the hospital.

Therefore, if the milk does not bother the patient should be tried by consuming small amounts. My advice during active treatment is to stop completely consuming milk. Fermented foods such as kefir and yoghurt can also be added to the diet.

Plants that are good for cancer: Trap?

Phytotherapy can serve our purposes when applied on a very important science and evidence basis. But the perception of miracle is pushing people into an important trap!

This trap is a result of the healing effort. So you’re going to boil a plant and get a better effect from a chemotherapy agent that’s been researched for years?

No way! I say this as a phytotherapy specialist. Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Phytotherapy is a science and should be used correctly. It never promises miracles. But it can be used in treatment.

So how?

The best example is ginger. As you know, vomiting is the biggest enemy of patients receiving chemotherapy. It causes patients to starve for a long time and to lose fluid and electrolyte. Vomiting attacks cause additional problems and decrease the quality of life of the patient.

Ginger is a serious nausea and vomiting inhibitor. This support, which has been used for many years, has now been tried and found effective to prevent nausea during some cures of chemotherapy (11).

Huge data! That’s when phytotherapy is used and it adds value to you. Make sure otherwise situations will make you unhappy.

What should cancer patients eat now? You know the answer to the question. You can share your thoughts with me through comments.

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