Health is wealth; that is true. When one’s health is compromised, it affects almost all aspects of a person’s life.
Chemotherapy, for example, comes with a number of side effects that can seriously damage a person’s quality of life. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and a compromised immune system are just a few of the effects a chemo patient may experience. While there are medications that can be highly effective in combating nausea, there are also other methods you can use to prevent or manage the other potential side effects. Here are a few measures you can take to stop the side effects of your chemo in their tracks.
Modify Your Diet
Your diet has a huge impact on how you feel, even if those feelings are the result of chemo. Cancer has been shown to respond to certain dietary changes, and the side effects of chemo can also be controlled with proper eating. Avoiding unhealthy foods is the first step.
Invest in Massage Therapy
A number of studies reveal that massage therapy can help resolve chemo-induced symptoms such as anxiety, pain, and nausea. Though it may be tough to get massages covered by insurance, it may be worth spending a little extra on something proven to be effective in managing these often severe symptoms.
Acupuncture is another tried and true method that helps cancer patients cope with chemo side effects. Acupuncture is also difficult to get covered by insurance but can be very affordable. The studies done on acupuncture and chemo side effects also showed that massaging the key acupuncture points on the body can reduce symptoms as well.
Take Ginger Root Before Treatment
Ginger root is one of the many herbs that has been shown to aid in chemotherapy management. Consuming ginger root before a chemo session was shown in a study to reduce nausea after the session. Best of all, it can be used along with nausea medication to practically eliminate the risk of vomiting. Ginger comes in many forms including candies, preserves, tea, and even gum. It certainly can’t hurt to continue incorporating ginger into your diet following a session as well. If the ginger works well enough for you, you might even be able to eliminate the nausea medication.
Incorporate Exercise When Possible
Exercising is a wonderful way to cope with the mental effects of chemo and cancer as well as the physical side effects. Regular exercise limits effects such as pain, fatigue, and even nausea.
It may be difficult to exercise at certain points during your treatment, but there are low-impact forms of exercise that are great for the tough days. Tai chi, yoga, and swimming are all low impact and can be either very vigorous or relaxed depending on your abilities.
The side effects of chemo can be challenging to manage, but with a few preparations and coping mechanisms you can reduce the severity of the unpleasant effects of cancer treatment. Acupuncture, diet, massage therapy, exercise, and even ginger root can all be highly effective methods for coping with chemotherapy side effects. However, you should keep in mind that medications are not bad. If your doctor believes an anti-nausea medication will benefit you, listen to your doctor.