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Nutritional awareness for caregivers

It can be devastating to learn that your husband received a mesothelioma diagnosis. In addition to fearing the worst, you might not know what to say or how to help. And as you do your best to care for him, you will likely notice various changes in him as he undergoes treatment.

Your husband may not want to eat when he does not feel well, although nutrition is vital to helping his body retain strength and fight disease.

Three nutritional challenges related to mesothelioma

In addition to pain and fatigue, there are some challenges cancer patients often experience, which can affect their dietary needs. Thankfully, there are some ways you can provide nourishment to help overcome eating problems.

In some cases, understanding why your spouse does not want to eat can help you figure out ways to provide sustenance. These might include:

  • Sensory changes. When your body is undergoing cancer treatment, your taste buds typically change. Foods your husband is unfamiliar with might get a positive response, and herbs or garlic could add appeal to dishes that seem bland.
  • An upset stomach. Worry and frustration can lead to feelings of nausea. Plus, chemotherapy, radiation and oral medications could make someone feel like they might throw up. Rather than going without food, you could offer small amounts of dry toast, yogurt, pudding and bananas, since they are low in acidity and might have a calming effect.
  • A sore mouth. Cancer treatments can result in tender gums and mouth sores, which could make eating difficult. Small pieces of well-cooked food may be manageable, especially when they are combined with gravy.

Like most caregivers, you will probably do everything you can to help your loved one regain their health after a mesothelioma diagnosis. And although this might seem overwhelming, remember your husband's doctor, nurses and dietitian are tremendous resources you can lean on while you provide support.

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