Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Posted on: 6 October 2016

If you are undergoing radiation therapy, you likely are experiencing some of its negative side effects, including fatigue, hair loss, an increased likelihood of catching colds, and other physical problems. These effects can make radiation therapy seem like it's hurting more than helping and decrease your motivation to go. Here are some ways that you can take care of yourself while undergoing the radiation therapy in order to ensure that you are able to stay strong.

1. Get Enough Sleep

The first thing that you need to do is commit to getting at least eight hours of sleep per night. Your body is spending a lot of energy on trying to repair cells that the radiation damaged. This is going to leave you feeling more fatigued than usual and in a weakened state. If you are not getting enough sleep, you are going to find it difficult to continue functioning, and your body might not be as effective at healing itself. If you do get enough sleep, you are more likely to be able to take on the day more easily and get through your treatment with less difficulty.

2. See a Nutritionist

The next thing that you need to do is make sure that you are keeping your energy up by eating the right foods. Depending on the type of treatment that you are undergoing, you might need to change certain parts of your diet to get more iron, calcium, or protein. Talk to your doctor and ask him or her to suggest a nutritionist that has helped patients undergoing radiation therapy in the past. Eating the right foods can help increase your energy level which can make it easier for you to get through treatment and continue doing the things that you love.

3. Consider Talk Therapy

Before you start radiation therapy, consider getting in touch with a talk therapist or mental health counselor. Some people go through treatment and find it difficult to contain a sense of rage at their body betraying them or a sense of sadness that they are not able to do as much as they used to. Establishing a relationship with a therapist ahead of time can make it easier for you to talk to him or her after you start going through radiation treatment and allow you to process your emotions in a healthy way.

For more information about these and other ways to preserve you well-being during radiation, talk to a health care provider like Firelands Regional Medical Center.