Foods to help keep multiple myeloma symptoms in check
Diets & Meal Plans
Multiple myeloma is a kind of cancer that affects the plasma cells which are a part of the immune system. The condition causes those who suffer from it to lose their appetite and eat lesser, making it essential to ensure the required nutrition levels are maintained. It can leave individuals with weakened immunity, damaged kidneys, and even anemia. There are some particular nutrition strategies and simple diet tips that play a positive role in curbing multiple myeloma and contributing to one’s energy levels, overall strength, and health. The correct types of foods in one’s diet can give them the best balance of nutrients and help with multiple myeloma symptoms. The foods that one should eat are listed below:
- Foods rich in iron
Anemia is caused by low levels of iron in the blood. The cancerous cells which build up in the bone marrow crowd out the healthy blood cells, causing complications. If one has developed anemia due to multiple myeloma, then an iron-rich diet will be helpful. A boost in iron levels can help one feel less tired and will also help the body produce more healthy red blood cells. Some excellent sources of iron include tropical fruits such as guava, pineapple, papaya, and mango, broccoli, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, beans, kale, bell peppers, raisins, dark leafy green vegetables, and lean red meat.
- Plant produce
Vegetables and fruits are full of antioxidants that help the body rebuild itself. They even help in fighting constipation, a possible side effect of some cancer treatments and pain medications. Patients with multiple myeloma are advised to stick to cooked vegetables as raw produce can increase the chances of one catching an infection, which is dangerous due to their weakened immune system.
If one suffers from constipation due to chemotherapy, then they might have to boost the fiber levels in their diet. Fiber helps the body break down food and clear out the bowels. Prune juice and water are great ways to keep things moving. Good sources of fiber include vegetables such as artichokes, celery, carrots, broccoli, beans and nuts, oatmeal and other cereals, whole grains, dried fruits like prunes and figs, and fruits such as pears and apples.
- Bland foods
If one is dealing with diarrhea as an offshoot of multiple myeloma, then they might have to switch to a doctor-recommended low-fiber diet known as the BRAT diet. This diet includes food items such as toast, applesauce, rice, and bananas. One will also have to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. If one is suffering from mouth sores, then they need to try and eat foods that are easy to swallow, like mashed potatoes and pudding. They must avoid spicy foods which can irritate the mouth and tongue.
- Vitamins and minerals
Last but not the least, vitamins and mineral supplements that supply the patient with folate, fish oil, vitamin D, and iron are necessary. However, one needs to consult the doctor before taking such supplements.