Chronic myelogenous (or myeloid) leukemia is a type of bone marrow cancer that causes the increased production of white blood cells. This rare type of cancer is estimated to affect one in every 526 people in the country. And when it comes to dealing with any condition related to cancer, good nutrition is essential to effectively manage chronic myelogenous leukemia to help one feel better during the course of treatment.
Foods to eat
Nutrition is an essential part when undergoing treatment for any disease. Having the right foods is crucial as it helps increase the efficacy of the treatment, inhibits the disease, and provides relief from symptoms and potential side effects. The following foods can be beneficial for those undergoing treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia:
Those with chronic myelogenous leukemia patients may experience body mass loss due to the disease and its associated treatment. Continuing with treatment despite mass loss can have severe effects. Hence, including foods that help maintain a healthy body-mass index is important. Whole-grain foods like brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and oatmeal are rich in fibers and carbohydrates, both of which are essential in maintaining body mass.
This probiotic food has healthy bacteria that assist our stomach in digesting and metabolizing the food we eat. A thoroughly digested food ensures proper absorption of nutrients, which further helps heal during the treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia. One should try to include yogurt that has live and active cultures. Kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and tempeh are other great sources of probiotics that can be included in daily meals.
Protein-rich foods like eggs or thoroughly cooked meat like chicken, turkey, and fish help strengthen the overall immune system. People looking for vegetarian sources of proteins can consider lentils, beans, soy, nuts, and low-fat dairy products like cottage cheese. A point to note here is that the amount of protein in a bowl of lentils and beans is less than the protein in a bowl of chicken. So, one needs to adjust portions accordingly.
Vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and watercress contain abundant phytochemicals, vitamins, and other nutrients which are known to fight blood cancers like chronic myelogenous leukemia and maintain a healthy blood count when getting treated. While leafy greens are not known for their palatable taste, one can always toss them in yogurt and add some herbs to prepare a healthy salad.
Strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are rich in nutrients like antioxidants and flavonoids. When people with chronic myelogenous leukemia undergo treatment in the form of chemotherapy, it damages healthy cells with cancerous cells, thereby increasing free radicals in the body. These free radicals can further degenerate healthy cells and damage the immune system. The antioxidants in these berries kill these free radicals and repair cells damaged due to cancer and its treatment.
Foods to avoid
While it is important to include foods that can assist in better management of disease, following foods can be harmful, especially when undergoing treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia, due to their composition.
Chips, frozen food, cookies, desserts, canned tuna, and even granola bars contain additives like taste enhancers and preservatives to lock their flavor for longer shelf life. Moreover, these processed foods have low nutritional value, take longer to digest, and increase free radicals in the body, which is harmful to those with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Hence, it is highly recommended to steer clear of processed foods and swap them with freshly cooked options.
While meat is a good source of protein that can help maintain muscle mass during chronic myelogenous leukemia treatment, deli meats like bacon sausages, ham, corned beef, and beef jerky contain preservatives that increase their shelf life. These preservatives can suppress the immune system and increase the number of cancerous cells in the blood, which can be harmful to those undergoing treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia. Apart from deli meat, nutritionists recommended avoiding the consumption of raw eggs, mayonnaise, and raw cookie dough, as they might increase the risk of stomach infections.
Those with chronic myelogenous leukemia usually suffer from blood cell deficiencies like neutropenia and leukopenia due to the nature of the disease and its treatment. Extremely low blood count can compromise the immune system. While fruits, vegetables, and meats can help fight cancer, unwashed, uncooked, or undercooked foods do not remove dirt, pesticides, and other contaminants. Having such food worsens chronic myelogenous leukemia in an individual due to blood deficiencies, making them vulnerable to a host of infections, which can make it difficult to manage symptoms of the disease further.
Foods made from refined flour can increase blood sugar levels, which is dangerous when one is diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. This food item is doubly worse for those with chronic myelogenous leukemia who are also allergic to gluten or diagnosed with celiac disease. Foods made from refined flour take longer to digest, which can overwhelm the digestive system and make it difficult to manage the disease further. Hence, those with chronic myelogenous leukemia and allergic to gluten should swap refined flour with whole grains and increase the number of foods that help them feel full for longer.
Being aware of food options to eat for better management of chronic myelogenous leukemia is undoubtedly imperative. However, keeping clinical options handy to treat severe symptoms is equally important. Tasigna® is one such clinical treatment option provided by Novartis. Nilotinib or Tasigna® comes in the form of capsules that inhibit disease progression by blocking cancer-promoting proteins called tyrosine kinases.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) occurs when there is elevated pressure in the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs. It is a rare, critical disease that causes pulmonary arteries to become narrow and stiff. PAH can lead to heart enlargement and weakening, ultimately causing heart failure or other life-threatening consequences. You can manage the condition via remedies and food habits. Here are tips on what to eat and remedies usually prescribed for PAH.
Foods to have for pulmonary arterial hypertension
Garlic and bell pepper
Since PAH patients have weak hearts, eating excessive salt or sodium content can worsen the problem. Replace salt seasoning with garlic to add flavor to your dish. According to one study conducted on rats with PAH, the allicin compound found in garlic widens blood vessels and controls blood pressure. You can also try adding bell peppers, peppercorns, fresh herbs, or lemon juice to your meals. An average citizen consumes 2,400 mg of sodium per day. PAH patients should at least aim for less than 2,000 mg. If you consume a lot of pre-packaged foods, make sure to read the label for sodium content. There are a lot of hidden sources of sodium found in mouthwashes, toothpaste, certain chewable antacid tablets, and laxatives too. Avoid sauerkraut, pickles, pickled herring, ketchup, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
PAH patients need to have a balance of iron and vitamin K. Many dark green vegetables are great sources of iron; however, they also contain a high amount of vitamin K. Foods that have low vitamin K are broccoli, asparagus, avocado, and tuna. If you take blood-thinning supplements, inconsistent levels of vitamin K can adversely affect you. To determine it, ask your doctor or PAH specialist how much vitamin K you need in a day. They may recommend limiting certain foods as a part of your treatment process.
