The following is a nice article written by Melanie Bowen, an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics as a part-time blog contributor: Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
Eating Right for Life
The importance of a good nutritional lifestyle, especially for those with chronic or terminal illness, cannot be understated. Diet and nutrition play a significant role in the healthy workings of our bodies. A proper healthy diet is the first step towards a path of healing which enables a patient to regain their energy and obtain overall better well being. Proper nutrition can “enhance the medical treatment of certain health conditions and diseases. For instance, people undergoing surgery can recover sooner if they have the adequate nutritional support for healing.” Although nutrition is not a cure for terminal illness, it can in some cases contribute to the success of the medical treatment and the quality of life for the terminally ill.
Similarly, the United States Department of Agriculture states that nourishing food, medications, and nutritional supplements all work synergistically to fight immune suppression caused by autoimmune diseases. They also affirm that appropriate dietary changes can significantly mitigate the side effects of medications and symptoms of opportunistic infections
Therefore, whether one is pursuing aggressive treatment for a rare cancer like mesothelioma or managing the symptoms of an autoimmune disease like AIDS, the body needs essential nutrients to fight disease cells, rebuild tissue, resist infection, cope with any side effects caused by treatment, maintain and/or elevate energy levels, and in some cases, even increase life expectancy.
To achieve a goal of healthy eating, it is important for the patient to have a support group of friends and family. It is also important to include a health professional like a doctor, nurse or a nutrition therapist, since nutritional guidelines can differ substantially from on one condition to another. For example, a patient with cardiovascular disease would be encouraged to reduce their caloric intake and limit fatty foods, while a cancer patient with cancer would be encouraged to increase their caloric intake, including fat rich foods. A support group can also help a patient work through any nutritional challenges that might arise as the result of treatments like: postoperative pain, fatigue and appetite loss after surgery, or nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, sores in the mouth or changes in the way foods tastes from chemotherapy or radiation.
Most of all, keep positive! Although we may not be able to do much about the health conditions that affect our bodies, we can do something to give our bodies a fighting chance, obtaining overall better quality of life and health.