Getting treated for cancer is life-saving, but the treatment itself can be debilitating. Depending on the type of cancer, treatment varies and depending on the person, the side effects can range drastically. Some people might not experience symptoms, but others will.
Common side effects across treatments include:
- Muscle aches and pain
- Loss of appetite
- Constipation or diarrhoea
Whilst most hospitals and treatment centres will provide medication for symptomatic relief, delays in cancer treatment or the possibility of medications interfering with the cancer treatment can lead many people to look for natural remedies to relieve the unpleasant side effects.
Here are some of the ways cancer treatment symptoms can be relieved using at home remedies.
One of the most unpleasant and limiting side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy is nausea. It can limit whether or not a person leaves the house and partakes in activities with friends and family.
For this reason, nausea can lead to an isolated and lonely lifestyle which is why it’s important to try and reduce the symptoms of it. Antinausea medicines can help, but they’re not an option for everyone.
Fresh ginger has been used to settle stomachs for hundreds of years and is renowned for treating sickness. Its compounds are known to aid digestion and increase the speed at which the digestion system works.
This, in turn, reduces the feeling of nausea. Fresh ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties which can relax the stomach and decrease the feeling of sickness.
Mint is another common remedy for soothing sickness. Peppermint has numbing properties and is commonly used by those with irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. The calming effects of peppermint relax stomach muscles and allow food to be broken down more efficiently, therefore aiding a quicker digestion.
Both ginger and mint are commonly taken in tea, but peppermint oils work just as effectively.
Loss of energy through extreme fatigue can be extremely taxing on someone who is being treated for cancer. Resting is essential and many patients undergoing cancer treatment won’t be as active as they once were. Exercising can be detrimental to some cancer patients, but so can a severe lack of energy.
One of the natural ways to fight off fatigue is by taking a short walk if possible. This is relatively light on the body, but even a brief stint of activeness can boost energy levels (as counter-intuitive as it sounds).
A natural rection to feeling tired is to have a cup of coffee or a caffeinated drink, and whilst this is a short-term pick-me-up, it’s not recommended due to the crash after the caffeine wears off. Sipping water regularly is perhaps the most natural way to fight off fatigue.
Other remedies include eating spinach, whole grain cereals and limiting sleeping to specific times instead of napping frequently throughout the day.
Having painful muscles is a common symptom of various different cancer treatments and can severely limit the lifestyle a person leads. There are so many different medicated treatments and creams, but once again, it’s not an option for everyone, in which case natural remedies can be a saving grace.
Cherry juice has long been used by marathon runners because it contains a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which relax muscles and minimise muscle swelling, thus aiding discomfort.
Perhaps the most popular natural remedy for aches and pains is chamomile. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments, and rubbing chamomile oil onto painful areas has long been touted as one of the most effective uses. Chamomile tea is equally as effective at helping to relieve sore muscles and spasms.
These are just a handful of the at-home remedies that can be used to manage cancer treatment symptoms, but as always, consulting a doctor should be the first port of call.