Tomatoes and oranges
Altering your meal plan to consume more iron is great but, to improve its impact, PAH patients must also include foods rich in vitamin C like tomatoes and oranges. Other foods under this category include broccoli, kiwi, pineapple, red and yellow bell peppers, spinach, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. You can add a few slices of mango or papaya to your breakfast palate to maintain your vitamin C levels. Even vitamin D found in fatty fish like salmon, milk, and breakfast cereals improves the symptoms of PAH. If you think that you are not getting enough iron, vitamin C, or D from your food, speak to your healthcare provider or PAH specialist.
Foods like lean red meat, legumes, quinoa, shellfish, spinach, and kale are rich in iron and help in increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the lungs. These iron-rich sources increase the number of red blood cells, thereby regulating the oxygen supply to the lungs. Individuals diagnosed with PAH typically have low iron in their bodies. According to research, iron deficiency triggers or aggravates the severity of this condition. Hence consuming iron-rich foods is important to manage PAH. Other foods rich in iron include tofu, figs, dates, raisins, prunes, eggs, tree nuts, and edible seeds.
Healthy foods like beans, low-fat dairy, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts prevent further heart damage. Avoid packaged or processed foods that can make PAH worse. Include anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, olive oil, and salmon in your meals. These contain lycopene, antioxidants, and flavonoids that increase the functionality of the blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Limiting water intake can decrease or prevent swelling and fluid buildup. Most patients with PAH are kept on a two-liter (8.6 cups) restriction, but every case is different, so ask your doctor what amount is appropriate for you. Measure the amount of water or fluid you consume daily. Also, count the water your take with tablets. Soups and popsicles are also taken into account since they are all fluids. One of the first signs of fluid buildup is weight gain, so you need to keep a track of it regularly. If you gain 3-5 pounds in a day consult your doctor immediately. An easy way to keep track of water or sodium intake is by maintaining a food journal.
Altering your food regime alone may not be enough to manage PAH. Your doctor may one of the following remedies to slow the progression of the disease.
Other options to help treat pulmonary arterial hypertension
Adempas assists in improving blood pressure in the lungs by helping the heart pump more blood. It is used to treat chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) in people who cannot be treated with surgery or have a recurrent or or persistent condition. Riociguat may treat certain symptoms of CTEPH and also improve athletic performance. Also used to treat PAH, it is available to women only under a special program. They must register with the program to get access to Adempas. It is crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions for dosage information.
Like Adempas, this remedy also controls the blood pressure in the lungs to improve the heart’s pumping. It is used to treat PAH in adults and children who are 3 years or older. PAH patients need to enroll in a special program from a certified pharmacy to understand the risks and benefits associated with Bosentan. It is not for pregnant women. Bosentan is known to decrease sperm count and affect fertility. It can also cause severe liver problems. Your doctor may test your liver before and after taking Bosentan.
Macitentan belongs to a class of medications called endothelin receptor antagonists that work by stopping endothelin’s action, a natural substance that causes blood vessels to narrow in PAH patients. It is available at retail pharmacies. Like the above two remedies, you have to register under a special program. Your doctor will explain the risks and the patient must sign an informed consent sheet stating that they understand the information explained. Macitentan will then be mailed to them from a specialty pharmacy that is registered under the program.
Peanut allergy ranks among one of the most common types of food allergies in the country known to affect children and adults. In fact, kids can develop a peanut allergy from a young age. There is no cure yet, but the condition and its symptoms can be managed to improve quality of life. Simple changes in food regime and medications, and immunotherapy treatment can help manage the allergy. Read to know more.
Foods to eat
Foods to avoid
It is necessary to read food labels and understand the ingredients before consumption. Most store-bought items can contain some form of peanut-based ingredient, and it may not be listed as a primary ingredient. But it could be a condiment used to add flavor.
Medications for peanut allergy treatment
Generally, doctors will use an epinephrine autoinjector to counter food-induced anaphylaxis shocks. But this emergency requires a patient to quickly go to the nearest hospital before the symptoms flare-up. The FDA has also most recently approved the following prescription medication as an alternative to peanut allergy immunotherapy treatments.
Peanut allergy immunotherapy treatments
The main idea behind immunotherapy treatments for allergies is to desensitize the body to the allergen and build up defenses to protect from frequent flare-ups. Doctors expose patients to small quantities of peanut protein and gradually increase the dosage to allow the body to build up a tolerance. There are three different types of peanut allergy immunotherapy treatments.
At the end of the day, if someone has an allergic reaction, do not delay visiting the nearest emergency room. Even if the symptoms are mild and seem to be manageable at home, immediate medical attention is advisable for children and adults.
Melanoma is one of the most aggressive cancers. It is considered such due to the rapidity with which it metastasizes if not treated in an early stage. However, it is difficult to detect since it rarely shows symptoms, and more than 70% of melanoma cases were detected in normal-looking skin. The following article lists some foods to eat and avoid for melanoma and other types of cancer, along with medication for melanoma.
Foods to Have for Those Suffering from Melanoma and Other Cancers
Plant-based Foods – Sweet Potatoes and Barley
Cooked vegetables are easier to digest than raw ones. Therefore, one should eat plant-based foods such as oats, barley, bananas, turnips, sweet potatoes, and pears.
