In the treatment of cancer, good nutritional status is very important to support therapy and eventual recovery. However, malnutrition and weight loss often occur as a result of the disease or side effects of medical therapies. About 30 to 80 percent of people living with cancer are affected by malnutrition. In order to improve the state of nutrition and to counteract the loss of weight and strength, the right diet adapted to the respective individual needs is crucial. In this way, side effects and risks of cancer therapy can be reduced and the quality of life of the patient can be increased.
What is malnutrition and how does it occur?
At every stage of cancer there is an increased risk of malnutrition. This means that the body is not supplied with sufficient energy and/or nutrients, e.g. B. protein, vitamins, minerals supplied. This is often accompanied by a loss of weight, strength and mobility. Malnutrition and weight loss can have different causes. Not only does the metabolism change in the course of cancer, food intake can also be significantly reduced. Completely or partially removed organs or tumors in the area of the head and neck or in the stomach and intestines can impair the supply of food or the digestion and absorption of food components. Loss of appetite due to fear, grief, mental stress or depression as a result of the disease can also lead to a worsening of the nutritional status, as can side effects of medical therapies. These include, for example, changes in taste, inflammation of the oral mucosa, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. As a rule, a weight loss of five percent within six months or a body mass index (BMI) of 20 kg/m2 indicates malnutrition. However, malnutrition can also occur with obesity or weight gain, since not only body fat but also muscle mass is broken down and fluid can be stored in the tissue or abdominal cavity. In addition to weight loss, a noticeable loss of strength can also be a clear indication of malnutrition.
What are the consequences of malnutrition?
The effects of malnutrition in cancer can be far-reaching. For example, the weakening of the immune system can increase susceptibility to infections. Losing weight and muscle mass can be associated with physical weakness and rapid fatigue and fatigue. It is also possible that the red blood cells become less efficient, the cardiac output deteriorates and the respiratory muscles weaken. Furthermore, it can lead to hair loss[i], dry skin, a disturbed wound healing process, reduced ability to concentrate, anxiety and depression. The side effects of cancer therapy can also be more severe and additionally impair the quality of life of those affected. In the worst case, the tumor disease can lead to wasting (cachexia), which is associated with a lower probability of survival. It is all the more important to recognize and treat a possible malnutrition condition in good time. Nutritional therapy measures, such as nutritional advice from the B. Braun Nutrition Guide, can help identify malnutrition at an early stage, counteract weight loss and possibly support cancer therapy. It is important here to first treat any existing side effects of the therapy, such as loss of appetite, pain, inflammation of the oral mucosa, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, in order to facilitate food intake. Furthermore, at the beginning, a diet z. B. by enrichment with certain fat and protein-rich foods to provide the body with sufficient energy and nutrients. As part of a curative therapy, it can give people with cancer the strength to get through the strenuous tumor therapy. In addition to nutritional therapy measures, physical activity is recommended, which counteracts muscle breakdown and stimulates the appetite.
Nutritional support at home
For people with cancer or other chronic diseases who are at risk of malnutrition, it is very important that this risk is recognized and that individual nutritional counseling and therapy takes place. In this way, the nutritional status can be improved and possible consequences of malnutrition can be prevented.
However, if adequate nutrition is not possible due to the illness and enteral or parenteral nutritional therapy is prescribed by the practitioner, B. Braun HomeCare offers competent nutritional support and advice for home care.
A team of specialists who have many years of expertise in enteral and parenteral nutritional therapy provide support in creating needs-based nutritional recommendations and organize the implementation of nutritional therapy at home. B. Braun HomeCare helps patients regain a better quality of life and strength to fight their illness.
Nutrition hotline for questions in between
The employees of the “B. Braun Nutrition Guide” telephone nutrition advice service advise and support you in improving your food intake with tips for an energy- and protein-rich diet and individual nutrition plans. In any case, it is important that the nutritional recommendations cover the needs of the respective patient.
About B. Braun Home
Care B. Braun HomeCare is a nationwide homecare company that was founded in 2019 from the subsidiaries B. Braun TravaCare, B. Braun prolabor and TransCare Service GmbH. Rooted in the traditional family business B. Braun, the home care company has specialized in the home care of patients after a stay in hospital or in the case of chronic, serious illnesses. In addition to the high-quality care of patients and support for relatives in caring for those in need of care, the company attaches great importance to personal care when it comes to care at home. B. Braun HomeCare is pursuing the goal of enabling patients to live as independently as possible, despite health challenges. Internet: https://www.bbraun.de/homecare
B. Braun Germany GmbH & Co. KG
Schwarzenberger Weg 73 – 79
34212 Melsungen, Hesse
Tel: +49 151 64965264
Fax: +49 5661 91479000
E-Mail: [email protected]
Original content from: B. Braun Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, transmitted by news aktuell
Original message: https://www.presseportal.de/pm/163195/5284767