Mesothelioma Chemotherapy –How to Cope With Fatigue and Diarrhea

Fatigue is a very common side effect of mesothelioma chemotherapy. You could end up with mild lethargy or you could get completely exhausted from the effects of the chemo. The kind of fatigue you might experience is different from being tired and it is not relieved by sleeping or resting. It is usually worst at the beginning and at the end of a treatment cycle. However it goes away upon completion of chemo and it does not linger further.

These are steps that can help you cope better with this kind of fatigue:

-Get plenty of rest and allow time during the day for rest periods.

-Talk with your doctor or nurse about a regular exercise program.

-Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of liquids.

-Limit your activities. Do only the things that are most important to you.

-Get help when you need it. Ask family, friends, and neighbors to pitch in with activities, such as child care, shopping, housework, or driving. For example, you might ask neighbors to pick up some items for you at the grocery store while doing their own shopping.

-Get up slowly to help prevent dizziness after sitting or lying down.

-Let your doctor know if you are having a hard time sleeping at night.

Diarrhoea is another side effect of chemotherapy that occurs when the chemo drugs affect the cells lining the intestine You will pass 2 or more loose stools in a 4-hour time period. If you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours, or if you have pain and cramping along with it, call your doctor.

In severe cases, the doctor may have you take an anti-diarrheal medicine, but don't take any over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicines without asking your doctor first.

These are some steps that will help you to control diarrhea:

-Do not take large amount of food at one, avoid heavy meals, instead eat smaller amounts of food, but eat more often.

-Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and sweets.

-Do not take high-fiber foods, as they can lead to diarrhea and cramping.
High-fiber foods include whole grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and fresh and dried fruit. Eat low-fiber foods instead, such as white bread, white rice or noodles, creamed cereals, ripe bananas, canned or cooked fruit without skins, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, mashed or baked potatoes without the skin, pureed vegetables, chicken or turkey without the skin, and fish.

-Avoid fried, greasy, or spicy foods.

-Avoid milk and milk products if they make your diarrhea worse.

-Eat more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, oranges, potatoes, and peach and apricot nectars, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

-Drink plenty of fluids and water to replace the body fluids that you loose through the diarrhea. You can take mild, clear liquids, such as apple juice, water, weak tea, clear broth, or ginger ale . Make sure they are at room temperature and drink them slowly. Let carbonated drinks lose their fizz before you drink them.

If your diarrhea is severe (meaning that you have had 7 or 8 loose movements in 24 hours), go and see your doctor right away. You might need to be on a clear liquid diet to give your bowels time to rest.

As you feel better, slowly add the low-fiber foods. A clear liquid diet doesn't have all the nutrients you need, so don't follow it for more than 3 or 4 days.

If your diarrhea gets worse you might need admission into the hospital so that an IV line can be set up for to get intravenous fluid replacement.

Bello kamorudeen.


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