Cruciferous Vegetables – Cauliflower and Broccoli
Cruciferous vegetables like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy, among others, may affect the progression of cancers like melanoma. Cancer cells damage normal cells and DNA for mutation. Cruciferous vegetables protect these normal cells and DNA from damage from malignant cells. Moreover, these vegetables also protect the cells from damage occurred due to cancer treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
Fruits – Strawberries and Raspberries
The presence of free radicals is one of the risk factors that increases the risk of an individual suffering from melanoma and other forms of cancers. Berries, such as strawberries, mulberries, raspberry, and blueberries, are a great source of anthocyanosises, which kills these free radicals and causes apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, thereby inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells.
Lean Meats – Sirloin and Round Cuts
Instead of opting for highly-processed meats, it is advisable to choose lean meat options. This decreases the pressure on the pancreas to digest saturated fats. One should also cut down on red meat or go for lamb or lean cuts such as sirloin or eye of round roast and steak. Lean protein options include eggs, fish, tofu, and nut butters. These enhance the digestive system and are beneficial for cell and tissue repair.
Fluids – Green Tea and Fresh Fruit Juices
Lack of necessary fluids in the body can result in fatigue and dizziness. Hence, one should consume at least 6-12 cups of fluids a day. Taking small sips instead of large quantities can prevent the feeling of fullness. It is important to drink liquids an hour prior to or an hour after a meal instead of immediately before or after. One can also consume healthy protein and nutritional juices, such as smoothies, green tea, or fruit juices that contain little or no sugar. An individual with pancreatic cancer must completely avoid alcoholic beverages.
High-fiber Foods – Beans and Lentils
This category of foods is much easier on the pancreas, draws water from intestines, and digests easily, helping those with melanoma retain the food. They also contain folate and vitamin B that reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer and eliminate diarrhea. Foods that fall under this category are lentils, quinoa, brown rice, applesauce, and beans. These contain easy carbohydrates and fiber, which prevent high blood sugar levels and provide extra energy to the body.
Healthy Fats – Nut Seeds and Olive Oil
Individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should avoid fatty, greasy, and fried foods. However, certain healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) derived from sources such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, nut seeds, and avocados are necessary. They help in maintaining overall body temperature and supply the body with energy.
Foods to Avoid for Those Suffering from Melanoma and Other Cancers
Processed and Refined Sugar
It is one of the leading triggers of cancer. It is believed that malignant or cancer cells often rely on glucose present in sugar for their prolific growth. Several oncologists and dieticians suggest switching to a low-sugar meal plan, thereby starving the cancer cell. This process of starving the cancer cells is called the Warburg Effect. Steer clear from foods such as sugary drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts as they have a high amount of refined sugar that can increase the risk of cancers like melanoma.
Processed Foods – Burgers and Fizzy Drinks
Processed foods, including fast foods, frozen foods, ice creams, sugary drinks, processed meats, and other ready-to-cook meals, are loaded with preservatives like parabens, tartrazine, nitrates, and nitrites that can worsen cancer symptoms, including those of melanoma. Apart from this, foods such as cakes and salad dressings that are made using vegetable oil may also facilitate tumor growth. This is because they are high in benzoate. Thus, they must be avoided by individuals suffering from melanoma as they might aggravate the symptoms of the condition.
Palm oil is a type of hydrogenated oil that is used to increase the shelf life of processed foods. It is also used for cooking in some parts of the world. Hydrogenated oils contain trans-fat and linoleic acid, which can accelerate the growth of tumors, thereby increasing the risk of worsening overall health as well as cancer symptoms. Hence, it is recommended to use safer alternatives and switch to food options and oils that are trans-fat-free.
Medications for Melanoma
While lifestyle changes such as eating and avoiding certain foods can decrease the risk of melanoma, its spread can only be controlled through proper treatment. The treatment can be in the form of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy use medications that are administered through IV or given in the form of tablets. One such medication is Opdivo®.
Nivolumab or Opdivo® is a type of immunotherapy medication that is used for treating those cases of melanoma, which cannot be treated through surgery. It can be used in combination with ipilimumab or Yervoy® to stop the metastatic spread. Opdivo® is administered intravenously. Its dosage depends upon the severity of metastasis of melanoma. If you or a loved one are looking to buy this medication, then there are several websites offering Opdivo® for melanoma through Rx saving coupons. Websites such as Goodrx list coupons, which can be used to buy Opdivo® at discounted prices.
GISTs or Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are rare types of cancer that develop in the gastrointestinal tract, commonly known as the digestive tract. The wall of this tract has special cells called the interstitial cells of Cajal, which help the stomach muscles to move the food along during the digestive process. Knowledge of food, nutrition, and treatment options can be helpful in managing this illness a little better. This article talks about the same in detail.
Food and nutrition
Food is an important source of energy, especially during an illness when the system requires an additional boost to recover from and manage symptoms. While there is no conclusive research to suggest any particular food can help prevent or cure cancer, there is research to suggest what food groups might or might not be helpful in maintaining a low-risk cancer lifestyle.
The curcumin in the herb has medicinal properties has been found out via several studies and research in the past years. According to a clinical study, those with a particular type of cancer were treated with intravenous and imatinib medication to promising results.
It has been studied that the consumption of vitamin B12 can help in reducing anxiety and weakness during GIST treatment. This B12 deficiency can be due to anemia and, hence, consuming foods like clams, sardines, beef, tuna, trout, salmon, fortified nutritional yeast, yogurt, cheese, and eggs is recommended.
