Chronic illness guide

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Chronic illness guide

  1. 1. Your Wellbeing, LLC Chronic Illness Guide The following are a list of educational material available to Your Wellbeing, LLC patients. This information (including diet plans) can be found on Your Wellbeing’s health portal under the Diet section tab. Please note that each educational listing is specifically designed to assist a patient’s eating habits based off the correlating condition specified in the diet. These diets may not be used by anyone and everyone. If you have other health related issues that might be affected by our diet plans please contact a doctor for further guidance. Managing Common Cancer-Related Conditions & Side Effects If you have cancer, you may experience a range of specific eating problems, including nausea and vomiting, owing to certain opportunistic infections and/or to side effects of medications and treatments. Many dietary and behavioral tips are available to help you maintain your nutritional intake while lessening side effects and the most common discomforts caused by your illness. Nutrition Tips for Treatment Days (Cancer Patients) If you are a person with cancer, you are likely to undergo treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation that will affect your eating habits and possibly the level of your nutritional intake. At the start of a course of treatment, you may encounter little, if any, discomfort and may be able to follow a normal pattern of eating. As your treatment continues, however, some side effects may prevent you from getting the nutrients that your body needs.    The following guidelines may help you to maintain proper nutritional intake during the course of your treatment:   ·    Instead of eating three large meals daily, try smaller, more-frequent meals; this will help to minimize nausea.  ·     Avoid foods that are high in fat, which tend to remain in the stomach longer than other foods and may cause nausea. Limit your intake of bacon, bologna, butter, chips, cream, cream sauces, donuts, fried foods, gravies, hot dogs, ice cream, margarine, mayonnaise, peanuts, sausage, whole milk, and other high- fat foods.   ·     On treatment days, eat a small meal two hours before treatment and take a snack with you to treatment.  Also try to have some of the following food and drink, which require little or no preparation, available throughout the day: broth-based soups, canned fruit, crackers, fruit juice, fruit sorbet, gelatin, popsicles, soda (regular, not diet), and tea. Boosting Calorie & Protein Intake for People with Cancer 
  2. 2. The first priority of any diet should be to meet the body's calorie and protein needs. If a person does not eat enough food to meet these needs, he or she will start to lose weight, muscle mass, strength, and physical stamina.   If you have cancer, you may experience difficulties in trying to follow a regular diet. Because the disease process and treatments can interfere with the ability or willingness to eat, people with cancer are sometimes at risk of severe protein-calorie malnutrition, which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Protein-calorie malnutrition is caused by inadequate intake or digestion of the nutrients necessary to meet metabolic requirements. Such malnutrition may result in progressive wasting, weakening of the immune system, debilitation, therapy intolerance, and ultimately death. Medical experts therefore emphasize the importance of providing the body with the protein and calories -- as well as the vitamins and minerals -- that it needs.  Beware of fad diets and products that promise to "cure" your illness. Special diets or fad regimens rarely provide the adequate calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals required by your body. Even if you are overweight, your primary goal should be to maintain your weight by improving your dietary habits. Try weighing yourself weekly, on the same day and at the same time of day, using the same scale. If you find that you are losing weight, adjust your diet to include more calories. A first step is to be sure that you eat breakfast every day; because you may become progressively tired as the day passes (in some cases owing to medication), a healthful meal at the start of the day will help you to keep your strength and energy levels up.  Once you are familiar with ways to adjust your diet, you will be better able to maintain a nutritional balance in your daily eating and, in turn, to promote overall good health. Many simple and safe food-preparation strategies are available to help you increase both your calorie and your protein consumption.  Information about recipes and about a specific diet and menu is available as well. Appetite Loss Eating should be a pleasant experience, not a chore. Yet sometimes the daily effort required to provide the body with the nutrients it needs can feel like a chore. Certain health conditions and side effects of medications may contribute to a loss of appetite. The effort and energy required by work, shopping, and household tasks -- and the stress that such daily activities can cause -- may also reduce appetite.   If you are experiencing a loss of appetite, the dietary and behavioral guidelines provided below may help you to maintain proper daily nutritional intake. Information about alternative therapies for appetite loss, including specific herbal/natural remedies and recommended nutritional supplements, is also provided. Dietary & Behavioral Tips for Appetite Loss With some planning and the right foods on hand, you should be able to maintain proper nutritional intake during periods of appetite loss. Try the following strategies:   ·    Eat at least some breakfast every day, especially if you tend to experience low energy in the afternoon. Foods that are easy to prepare, such as granola bars, pop tarts, toast with peanut butter and jelly, and frozen waffles with syrup, are recommended. For more recommendations, consult the High-Calorie/High-Protein Menu 
