Cancer treatment causes nutritional deficiencies that can diminish healing, affect your ability to continue treatment, and increase your risk of serious complications. Nutrient therapy is essential for preventing and treating those challenges.
Your nutritional needs rise dramatically during cancer treatment. At the same time, cancer treatments are notorious for ruining your appetite, affecting your senses of taste and smell, and causing side effects that make it hard to eat.
As a result, you’re at risk for malnutrition. Nutritional deficiencies pose a serious health concern that may interfere with life-saving cancer treatment, drain your energy, and affect long-term survival.
Our team at Docere Integrated Medicine specializes in personalized nutrient therapy that supports your health during cancer treatment. We can provide all your nutritional needs, including creating nutrient-rich meal plans you can tolerate. We monitor your nutritional status and ensure you get the calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals you need to fight cancer.
Here, we outline the top four benefits of nutrient therapy during cancer treatment.
1. Maintains strength, muscle mass, and body weight
It’s hard enough to get the nutrients you need as cancer treatments take away your appetite or make you too nauseous to eat, but that’s not where the problem ends.
Cancer alters your protein metabolism, leading to muscle wasting and weight loss. Additionally, some patients develop cachexia, a metabolic condition in which you lose fat and muscle as a result of the cancer. Cancer cachexia causes significant weight loss, weakness, and fatigue.
Muscle loss (for any reason) directly affects how your body handles cancer treatment. You may not be able to get the optimal dose of chemotherapy because low muscle mass makes the drugs more toxic.
Intensive nutrient therapy is designed to give your body the calories, plus protein and other nutrients, that it needs to overcome or prevent these imbalances.
2. Supports your immune system
Fighting cancer places extreme stress on your immune system. Surgery to remove the tumor only increases the immune system’s burden. The problem intensifies when cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) damage the immune system cells needed to help fight cancer and infections.
When you’re healthy, your immune system needs large amounts of numerous nutrients to keep working. The added stress of cancer and its treatment increases the system’s nutritional requirements. It’s virtually impossible to keep your immune system strong and working properly without nutrient therapy.
3. Promotes healing
Your body’s healing process can’t proceed without the appropriate amounts of specific nutrients. As cancer and cancer treatments put the healing process into overdrive, your nutritional needs skyrocket. (And that’s in addition to the nutrients needed by your immune system.)
4. Manages side effects
Cancer treatments cause many side effects that are managed with nutrient therapy, including:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Mouth sores
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Muscle loss
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Diarrhea and constipation
If you can’t stop ongoing nausea and vomiting, your doctor may temporarily stop your cancer treatment. Most patients are advised to eat small, light meals and stick with bland food in order to control nausea.
While it’s a good technique for controlling nausea, this approach limits your diet at a time when you need extra nutrients and calories. Nutrient therapy is the solution for this conundrum.
As naturopathic doctors, our practitioners at Docere Integrated Medicine have advanced training and expertise in nutrition. We offer nutrient therapy that supports cancer healing and treatment by evaluating your nutrient needs, creating meal plans, recommending nutritional supplements, and providing other types of nutritional support when needed.
If you need cancer treatment and want a compassionate nutrition specialist on your team, call Docere Integrated Medicine or request an appointment online today.