Foods rich in dietary fiber are considered good for those suffering from GISTs and undergoing treatment. Oats, cabbage, and even bamboo are considered to be healthy food options. These can help the digestive process, making it easy on the body by not expending excess energy.
While milk products contain vitamin B12, some people undergoing GIST treatment may become intolerant towards dairy and its byproducts. Lactose intolerance can either be temporary or even permanent in some cases. It can lead to abdominal pain and other complications during the treatment, so consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Fried foods, sugary beverages, and even processed meat should be avoided at all costs for those suffering from GISTs. A study conducted in 2014 by Israeli researchers suggests that there is high risk involved between obesity and GISTs. This makes it clear that foods that are usually considered “junk” or even “fast foods” are to be strictly cut down from the meal plan.
Apart from these types of foods, make sure you stay clear of peppermint, corn, bell pepper, and tarragon unless it is in minimal amounts. Avoiding carrots, nutmeg, fenugreek, honeysuckle, and coconut is also advised to those recovering from the illness as they can irritate the stomach. Always take a doctor’s consent before embarking on any new diet to ensure continued holistic recovery.
There are various treatment options that can be explored for GIST such as the ones below.
This is an option chosen when the GIST has not spread too far and can be reached and removed without much damage to the tissue. Depending on the diagnosis, the surgery can be done using a laparoscopy, which means the whole stomach does not need to be cut. There are small incisions made on the wall of the abdomen through which the laparoscopy is done. The instruments enter through these incisions to remove the tumor or infected tissue.
This is a treatment option in which medication is used to specifically identify and target the cancer cells in order to kill them. It is studied that this kind of therapy proves to be less harmful to normal cells unlike in radiation or chemotherapy.
There are several medications used in targeted therapy; they are called tyrosine kinase inhibitors or TKIs that essentially work on blocking the cancer cell/tumor growth. These inhibitors are used to shrink the tumors to a size safe for surgical removal. There are some medications like imatinib mesylate, or sunitinib, or even ripretinib, which have been useful in the treatment. Ripretinib is a medicinal inhibitor specifically used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors that have reached an advanced stage. It is approved to be used for adults, especially those who have also received some prior kinase inhibitor treatments with other medicines like imatinib. According to professionals, the recommended dosage of ripretinib is about 150 mg orally once daily with or without food.
While this may not seem like treatment, supportive care is crucial for those going through GIST removal treatment. The procedures are exhausting and additional care and support play a huge role in recovery. For example, pain and anxiety can be difficult to manage and some doctors suggest radiation therapy to reduce the pain. Other side effects, which can be physical, psychological, or social, need addressing to ensure a holistic recovery is achieved by the patient.
Another necessity is to be watchful of the patients after their surgery or other treatment plans. Observing their recovery to ensure there aren’t any severe side effects or complications is important in reaching a healthy state again.
This may be something that patients can do after a thorough discussion with their doctor. Clinical trials are done where new types of medication or therapies are tried with no hundred percent guarantee. However, all people respond differently to these trials and it may very well work to remove and cure the GISTs. Make sure you go through the details of the procedure, side effects, and recovery program in detail. Also, ensure to follow through with the instructions given by the doctor to ensure maximum success.
Apart from taking the support of your family and friends, it is advisable to join a cancer support group that may help to reduce or cope with any psychological stress that can be caused due to such an illness.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic respiratory condition in which the lungs undergo severe damage, leading to the thickening of tissues and internal. As a result of such damage to the respiratory system, patients of this condition find face a lot of breathing difficulties. Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic disease, which means there is no cure. However, one can slow the progression of this disease with some changes in lifestyle and nutrition habits.
To slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis, certain foods, like the ones discussed below, can be of great help to patients:
Fish like salmon, tuna, and herring are rich in omega-3s fatty acids. These nutrients are quite beneficial for pulmonary fibrosis patients as omega-3s protect the lungs from unwanted infections as reduce inflammation. Sardines and mackerel are other great examples of omega-3-rich fatty fish that are quite beneficial for those suffering from this condition.
Brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole-wheat, and barley are whole-grain foods containing a wide wide variety of nutrients. Some examples include vitamin E, fibers, selenium, fatty acids, as well as other antioxidants. Whole-grain foods also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. Moreover, such whole foods are rich in complex carbohydrates, that are necessary for the body to generate energy.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and Swiss chard must be a part of one’s everyday meals, as recommended by experts. In fact, including all sorts of colorful fruits and vegetables in daily meals is important since they are rich in powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for protecting the body from external pathogens as well as repairing the cells and tissues that are damaged due to pulmonary fibrosis. Thus, these green vegetables can help slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis in the long run.
Apart from green veggies, other colorful foods such as berries are excellent for improving lung health. Blue- and strawberries contain antioxidants like anthocyanin. These flavonoids help in slowing down lung damage as a result of pulmonary fibrosis inflammation.
There are certain foods that can potentially worsen pulmonary fibrosis in people and lead to rapid lung damage. Some such foods that should be avoided in this condition are as follows.
Deli meats, sausages, bacon, and cold cuts contain nitrites. These chemical compounds are added for the curing of meat, which ensures that the flavor and texture of these foods are enhanced. Unfortunately, these nitrites are also responsible for straining the lungs and are known to cause inflammation and water retention in the body. Thus avoiding such processed meats is an imminent step for pulmonary fibrosis patients.
