- Question from Soyster: I know that it's important to have a balanced diet to manage fatigue, but I have no appetite and sometimes the smell of food or thinking about eating makes me feel sick. Do you have suggestions on how to keep eating during all of this?
- Answers - Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. I think the most important thing is to eat small amounts, more frequently, so the actual sight of a full meal doesn't overwhelm you and decrease your appetite. If you're not able to cook because your fatigue is profound, enlist the help of your family, friends, and all of your support network. Having friends bring your meals also helps eliminate the smell of food cooking in the house, which will help to increase your appetite.
- Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. Consider having peppermint Life Savers or peppermint gum while a meal is being prepared and you're most noticing the odors from the cooking, because peppermint can help offset those strong odors.
- Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. To minimize off tastes, which often are a result of off odors, I found that having lemon slices or lime slices for water to accompany meals was very helpful. It helps in eliminating some of the unusual tastes in my mouth that were the result of the chemotherapy drugs.
- Tish Knobf I have a basket of peppermint in my office that was given to me 20 years ago by a patient, and I refill it every week.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Fatigue During and After Treatment featured Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D., Tish Knobf, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., A.O.C.N., and Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answering your questions about ways to keep up your energy, how nutrition can affect fatigue, and how exercising can help.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in January 2008.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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