Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Healthy Eating When You're Sick

    Diarrhea

    Diarrhea is a common symptom and a side effect of some medicines. Eating soft, bland foods and avoiding greasy foods can help. Drink plenty of water or other fluids, since diarrhea can quickly dehydrate you. One way to replace electrolytes is to drink a sports beverage diluted with water.

    Constipation

    Opioid pain medicines and certain other treatments often cause constipation. To help prevent and treat constipation, eat foods high in fiber, such as apricots, prunes, applesauce, and whole grain breakfast cereals. Getting up and walking can also help get your digestive tract moving.

    Unwanted Weight Loss

    "If you're losing weight when you shouldn't, your top priority is taking in more calories," says McLymont. Help yourself to foods you love, including high-calorie foods like milkshakes and desserts. Eat as often as you can throughout the day. Snack on high-energy foods such as nuts, seeds, cheese slices, and hardboiled eggs.

    Unwanted Weight Gain

    Some commonly used medicines can also make you gain unwanted weight. These include:

    Falling Short on Nutrients

    If you're having real trouble eating a balanced diet, you may benefit from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian before taking dietary supplements, especially if you take medicines for a serious health condition. Some supplements can impact the effectiveness of medicines.

    1 | 2
    Reviewed on August 20, 2012

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
     
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article