Consuming alcohol can cause damage to one’s body in a multitude of ways. The presence of various toxins in alcohol puts a lot of strain on the liver which is responsible for the detoxification of the blood. The sulfites in alcohol can further worsen respiratory issues such as asthma and thus cause a lot more damage to the lungs. Thus, consuming alcoholic beverages like wine and beer must be done in moderation to avoid the worsening of lung health. Ideally, such beverages must be completely avoided when suffering from any condition.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce are normally considered to be quite healthy for the body. However, these foods have been observed to cause bloating in some individuals. Bloating can add a lot of stress to the lungs and the diaphragm. Such vegetables can also cause quite a bit of breathing difficulty in people. Thus, limiting the number of cruciferous vegetables included in one’s daily nutritional routine is essential to avoid bloating in pulmonary fibrosis patients.
French fries, onion rings, etc. contain a large number of unhealthy fats. Such foods can cause unnecessary mass gain and ultimately add a lot of stress to the respiratory system. Moreover, fried foods may cause bloating in some situations and add pressure to the diaphragm. Sometimes, packaged fried foods may also contain artificial additives and extra salt, which is quite adverse for the body in the long run.
Even though pulmonary fibrosis has no cure, certain medications can be taken to help slow down the progression of the disease. This form of treatment keeps the lungs healthy for a longer period of time. Some common medications prescribed for pulmonary fibrosis are,
Nintedanib is an oral medication that is sold under the brand name Ofev®. This medication is usually prescribed for people suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or other interstitial lung diseases. since it helps in treating chronic scarring of tissues that are observed in such diseases. It also helps in slowing the decline of lung health in these diseases since it restricts the action of enzymes that cause fibrosis. Common side effects observed when taking this medication may include nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and loss of weight.
Pirfenidone is a pyridone medication that is sold under the brand name Esbriet®. This small molecule medication helps in reducing lung fibrosis and scarring that may unknowingly occur in a patient’s respiratory system. Pirfenidone restricts the production of certain hormones and enzymes that are responsible for damage to lung tissue. This medication is available in tablet form and can cause certain side effects. Some such effects include heartburn, stomach ache, dizziness, headache, and nausea. Usually, this medication needs to be taken after a meal three times a day for the most benefit.
Mycosis fungoides is a type of cancer that majorly affects the white blood cells, leading to the cancerous growth of T lymphocytes in the body. Normally functioning white blood cells protect the body from external pathogens. In this type of cancer, these cells behave abnormally and begin to attack the skin. This type of cancer is quite rare and is usually observed in people over 58 years of age.
Foods to avoid
When dealing with mycosis fungoides, it is important to avoid foods that contain certain active ingredients that may trigger chemical interactions, aggravating cancer.
Bell peppers are rich in antioxidants such as Maltol, Capsaicin, and Solasodine. These antioxidants are active chemicals that can interfere with the chemical reactions caused by Romidepsin, which is a common treatment option for mycosis fungoides. As a result of such interactions, a different biochemical pathway called MYC gets triggered, interrupting the action of Romidepsin. Thus, it is better to avoid eating bell peppers when undergoing treatment for mycosis fungoides.
Processed meat contains many nitrates and nitrites that help preserve the meat for longer periods of time. These chemicals are responsible for curing the meat and also prevent bacteria from growing over time. However, these nitrites and nitrates cause a lot of harm and increase the risk of stomach, esophagus, and pancreatic cancers. If a person is already suffering from mycosis fungoides, it is best to avoid consuming processed meats.
Alcohol contains a large number of toxins that are usually eliminated by the liver. However, if consumed in large proportions, alcohol has the potential to increase the number of toxins in the body and trigger the growth of cancer in the liver, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and breast.
Foods to eat
There are certain foods that can protect the body against the growth of cancer cells and can also help in treating mycosis fungoides.
Tomatoes and cucumber contain antioxidants and active ingredients such as lupeol, lutein, and citric acid. These foods positively interact with the medication that’s taken for treating mycosis fungoides. They interact with Romidepsin to decrease the receptors that trigger a specific biological pathway. This ultimately increases the effectiveness of the treatment.
Brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli offer a lot of benefits when consumed on a regular basis. These foods are rich in fibers and complex carbohydrates that ultimately keep our gut healthy and disease-free. Moreover, it has been observed that Brussel sprouts contain certain compounds that block aggressive enzymes that are normally produced by cancer cells. Thus, by blocking such enzymes, Brussel sprouts help in restricting the growth of the tumor and prevent cancer from spreading.
Our body needs essential fatty acids to protect from external pathogens and to repair any damage caused within the body. Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that must be derived from our food since they are not synthesized in the body. Other foods that contain such fatty acids are nuts like almonds, walnuts as well as fatty fish like salmon and sardines. These foods are also rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants that further protect the body from damage caused by cancer cells.
Medications for treating mycosis fungoides
Among other forms of treatment options like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and photodynamic therapy, certain medications and drugs are also quite commonly recommended. Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for mycosis fungoides are as follows.
Lenalidomide is a drug similar to thalidomide and acts as an immunomodulating agent. Angiogenesis is used to treat different types of lymphomas such as follicular lymphoma, marginal zone lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, as well as multiple myeloma. This drug helps the immune system in killing abnormal blood cells or cancer cells and also prevents the growth of new blood vessels that would supply blood to tumors and growing cancer cells. This medication can either be used on its own or in combination with other drugs.
Romidepsin is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, which is commonly prescribed for treating diseases like mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome. This drug is usually prescribed as an alternative treatment when a type of systemic therapy has already been used to treat this type of cancer. This drug is used to block certain enzymes that participate in the process of cell division, preventing the multiplication of cancer cells. This drug is a form of depsipeptide and is also known as Istodax.
