steroids during chemo |Gain Weight During Chemotherapy

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steroids during chemo |Gain Weight During Chemotherapy

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, chemotherapy agents (medications) will most likely be used to cure the disease, shrink a tumor, prevent the cancer from spreading, or relieve the symptoms of the disease.[1] This is done through injections, IVs, pills, or indirect injections to fluid around your spinal cord and brain. Regardless of how the chemotherapy is administered, it works by killing fast growing cells. Unfortunately, weight loss is a side effect of the treatment. Learn how to prevent weight loss, put on weight during treatment, and understand the importance of a healthy weight.

Track your weight. Since preventing weight loss is easier than trying to gain weight during treatment, keep an eye on your weight. Get on the scale at least three times a week. It’s easy to lose track of how much you are losing when you are experiencing the side effects of chemotherapy. Your healthcare team will look for trends in your weight. A 1 to 2% loss over a week or 5% loss over a month are causes for concern. Put another way, this equates to a 150-pound person losing about 3 pounds in a week or 7.5 pounds in a month.[2]
Don’t stress if you do lose weight immediately after a chemotherapy treatment. This is normal. Your healthcare team wants to track your weight to determine whether or not you can regain that loss by the time you arrive for your next treatment.
While you’re tracking your weight you may also want to record your moods, activities, how you feel, foods you eat and any exercise you get to determine what combination helps you gain weight.[3]

Take anti-nausea medication. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat nausea and vomiting at the time of or days following your treatment. Anti-nausea drugs are available as an IV medication, pill, liquid, patch or suppository.[4] Chemotherapy treatments can cause anticipatory nausea and vomiting, which happens when you experience the symptoms of chemotherapy the day before you get the treatment. Or, some patients get delayed symptoms a day or two after treatment.
These drugs usually fall into the category of corticosteroids, serotonin antagonists, dopamine antagonists, NK-1 inhibitors, cannabinoids, motion sickness treatments, anti-anxiety drugs and stomach acid blockers.

Practice good hygiene. Because the chemotherapy affects your bone marrow and immune system, you are more at risk for infections. Fever and infections will reduce your appetite, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight. Always wash your hands carefully after using the bathroom, being in public, or around family and friends.[5]
If a friend or family member is sick and infectious, use caution or avoid being around the person until the disease can’t be transferred to you.

Get exercise. Before you start exercising, get approval from your cancer doctor, find a partner to exercise with, avoid using public facilities that have an increased risk of infections, and know that you should stop if you feel disoriented, notice sudden onset of nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, leg or calf pain, bone pain, or unusual fatigue.[6] A supervised resistance and aerobic exercise program is helpful for cancer patients, especially because too much rest will lead to weakness, muscle loss and reduced range of motion.[7] Exercise will:
Improve physical ability
Improve balance and reduce the risk of falls and broken bones
Reduce muscle wasting from inactivity
Lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis
Improve self-esteem
Lessen nausea and lower the risk of anxiety and depression
Improve your quality of life
Improve your appetite


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