5 Diet and Exercise Tips for Those Living with Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of cancer in the United States, yet its annual diagnosis persists. Although asbestos, the primary cause of mesothelioma, is strictly regulated, the disease continues to increase in prevalence.
While a definitive cure for cancer remains elusive, its effects can be lessened through fitness regimens and dietary modifications. One might wonder how nutrition and fitness contribute to enhanced quality of life for mesothelioma patients. In this regard, examining the relationship between physical fitness, immunity, and overall well-being is appropriate.
Regular exercise and a nutritious diet strengthen the body and immune system. Such strengthening measures can be particularly beneficial to those suffering from mesothelioma.
Impact Of Mesothelioma on An Individual’s Life
Unlike other malignancies, mesothelioma predominantly manifests along the lung’s surface and other regions within the chest. This anatomical localization leads to distressing sensations stemming from the impact on nerves in the affected area. Furthermore, the condition exerts pressure on the lungs, leading to breathlessness. It is worth noting that mesothelioma symptoms can significantly vary from patient to patient.
Mesothelioma can be devastating for an individual. The disease’s insidious nature, with symptoms appearing several decades after asbestos exposure, means that many individuals are unaware of the underlying health risks until the condition reaches an advanced stage. As a result, mesothelioma often leads to a diminished quality of life and a host of physical and emotional challenges for the affected individual and their loved ones.
Due to mesothelioma’s severe and debilitating nature, patients may face significant medical expenses, prolonged treatments, and a reduced ability to work or carry out daily activities. In such circumstances, seeking legal assistance from specialized mesothelioma lawyers becomes crucial. These lawyers have the knowledge and experience to deal with mesothelioma cases and can assist sufferers in exploring their legal rights and compensation possibilities.
A mesothelioma settlement is one option for compensation. A mesothelioma settlement is a negotiated agreement between the person diagnosed with the disease (plaintiff) and the guilty parties or their insurers (defendants). Its goal is to offer financial assistance to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other connected costs.
Now, let’s delve into a few exercise routines and diet tips for those living with this disease.
- Consume a High Protein Diet
A high-protein diet has been identified as beneficial in addressing certain aspects of mesothelioma and its associated effects on the body. Mesothelioma can induce a heightened metabolic rate, leading to rapid weight loss if not promptly replenished through adequate food intake. This phenomenon is often observed in individuals with cancer, where unexplained weight loss is an early indicator of the disease.
Proper nourishment becomes paramount to prepare the body for the forthcoming battery of medication and treatments aimed at containing cancer’s progression. Consumption of high-protein foods constitutes one approach to counteracting the weight and nutrition loss experienced due to cancer. Such a diet provides the body with essential energy reserves and helps preserve muscle mass and overall weight.
A study conducted in 2018 revealed that a significant proportion of patients (34.1%) had already experienced weight loss before receiving a cancer diagnosis. This research underscores the vital role of nutrition in the comprehensive treatment and care of individuals living with cancer, including those facing mesothelioma. A well-considered and balanced diet, particularly one rich in protein, can be instrumental in supporting patients throughout their cancer journey.
- Consider Opting for Smaller and More Frequent Meals
While consuming three balanced meals per day proves suitable for most individuals, it may not be viable for everyone, particularly during treatment phases when appetite decreases or diminishes altogether.
Adopting a grazing approach or consuming several smaller meals throughout the day can be a viable alternative if your appetite has been affected and a regular meal schedule becomes challenging. Prioritize ensuring a consistent food intake to sustain your nutritional needs effectively.
- Emphasize High Fiber Content in Your Diet
Increasing dietary fiber intake is advisable for individuals undergoing treatment that may lead to digestive issues, such as constipation. Opt for plant-based foods like oatmeal, bran, vegetables, and fruits, which offer ample fiber content while often boasting a mild or pleasant flavor—beneficial for those who may experience nausea due to chemotherapy.
- Low-Impact Exercises
Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma often grapple with breathlessness and fatigue, reducing physical activity and potential doubts about their physical capabilities. However, inactivity can exacerbate these symptoms, while engaging in appropriate exercise can prove beneficial. It is essential to recognize that the adverse effects of inactivity outweigh the potential risk of injury from exercise. Adopting a cautious and gradual approach to exercise is critical to ensuring safety during physical activity.
Broadening the scope of what constitutes exercise to include everyday tasks and household chores can be instrumental in combating inactivity. Engaging in light gardening, walking around the block, and doing household chores like dishwashing and laundry folding can be gentle yet productive ways to incorporate movement into daily routines.
Among the recommended exercise modalities for mesothelioma patients, low-impact exercises are generally considered safe and advantageous. These activities can enhance energy levels and overall quality of life. Some examples of low-impact exercises include:
- Restorative or gentle yoga
- Cycling and elliptical training
- Lightweight strength training
- Exercises to Avoid
Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma are advised to abstain from engaging in high-intensity and high-impact exercises, including:
- Hot or power yoga
- Fast cardiovascular training
- Long-distance running or cycling
- Heavy weightlifting
It is important to avoid certain strenuous workout regimens to minimize unnecessary pressure on the body and optimize general well-being. Instead, people with mesothelioma are urged to pursue low-impact, moderate exercise choices appropriate for their health circumstances and restrictions. Always contact a healthcare expert before beginning any workout plan to confirm that it is appropriate for your unique health needs.
Mesothelioma remains a rare but persistently diagnosed form of cancer. Given the enormous impact of mesothelioma on an individual’s life, addressing the problems that result from the illness becomes critical.
A multifaceted strategy that includes a balanced diet, safe exercise routines, and competent medical direction shows promise for controlling the consequences of mesothelioma and assisting people in their pursuit of greater health and well-being.