Bexarotene is a type of retinoid drug that is used for treating skin-related problems and symptoms that are observed in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and mycosis fungoides. In such cancers, the cancerous cells often attack skin cells and cause a wide variety of difficulties. Retinoid drugs such as bexarotene work against cancer cells by binding to retinoid X receptors, activating them. These proteins ultimately stop the growth of cancer cells and kill the already existing ones.
These corticosteroids are available in the form of lotions, creams, and ointments and are used to treat redness and inflammation on the skin observed in mycosis fungoides. Such corticosteroids are quite commonly used in treating the symptoms observed in lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias cancer.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), also known as macular degeneration, is an eye condition caused due to the deterioration of the macula, a small area in the retina. Fortunately, food plays a vital role in preventing and slowing down the progression of the condition. Let’s take a look at the common symptoms of the condition and what one must include and avoid in their meal regimen to manage these symptoms.
Early signs of macular degeneration
These are the common signs of macular degeneration:
One may experience vision that is blurry or distorted. Dark or blurry areas may appear in the center of the vision caused by the thinning of the macula.
Sensitivity to contrast
As the condition progresses, one may find it difficult to distinguish between different textures and colors. That said, this symptom is not as common in patients with macular degeneration.
Difficulty adjusting to changes in light levels
One may find it difficult to adjust their eyes when they move from a well-lighted room to a poorly-lighted room and vice versa, leading to blackouts.
Foods to include
One must include these foods in their meal regimen to help manage or prevent macular degeneration:
Studies have shown that eating colorful and leafy vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash, spinach, and kale, can help prevent or reduce the effects of macular degeneration. Colorful veggies contain an antioxidant called carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) that helps enhance the protective pigment around the macula, thus preventing the condition. One must include at least one of these vegetables in every meal, every day, as the body cannot produce lutein or zeaxanthin by itself.
Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial nutrients for the human eye. It helps strengthen the blood vessels in the eyes and slow down the progression of macular degeneration. Along with vitamin C, one must also consume foods rich in beta carotene and zinc, as they help enhance the effects of vitamin C. Fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, peaches, and mangoes are good sources of these essential vitamins and nutrients.
Seeds and nuts
Nuts and seeds are a storehouse of nutrients. They contain healthy fats, vitamins, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, and minerals, all of which are beneficial to the body. These tiny nutrient-rich foods help prevent heart disease, oxidative stress, inflammation, and eye-related problems like macular degeneration. One can incorporate seeds like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and nuts like walnuts and almonds in their meals every day.
Whole grains and legumes
Whole grains, packed with vitamins, fiber, and minerals, are an excellent option for those dealing with macular degeneration. Having whole grains such as whole wheat, quinoa, and oats increases energy levels in the body and helps manage blood sugar. Similarly, legumes are rich in fiber, protein, and nutrients, all of which are beneficial to the eyes. Add legumes like peanuts or chickpeas in soups and salads, or consume legume-based foods like hummus and peanut butter to improve eye health.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce clogging in the blood cells and lower bad cholesterol levels in the body, both of which are linked to AMD. They also help reduce inflammation in the body. Consuming food rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel daily helps lower the risk of the condition. One must also include olive oil in their food, as it contains antioxidants and phenolic compounds that are healthy for the eyes. Drizzle olive oil on salads, use it for baking vegetables, or add it to stir-fried vegetables and preparations for a healthier touch.
High amounts of salt or sugar in the food may aggravate symptoms of AMD. Therefore, one must cut down on salt and sugar and opt for healthier alternatives, such as dried or fresh herbs and spices, for added flavor. Herbs and spices contain various nutrients that improve overall health while making the food more delicious.
Foods to avoid
Certain foods aggravate the symptoms of AMD. Avoid these foods to manage and improve the condition.
Although burgers, fries, chips, and cakes may seem appealing, they aren’t the best choice for those with macular degeneration. They contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries of the eyes, depriving them of nutrient-rich blood.
Eating foods containing large amounts of oil may lead to a higher risk of AMD. Also, one must steer clear of hydrogenated fats like coconut or palm oil, as they worsen the condition. Instead, one must consume healthier alternatives like flaxseed, olive, or canola oil.
High-fat dairy products
Dairy products are healthy in moderation, but too much high-fat dairy can cause problems for those with AMD. This is because dairy can cause inflammation, leading to puffiness and swelling. One should also eat whole eggs in moderation.
Medications for macular degeneration
Here are a few medications that are effective for managing AMD. One must talk to their doctor before taking any medication or beginning any kind of treatment.
Bevacizumab is a type of medication (injection) that is administered to those with this condition. It blocks the production of abnormal blood vessels and provides relief to those with AMD. Proper use of the medication helps improve vision significantly.
This medication is injected into the eye to reduce the growth of abnormal cells and leakages caused by these cells. Ranibizumab may cause side effects like dry eyes, sore throat, cough, or joint pain. In rare cases, it may also increase one’s risk of developing an eye condition called endophthalmitis.
This medication can be used alone or in combination with other medicines to manage symptoms of AMD. It may cause side effects like discomfort in the eyes, blurred vision, or mild pain in the eyes. If these side effects worsen or persist, one must seek medical help immediately.
Beovu is an FDA-approved medication used to treat AMD. It works by blocking the abnormal blood cells in the body and improving vision. The injection is administered monthly.
You are what you eat. People may say otherwise, but the quality of food you eat defines your health. Therefore, you should not opt for ready-to-eat meals, as they contain unhealthy fats, carbs, and calories. Foods high in these things can also contribute to increased chances of various diseases like cancer. As cancer and lifestyle go hand-in-hand, eating certain foods that assure better overall health is essential. Read on to know what you should include in your daily meals.
