Dehydration in cancer patients – VnExpress

Cancer and treatment make the patient dehydrated; need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, eat soup, drink milk, choose foods like watermelon, lettuce…

Everyone loses water every day through natural body functions such as sweating, going to the toilet… Providing enough water helps keep body temperature stable, eliminates harmful substances, Supports heart rhythm control, contributes to the protection of organs, tissues and joints. Cancer and some treatments can lead to people not having enough fluids in their body. People undergoing cancer treatment are prone to dehydration due to drugs, surgery, radiation therapy, side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite… While undergoing cancer treatment, patients can also develop the disease. infection and fever. High temperatures can lead to water shortages.

These side effects, when severe, can keep you from eating and drinking. Signs that the body is not getting enough water such as dry mouth, tongue or lips; dizzy; nausea, constipation, dry skin; swollen, dry, cracked tongue, rapid weight loss, headache. dark yellow urine or little urine…

Severe cases of dehydration can be life-threatening and require medical treatment. It can cause symptoms such as extreme thirst, low blood pressure, fever, irregular heartbeat, less than 8 hours of urination, sunken eyes. The person may experience conditions such as an inability to sweat, an inability to produce tears, disorientation, or confusion.

Cancer patients can become dehydrated without feeling thirsty. However, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, even more if you have diarrhea and vomiting. If you can’t drink enough, you can try drinking more milk, juice, soda, decaf tea… or anything tolerable. Drinks with ice, sugar, add a few slices of lemon… to enhance the taste and make it easier to drink. However, alcohol and caffeine should be avoided as they can increase the effects of dehydration.

Drinking plenty of water helps prevent dehydration during cancer treatment. Image: Freepik

Soups, porridges, fruits and vegetables, and yogurt all contain healthy amounts of fluids. Patients can choose foods that contain a lot of water such as lettuce (95% water), watermelon (12% water), broccoli (91% water). According to the American Cancer Society, people with cancer can suck on ice chips to relieve dry mouth if they cannot drink enough fluids. Apply lip balm and lip balm regularly to help soften dry skin and lips.

Reducing side effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment. Your doctor will treat dehydration depending on its severity. The doctor may give the patient a drink containing electrolytes to replace lost fluid. The patient can also take medication according to the doctor’s instructions to improve the cause of this condition. In cases of severe dehydration, your doctor may consider intravenous fluids.

It may be difficult for you to know how much fluid is going in and out, so keep a record of how many milliliters you drink and the number of times you have vomiting and diarrhea each day. This will be helpful if you have to go to the doctor because of these symptoms.

Cancer patients during treatment often find it difficult to eat and drink, so they try to eat and drink little by little, dividing meals. Because lack of water and nutrients will make the body tired, long-term leading to exhaustion, making it difficult to fight this disease. Don’t wait until your body signals you’re thirsty to drink. Drinking more often, especially before exercise and before going out in the hot sun, is good for health. During treatment, even if you feel unwell, take the initiative to drink water to help your body recover.

Kim Uyen
(Follow Webmd, American Cancer Society)


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