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Cancer and Nutrition
What Every Caregiver Should Know

by Hillary Wright, Staff Writer

(Page 6 of 7)

Soothing Mouths and Throats

Some treatments can make mouths and throats uncomfortable, dry and sore. Here are some tips that may help to eliminate some of these problems:

  • Try moist and liquid foods such as soups and stews. They may be easier to chew and swallow.

  • Try soft, cold foods such as ice cream, frozen fruit-juice bars, watermelon and grapes. They may feel and taste better than other foods.

  • Drink through a straw to make swallowing easier.

  • Avoid using spices.

  • Avoid carbonated beverages and highly acidic foods, like citrus juices and tomatoes.

  • Try fruit juices such as apple and nectar instead.

Decreasing Diarrhea

If diarrhea is a problem, these suggestions may help to prevent, or at the very least, lessen the severity:

  • Try eating small meals frequently rather than two or three large meals each day and donít skip meals.

  • Avoid greasy, fatty and fried foods.

  • If dairy products cause problems, try decreasing the amount that a person with cancer eats or drinks at one time.

  • Possibly eliminate items from the diet temporarily if they are causing too many problems. Drink plenty of liquids to counter fluid loss.

  • It is a good idea to keep an oral electrolyte solution on hand at home to help replace water and minerals lost during diarrhea.

  • Talk with a doctor if diarrhea occurs more than twice daily.

  • If blood is noticed in the stool, be sure to tell the doctor immediately.

Preventing Gas

Gas may cause cramping, bloating and pain. To help prevent it, try these tips:

  • Avoid carbonated beverages, chewing gum, highly spiced foods and too many sweets.

  • Donít talk and chew at the same time. This can cause air to be swallowed, which then causes gas.

  • Eat only peeled, cooked fruits and vegetables that donít have seeds. Strain the seeds out of tomatoes.

  • Avoid beans, corn (including popcorn) and nuts.

  • Vegetables in the cabbage and onion families - including broccoli and garlic - also may cause problems.

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