Broccoli and the other vegetables of this family are known for having potent anti-cancer properties. They contain glucosinolates, which produce protective enzymes when they pass through the digestive system. These enzymes help the body detoxify harmful chemicals that can lower the risk of cancer. Broccoli is also best known for being a vegetable that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It has proven effective against breast, prostate, lung, colon, mouth, esophagus, and stomach cancer. Try and eat broccoli at least once a day.
Carrot is replete with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium. This vegetable also has cancer-fighting properties. It is a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that shields cell membranes from toxin damage. Carrots are believed to slow the growth of cancer cells. This vegetable also contains falcarinol, a natural pesticide that negates the effect of toxins in the body. Include a few pieces of diced carrots in your salad.
Kale is a rich source of antioxidants and has several other rich compounds such as vitamin A, B1, B6, C, K, and minerals like copper, manganese, and calcium. Kale also has powerful healing properties. Kale is an antiseptic that is considered a strong firewall against prostate cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.
Flaxseed is a high-fiber food that is good for the heart. It is also a rich source of omega-3 that is known to improve brain cells health. Additionally, flaxseeds are also a cancer-fighting food. It is proven that eating 35 grams of flaxseed reduces the risk of tumor growth in the prostate. Flaxseed can decrease the level of estrogens in the body, which is linked to cancer prevention.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Asian cuisines and is tremendously popular for having unique medicinal abilities. From curing a common cold to treating small wounds, turmeric is often promoted as an alternative treatment. It is loaded with a chemical called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory properties. This chemical seems to prevent cancer cells from growing. It can help prevent breast cancer, bowel cancer, and skin cancer.
Olive oil is rich in oleocanthal, antioxidants, and certain anti-cancer acids. Studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil penetrates the membrane of cancer cells, making them inactive or benign. Healthy consumption of olives and olive oil may help prevent breast and digestive tract cancers.
Tomatoes have various nutritional benefits. According to some experts, tomatoes are a cancer-fighting superfood. They contain lycopene, an antioxidant phytochemical that keeps away heart diseases. Tomatoes are also a rich source of vitamin A, C, and E, all nutrients that ward off cancer. Add a few slices of freshly cut cherry tomatoes to your pasta, sandwich, or salad.
Cinnamon can reduce blood sugar. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to block the spread of cancer cells. It is recommended to include 2-4 grams of cinnamon in your food every day to prevent cancer growth. In one animal study, cinnamon extracts reduced the growth and spread of tumor cells.
According to research, lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus fruits decrease the risk of digestive and upper respiratory tract cancers. Further studies need to be conducted, but it is also believed that these foods can reduce the risk of pancreatic and stomach cancers. Replace fried snacks with these fruits to get a healthy dose of citrus daily.
Garlic contains an active compound called allicin, which is known to have anti-cancer properties. One study concluded that people who ate a large number of allicin vegetables like garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots had a lower risk of stomach cancer. Try to include 2-5 grams (or one clove) of garlic in your meals daily to prevent cancerous growth.
Most later stages of cancer have no cure, making it one of the leading causes of death in the world. Hence, there is constant research to find the right treatment. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is one cancer relief option. The immune system’s main function is to keep track, raise the alarm, or attack any foreign substances that enter the body. CAR T-cell therapy is a method wherein the immune cells are genetically modified in a lab to attack the cancer cells. This process is sometimes also called cell-based gene therapy since it involves altering T-cells to keep away cancer. CAR T-cell is a cancer relief option that is helpful when other treatments have been ineffective.
Additionally, there are certain medications that are known to be effective against cancer.
A recommended dose of 960mg must be administered orally once daily. LUMAKRAS™ can also be taken with or without food and must be administered at the same time each day. A single bottle of the medication contains 240 tablets. The dosage is generally administered in adult patients with KRAS G12C mutation. It is also given to those affected by metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. The treatment also requires at least one previous systemic therapy.
There are BTK inhibitors that help in alleviating cancer symptoms. The inhibitors inhibit the enzyme BTK, which is a major part of the B-cell receptor signaling pathway. B-cell leukemias and lymphomas use B-cell receptors to grow and survive. So the purpose of a BTK inhibitor is to obstruct said signals and eliminate any cancerous cells. Here are three inhibitors that you can consider. They should be administered following a doctor’s prescription.
IMBRUVICA® is an oral medication. One must ensure to take them at the same time each day with a glass of water. The blister pack contains 28 tablets (a four-week supply). As for its dosage, speak to your doctor before taking any amount of capsules.
Neulasta® is capable of automatically delivering your daily dose at the right time, a day after chemotherapy. The on-body injector is applied to your skin and delivered to you over 45 minutes. After the dosage is complete, you can remove the injector and dispose of it safely.
VENCLEXTA is a prescription medication used in the treatment of adults with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It is also used in those with small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). The tablets come in 10mg, 50mg, or 100mg doses and must be administered only after receiving a prescription from a doctor.
In some cases, certain treatments like BCMA (B-cell maturation antigen) targeted therapy can be used for better management of cancers like multiple myeloma.
BCMA-targeted therapy for multiple myeloma is being extensively used to treat cancer patients. The therapy works by blocking the BCMA protein. It involves three modes of treatment. All three treatment methods have been known to be highly effective in patients suffering from relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. BCMA-targeted therapy is often suggested for patients who do not respond to other treatment methods.
Another treatment method for cancer is immunotherapy. This type of therapy is typically infusion based. It aims to energize the immune system to fight the cancer cells present in the body. Immunotherapy is relatively a recent treatment option developed to treat cancer. It is unlike chemotherapy, which kills normal cells and malignant (cancerous) cells. Instead immunotherapy has less severe side effects and boosts T-cells and lymphocytes that identify and kill cancerous cells.
