Since the early 1900s and for as long as patients have been undergoing chemotherapy, the side effects of this treatment for cancer has been a major concern over the years. While cancer cells are often fast-growing, so are the cells in hair follicles, bone marrow and the digestive system. Chemotherapy targets and kills these fast-growing cells, which in turn cause side effects including hair loss, nausea and vomiting being the most common, along with other more debilitating outcomes.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea is a common side effect and is caused by the drugs used in chemotherapy, which can damage the cells in the body, including the cells in the stomach and intestines. This in turn can lead to inflammation, causing nausea and vomiting. Oncology nurses play a crucial role in helping patients manage their nausea during chemotherapy treatment, by offering various therapeutic alternatives to minimise the symptoms.
Nausea is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by a variety of factors, including the type and dose of chemotherapy drugs, the patient's individual sensitivity to the drugs, and the patient's overall health. Some chemotherapy drugs are more likely to cause nausea than others, and certain patients may be more susceptible to the side effects.
One of the most effective ways to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea is to use anti-nausea medications, also known as antiemetics. These medications work by blocking the action of the chemicals in the brain that cause nausea and vomiting. Oncology nurses who are responsible for administering these medications and ensuring that they are taken correctly, also monitor the patient's response to the medication and adjust the dosage accordingly.
Another way to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea is to use complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, aromatherapy; and to consume fresh ginger. Working with patients to develop an individualised treatment plan that incorporates these therapies in addition to their traditional treatment, is often an effective solution.
Paying careful attention to your diet during chemotherapy is key and eating small, frequent meals while avoiding foods that are high in fat or spices, can help to significantly reduce nausea. Drinking clear fluids such as water, broths and eating ice chips, can also help to keep you hydrated and prevent nausea.
enterade® is the first plant-based medical food that is clinically proven to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation treatment.
It works with the body’s natural healing systems, using a unique blend of plant based amino acids, to not only repair the damage to those good cells caused by chemotherapy and radiation, but to help protect against any additional damage. Patients using enterade® saw a 91% improvement in nausea, 88% improvement in dehydration and 74% improvement in diarrhoea.*
Constant vomiting can take its toll. It's important to pay attention to your body's needs during chemotherapy and if at any point you start to feel tired or weak, it's important to rest and conserve your energy. If you're feeling anxious or stressed, find ways to relax and reduce stress using techniques such as deep breathing and visualisation.
Talk to your medical team today to find the most effective treatment plan for your individual needs when it comes to helping manage your symptoms. At Aurora Direct, we have a range of supportive care products to help you on your journey, including enterade® for gut health, Follact Restore Healthy Hair for hair growth and our Ice Cold range for peripheral neuropathy.
With the right treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life during and after chemotherapy.
*Luque L, Cheuvront SN, Mantz C, Finkelstein SE (2020) Alleviation of Cancer Therapy-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity using an Amino Acid Medical Food. Food Nutr J 5: 216. DOI: 10.29011/2575-7091.100116