A Healthy Diet For Multiple Myeloma

Scientists are conducting research on the link between multiple myeloma and diet. Although no specific diet has been linked to myeloma cancer prevention, studies show that eating a healthy, balanced diet can optimize your health and well-being, improve your mood and strengthen your bones.

Myeloma and Diet: Post-Treatment

Most of the eating problems you experienced during treatment should disappear once your treatment is over. However, you may find that your tastes have changed and some foods seem different now. You may have lost or gained weight during your treatment. Consider talking to your doctor or a registered dietician about how to deal with these and other problems related to multiple myeloma and diet.

A Diet for Myeloma: Specific Issues

Doctors recommend that multiple myeloma survivors eat a healthy, balanced diet. These are a few specific issues to consider:

  • Avoid taking vitamins and supplements unless you receive approval from your doctor. Too much vitamin C, for example, can cause kidney damage.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent kidney damage. Myeloma Canada (2010) recommends that you drink at least two liters of water per day.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables well and cook meat thoroughly to remove bacteria and reduce the risk of infection. If your white blood cell count is very low, your doctor may recommend a neutropenic (low bacteria) diet.

Cancer and Diet: General Diet Recommendations

The American Cancer Society (2010) recommends that all cancer survivors consider the following dietary guidelines:

  • Choose healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and avoid saturated and trans fats.
  • Choose proteins that are low in saturated fat, such as eggs, fish, lean meats, legumes and seeds. Eating protein does not increase the amount of M proteins in your body.
  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Get your carbohydrates from healthy sources such as brown rice, fruits, legumes, oatmeal, vegetables and whole grain bread.
  • Limit your alcohol intake to a maximum of one or two drinks per day.
  • Limit your intake of caffeinated coffee, tea and sodas, as caffeine can cause dehydration and fatigue.

Try to eat a variety of different foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Try out some new recipes with fruits and vegetables that you don’t eat very often. A balanced diet ensures that you get the nutrients your body needs to become strong and healthy.

Resources

American Cancer Society. (2010). Multiple myeloma. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003121-pdf.pdf

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2009). Cancer survivors: Care for your body after treatment. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor/CA00070

Myeloma Canada. (2010). Wellness: Taking care of yourself. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.myelomacanada.ca/en/wellness.htm

National Cancer Institute. (2009). Eating hints: Before, during and after cancer treatment. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from
http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/eatinghints