  3. 3. ·     Drink fortified milkshakes or try nutritionally complete products to help meet your body's daily dietary requirements and to give you energy. Nutritionally complete products are available in a variety of flavors and forms (bars, beverages, puddings, soups), and most provide the calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals that you normally obtain through a diet of natural foods. You can find nutritionally complete products (such as Ensure, Sustacal, and Boost) in your local grocery stores and pharmacies.  ·    Always keep ready-to-eat snacks on hand, such as canned fruit, crackers and cheese, ice cream, and peanut butter. Small snacks that require little time and effort to prepare provide easy ways to get nutrients you need, even when your desire to eat is low.   ·    Order take-out foods, use restaurant delivery services, or try a community food-delivery program like "Meals on Wheels" (call your local church or hospital for information about the programs available in your area).  ·   Take advantage of the times when you feel energetic by preparing large quantities of food that you can freeze in individual portions for later eating.    Alternative Therapy for Appetite Loss Complementary and alternative therapies comprise a wide variety of practices and treatments, including the use of herbal preparations and of vitamin and mineral supplements. Whether you are a patient or a caregiver, and whether you are interested in alternative therapies to prevent or treat a specific disease or to improve your general health, you should be aware that many treatments have not been thoroughly researched and scrutinized for safety and efficacy and may not be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although some complementary therapies (acupuncture for nausea, for example) have been shown to be safe and efficacious, others (the use of some individual herbs and supplements, highdose vitamin and mineral regimens, and radical diets) have brought about toxic side effects. If you prefer alternative therapies, or if you believe that you have exhausted the available therapies of conventional medicine, the information that follows may be helpful to you. The therapies presented here, however, are by no means intended to replace standard, appropriate medical attention and treatment.                       Herbal/Natural Products for Appetite Loss The table below provides information about herbal/natural products that may be helpful if you are experiencing a loss of appetite. You can find additional detailed information about each product by clicking on the product names in the left-hand column.  Note: You should use alternative therapies to treat a specific health condition only after you have received an accurate diagnosis from a qualified doctor or other medical professional. Be cautious of anyone called an "herbalist," an "herb doctor," or a "health counselor"; these job titles are not regulated. Remember that good health depends on proper medical care.  Caution: Consult your doctor before using any herbal/natural remedy, and remember always to make your doctor and pharmacist aware of any therapeutic products you are using. Your doctor and pharmacist can assist you in determining which herbal/natural products are safe to use with the drugs you are taking.  
  4. 4. Table 1. Herbal/natural products commonly used in the treatment of appetite loss.   Herbal/Natural Products Comments & Cautions Alfalfa   Black Currant Tea Stimulates taste buds. Blessed Thistle Caution: Do not use if you have stomach ulcers. Caraway   Cayenne   Dill   Fennel Seed   Ginger Root   Ginseng Caution: Do not use if you have high blood pressure. Ginseng may increase blood pressure. Papaya Leaves   Peppermint Leaves     Nutritional Supplements for Appetite Loss If you can't eat well at a meal, for an entire day, or for several consecutive days, trying nutritionally complete products and/or taking nutritional supplements may help you to meet your body's needs. Nutritionally complete products are available in a variety of flavors and forms (bars, beverages, puddings, soups), and most provide the calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals that you normally obtain through a diet of natural foods. Nutritional supplements most often come in capsules, pills, and tablets. You can find both nutritionally complete products and supplements in your local grocery stores and pharmacies. The following section provides guidelines for recommended daily nutritional supplementation during periods of appetite loss.    Vitamins & Minerals The daily doses provided in the table below for vitamins and minerals are recommended specifically for people experiencing a loss of appetite.  For detailed information about a particular vitamin or mineral, simply click on the vitamin or mineral name in the left-hand column.  Note: Units for nutritional supplements may be given by weight -- generally in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg) -- or by biological activity, which is measured in international units (IU).  Use care when comparing products to ensure that the units are identical.   Table 2.  Recommended vitamins & minerals commonly used during periods of appetite loss.  Vitamins & Minerals Daily Dose & Dosage Information Comments & Cautions
  5. 5. Vitamin B complex 100 milligrams before meals B vitamins help to release energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins -- the three types of energy-providing nutrients. Multivitamin & mineral complex Consult the manufacturer's label. Choose a "high-potency" formula. Nausea and Vomiting Problems If you suffer from nausea or nausea and vomiting that is severe or long-lasting (longer than a week), you should consult your doctor. But if your symptoms are relatively mild, the simple dietary and behavioral tips listed below may help to relieve your discomfort. Information about alternative therapies for nausea or nausea and vomiting, including the use of specific herbal/natural remedies, is also provided. Dietary Tips for Nausea & Vomiting The following diet-related tips may help to prevent or relieve nausea, including nausea that is accompanied by vomiting:  Instead of eating three large meals daily, try smaller, more-frequent meals (one every 2-3 hours). Never go for long periods without food; avoiding eating may worsen nausea.  ·     Choose meals that are easy and quick to prepare. Sometimes the aroma of cooking foods can cause nausea and even vomiting. Start the day with a banana, cereal (cream of wheat, farina, and oatmeal), soft-cooked eggs, toast, or yogurt. For lunch try chicken or tuna salad, cottage cheese and fruit, or broth or clear soup with crackers. For dinner try mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice, with custard, ice cream, gelatin, or pudding for dessert.  ·     Before you get out of bed in the morning, try eating a few crackers, a handful of dry cereal, a piece of toast or dry bread, or a slice of ginger. (Remember to put one of these foods within reach of your bed at bedtime.) These foods may help to settle an upset stomach, which is a common discomfort in the morning, when the stomach is empty.  ·     Eat a light snack (a small sandwich, bread, or yogurt, and milk or juice) before going to bed or during the night. This also may help to reduce nausea in the morning.   Note: You may need to sit upright for 10-20 minutes following eating in order to prevent gastric reflux.   Avoid food and drink containing caffeine. Caffeine can speed up gastrointestinal activity, which can lead to dehydration. Try drinking peppermint tea instead.  
