How To Manage Your Diet When You Have Pancreatic Cancer
By: Dr. Thomas Incledon
Having pancreatic cancer can affect your diet and the way that you eat and drink. This can happen whatever stage your cancer is in and regardless of the treatments that are being used to combat your cancer. In this blog post, we will look at how pancreatic cancer affects your diet, why it does so and what you can do about it.
What does pancreatic cancer have to do with your eating habits?
Pancreatic cancer can disrupt and change your normal eating habits. This can cause a number of issues and problems on top of the cancer such as:
- Losing your appetite
- Weight loss
- Feeling or being sick
- Bloating or wind
- Needing to urgently empty your bowels after eating
- Feeling full up too quickly
- Causes malabsorption, which leads pale and floaty stools
It’s not just the cancer itself that can cause these problems. Common treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also change your dietary habits.
Why does pancreatic cancer affect your eating habits?
The pancreas plays a key role in the digestion process. Located near the stomach and small intestine, it secretes insulin which helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates, as well as enzymes that help to breakdown proteins and fats. The gland also produces glucagon which, along with insulin, controls blood sugar levels.
Pancreatic cancer has been known to reduce the number of enzymes that your pancreas makes and stops the enzymes getting to the bowel by blocking the pancreatic duct. If the enzymes are reduced or stopped from getting to the bowel, your body will not be able to take in the nutrients that it needs. Pancreatic cancer can also reduce the amount of insulin and glucagon hormones that the body produces, which can lead to diabetes.
How to improve or maintain your diet when you have pancreatic cancer
Having pancreatic cancer does not necessarily mean that you have to suffer from the symptoms listed above. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your diet remains as little affected as possible. These include:
- Eating small meals regularly. If you feel full quickly, it is essential that you try to eat as often as you can. Aim for six smallish meals throughout the day every three hours or so.
- Eat plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
- Eat dairy products with recommended low consumption of milk and high consumption of cheese and yoghurt
- Eat moderate consumption of fish, eggs, low amounts of red meat consumption, and low to moderate consumption of wine, mainly with meals.
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. This means drinking eight 8-ounce glasses a day.
- Don’t lie down after eating as this can cause acid to flow back up the esophagus and lead to heartburn.
Ideally, your oncologist should help you get in touch with a dietician who can advise on the necessary dietary changes you need to make to deal with pancreatic cancer. For more information on how we at Causenta can help, request a 30-minute free consultation today.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas is the founder and CEO of Causenta Wellness, and the Causenta Cancer Treatment Center in Arizona. From working with NFL, MLB, MMA, World Class athletes and even the White House, his reputation of personalized medicine and cutting-edge technologies has put him on the map, caring for some of the most powerful people in the world, making him one of the most sought-after healthcare professionals of all time.