Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is a type of blood cancer which starts in the lymphatic system of our body, the system which boosts the immune system to dispose of the body’s impurities and stay healthy by fighting infections. It is also known as Hodgkin or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When it progresses it spreads to other parts of the body through the blood.
Tips for patients with Hodgkin’s disease
Living with Hodgkin’s disease is not an easy task; as a patient, you not only require to go through the painful treatment but also the emotional turmoil of living with this deadly disease. So, it is essential to take good care of yourself and adhere to a healthy diet along with regular exercise.
Eat a healthy diet
While there is no restricted diet for patients with Hodgkin’s disease, it is always good to have a well-balanced meal packed with nutrition.
- Try to include a carbs intake through whole grains
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits
- Increase regular intake of dairy items, which are either free of fat or contain less fat
- Consume controlled quantity of nuts and other items containing good fat
- Restrict the intake of sugar and salt
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and to digest your food
- Refrain from caffeinated drinks
Food safety tips
With Hodgkin’s disease, your body is vulnerable to infections thus ensure to:
- Wash your hands before and after every meal
- Maintain hygiene of the cooking area
- Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before using
- Do not eat raw meat, fish, or frozen foods.
- Try not to consume unpasteurized milk and juices
- Be vigilant on the quality of food and the expiry date if it is packaged
- For cleaning raw meat, use a separate plate and wash it properly after use
- Stay away from salad corners or buffet sections.
Do not stop eating during chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a painful treatment of Hodgkin’s disease and it sometimes mars your appetite. But, if you want to fight through, you cannot afford to stop eating. If you cannot consume solids, opt for liquids including protein shakes, fresh juice, and soup with low-salt as these will be easier to swallow. You can also choose foods that become tender after cooking, as these will also be easy for you to eat. Try new ways such as blending fruits and veggies. Break down your meals into smaller fragments, if required. Though you can have small meals six times a day, you cannot skip any meal. So, you need to eat even if you are not hungry and you need to drink water even if you are not thirsty.
While you might not be in the frame of mind where you can exercise, it is important for you to do so. It helps you to enhance your immunity which is drastically affected by Hodgkin’s disease and keeps your muscles strong. Moreover, exercises will help you to fight fatigue, depression, and will help keep you mentally and physically healthy.