  6. 6. ·     Drink clear, cold beverages in order to minimize the amount of undigested food in the gastrointestinal tract. Try apple, cranberry, and grape juices; carbonated beverages (ginger ale, lemon-lime soda); strained citrus juices (if tolerated); or fruit punches. Consume such beverages one hour before or after meals instead of with meals in order to avoid feeling bloated. If you are having trouble eating solids, try clear soup or fat- free broth as a meal.  ·     Avoid fried or greasy foods (such as bacon, French fries, fried meats, and pastries), and foods containing large amounts of butter, margarine, mayonnaise, or gravy.   ·     Eat unseasoned and mild-flavored foods. Avoid foods prepared with black pepper, chili pepper, garlic, and/or onion.   ·     Try frozen fruit-juice bars or pudding pops, or homemade ices made from clear fruit juice or other beverages of your choice. Cold foods may help to soothe your stomach.   Behavioral Tips for Nausea & Vomiting  Try the following behavioral strategies to prevent or relieve nausea, including nausea that is accompanied by vomiting:   ·     When you cook, open windows, or use an exhaust fan to minimize food odors.  ·     Eat slowly and chew food well. Get in the practice of putting down your fork after every bite, and chew each mouthful at least 10 times.  ·     Avoid trying to eat your favorite foods when you are nauseated; to do so may cause you to be turned off by those foods later.  ·     Use a straw when drinking beverages that have potentially unpleasant smells.  ·     Rest after meals, but do not lie flat for at least two hours after eating; this may help to prevent an upset stomach.    ·     In the morning or after resting, get up slowly from bed and avoid making sudden movements; this will help to prevent dizziness and queasiness.   ·     Be sure to have plenty of fresh air in the room in which you sleep.   ·     Avoid brushing your teeth when you wake in the morning and immediately after eating.    ·     When you are feeling good, eat complete meals to help tide you over during periods when nausea may reduce your willingness to eat.  ·     If any medication you are taking is known to cause nausea, try to take it at a time of day when nausea will not interfere with eating.  Herbal/Natural Products for Nausea & Vomiting The table below provides information about herbal/natural products that may be helpful if you are experiencing nausea or nausea and vomiting.  Note: You should use alternative therapies to treat a specific health condition only after you have received an accurate diagnosis from a qualified doctor or other medical professional.  Table 1. Herbal/natural products commonly used in the treatment of nausea or nausea & vomiting.   Herbal/Natural Products Comments & Cautions
  7. 7. Basil   May help to soothe the stomach. Caution: Avoid especially during early pregnancy.     Ginger   May help to relieve nausea caused by morning sickness, motion sickness, seasickness, or an upset stomach. Powdered ginger is more effective than ginger ale and ginger-flavored tea. If nausea is accompanied by vomiting, try mixing powdered ginger in tea, which can help to replace the fluids lost in vomiting. Chewing raw ginger is also recommended, because chewing itself has a beneficial effect on nausea. Parsley Try chewing raw; chewing itself has a beneficial effect on nausea. Peppermint May help to relieve queasiness and to reduce stomach spasms that can lead to vomiting. Can be used in tea or chewed raw.   Sage       Spearmint     Nutritional Supplements for Nausea & Vomiting  Whether or not your nausea is accompanied by vomiting, taking nutritional supplements may help both to relieve your discomfort and to meet your body's needs. Nutritional supplements most often come in capsules, pills, and tablets. The following section provides guidelines for recommended daily nutritional supplementation during periods of nausea.   Vitamins & Minerals   The daily dose provided for the vitamin in the table below is recommended specifically for people experiencing nausea or nausea and vomiting.   Table 2. Common vitamin treatment for nausea or nausea & vomiting. Vitamins & Minerals Daily Dose & Dosage Information Comments & Cautions
  8. 8. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)     Up to 75 milligrams a day       Has been found to be beneficial in treating nausea during pregnancy.    

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