Coping with chemotherapy related fatigue can be frustrating and challenging during the course of treatment. Unlike usual tiredness occurring after a hard day at work, or fatigue that can be easily remedies by drinking a cup of coffee, fatigue from chemotherapy can make the entire body lose its balance.
Tiredness usually sets in very fast and occurs with some of the simple daily activities. Moreover, the feeling persists even after proper sleep. One of the most important things that one should recognize is that this fatigue is unique and lazy. Cancer specialists reveal that patients are not just being lazy, but they are actually too tired to do anything.
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The first step of coping up with chemotherapy fatigue is to share the problem with the cancer specialist. A specialist will be able to diagnose the root cause of the problem. Because chemotherapy is a severely aggressive treatment, a patient would need proper diagnosis to find out what exactly is causing tiredness. Sometimes, the red blood cell count drops abnormally to cause anemia, which results in tiredness. There are cases in which oxygen level in blood becomes very low and causes hypoxemia, which may lead to unusual fatigue and tiredness.
There are cancer treatment centers and support groups to help people in coping with the side effects of chemotherapy. But, one has to ask for help. Instead of trying to portray a heroic effort, it is best to seek help to determine the signs at the earliest.
Tiredness should not make any patients stick to bed completely. A bit of movement and moderate exercise (with doctorâ€™s advice) will be helpful. Studies have pointed out that moderate exercises can improve chemotherapy fatigue.
However, patients should choose activities that they are comfortable with.
Getting proper and adequate sleep is also very important for preventing tiredness. Usually, patients undergoing chemotherapy will be tired despite proper sleep. In such cases, it is important to report to the doctor and maintain a journal stating the problem.
Eating regularly and concentrating on healthy meals can help in maintaining balanced energy levels during chemotherapy. Avoid becoming too hungry or overeating. Furthermore, emphasize on eating complex carbohydrates and foods rich in protein over sugary foods and fats that can prevent the ups and downs in energy level.
Tiredness may be triggered by lifestyle habits like caffeine and alcohol. The best way to reduce chemotherapy tiredness is to avoid these foods. Caffeine might give you energy, but temporarily; it will only make you weaker over time. Likewise, alcohol seems to be helpful as it makes you sleepy, but not restful.
Chemotherapy gives a lot of stress to patient. It is true that cancer is a fatal disease, which leads to a lot of mental trauma. The fact that your life is uncertain becomes evident when a patient is undergoing cancer treatment.
Thus, there is little that can be done about stress management. However, it depends on the patient; how well a patient can handle the physical and emotional discomfort will ensure the success of treatment.