Xofigo® (radium Ra 223 dichloride) is a revolutionary treatment for prostate cancer. It is a form of internal radiotherapy for cancer that begins in the prostate and then spreads to the bone. Xofigo® is known to kill cancer cells in more than one area of the bone. By doing so, Xofigo® radium 223 cancer treatment reduces symptoms like pain, improving the quality of life among prostate cancer patients.
Parkinson’s is a progressive degenerative disease that impacts a person’s brain and motor functions. It is characterized by unexplained and unstoppable tremors, loss of balance, and changes in gait. Fortunately, the symptoms of Parkinson’s can be managed with the right intake of nutrition. Similarly, eating certain foods can exacerbate the condition. This article sheds light on the foods to eat and avoid and medications that help manage Parkinson’s.
These fruits provide numerous benefits and are high in bioactive ingredients like anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid rich in antioxidants. Flavonoids are known to protect the brain from damage. Berries are counted among the best fruits for Parkinson’s patients, as foods rich in antioxidants help reduce the amount of oxidative stress experienced by the brain and body. Berries are also rich in vitamin C, which acts as an immunity booster and plays a significant role in preventing secondary infections and conditions. Berries have other essential minerals and vitamins that keep the immune system healthy.
Foods packed with omega-3 fatty acids
It has been a long-held belief and scientifically proven that omega-3 fatty acid is helpful in the improvement of cognitive functioning. Since Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder, this compound can help slow down the cognitive impairment of patients. The anti-inflammatory property of the compound can lower the inflammation caused in the brain. Some of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish like salmon, sardine, mackerel, tuna, and herring. For vegetarian sources of omega-3, include foods like walnuts, soybean, flax seeds, and chia seeds in the patient’s meals. These foods are also rich in slow-digesting carbohydrates, which will leave one satiated for a longer period.
Some patients are recommended to eat fava beans to manage Parkinson’s, as they are rich in levodopa— an ingredient used in certain medications to treat the condition. This makes the beans a must-have food on the list for Parkinson’s patients. They are rich in plant protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. Researchers also claim that fava beans contain some additional ingredients that help keep the condition under control. Whether or not this is true is yet to be found, but levodopa is definitely known to benefit patients with Parkinson’s. That said, these beans can’t be a substitute for prescription treatments since it is not known how much levodopa one is getting when they eat fava them.
Green tea has become a common drink among the masses for the last few years, and for good reason. The drink is said to help the body fight oxidative damage caused by free radicals. The high antioxidants in green tea slow down the progression of Parkinson’s, as reported by the CNS’s journal in 2016. It does so by slowing down the process of neurological degeneration. How well the drink works for people living with the condition is yet to be determined, but its many benefits make it worth trying out.
Many frown upon this cruciferous veggie, thanks to its bland taste. However, what many may not know is how nutrient-dense broccoli is. Patients with Parkinson’s are often advised to include antioxidant-rich foods in their daily meals. Not only do these antioxidants help fight oxidative damage, but they also help in the healing process of cells. This makes broccoli an even better addition to one’s meals as Parkinson’s is a progressive disease. One can steam it, saute it, or simply add it raw to their salads–it makes for a nutritious addition to one’s meal.
Dairy products are one of the food groups that have been proven to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease when consumed in huge amounts. It is believed that certain components in dairy have an undesirable impact on the brain, leading to Parkinson’s.
Foods high in protein
As discussed earlier, levodopa is a medication of choice among many for Parkinson’s treatment. It should be noted that it is crucial for hampering the fast progress of this degenerative disorder. It has been seen that in some Parkinson’s patients, proteins tend to interfere with the activity and efficacy of this medicine. However, since protein is a crucial part of the food regimen, it is prudent to not completely eliminate it from one’s meals. Speaking to medical professionals is a step in the right direction to realizing the right method to balance medications and nutrition. The same applies to dairy products.
Parkinson’s patients develop problems with their balance and gait, which results in unforeseen falls and injuries. It is known that alcohol can impair judgment and brain function, reduce reaction time, and lead to loss of balance and reduced motor skills.
Food is not the only way to manage Parkinson’s. Other treatment options include oral medications, physical therapy, mobility exercises, nutrition, and more. Since levodopa treatment’s impact decreases as time passes, here are some other used inhibitors doctors rely on to treat patients with Parkinson’s.
Tolcapone, a yellow crystalline compound, is often used in combination with levodopa to treat Parkinson’s. It helps deal with the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase by inhibiting it. It is available in the form of oral medication and used after medicines have failed at being effective.
ONGENTYS is often used in combination with levodopa, a dopamine replacement agent that is often found in Parkinson’s medications. It contains opicapone, a COMT inhibitor, which improves the amount of levodopa-carbidopa that reaches the brain. The medicine is available in the form of capsules.
Like other medications listed here, entacapone is also a compound that inhibits the COMT enzyme and increases the effectiveness of levodopa-carbidopa. It is used in combination with other medicines and can help in achieving control over motor fluctuations. It is often used to treat end-of-dose symptoms of Parkinson’s.
RYTARY (carbidopa and levodopa) capsules
RYTARY is an FDA-approved prescription medication that helps in treating Parkinson’s disease. The extended-release (ER) capsule contains two active properties, levodopa and carbidopa, and must be taken orally. Based on the prescription, the capsule can be taken three times a day. However, it is available in different concentrations, which means the doctor will prescribe a dosage based on the type and severity of the condition, any earlier medication used to treat Parkinson’s, and any potential medical conditions that the patient may have.