Eating Right Matters: What’s on Your Plate?

Eating Right Matters: What’s on Your Plate?

This article will give you ideas about how to eat right while living with multiple myeloma (MM) and about how to deal with eating problems, should they occur.

KEY POINTS

  1. Although there is no specific diet for MM, eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain your general health and well-being
  2. MM and its treatments may make it difficult to eat right, but there are steps you can take to help
  3. Always follow your healthcare team’s advice on foods to avoid and other nutritional issues
  4. Always ask your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise program, and before taking any vitamins or nutritional or herbal supplements

Eating a Balanced Diet

myPlateWhen you have MM, there is no specific diet to follow unless your healthcare team has directed you to avoid certain foods. But eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain your general health and well-being. To get started, consider this basic guide from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion on how to fill your plate with a balance of foods from different food groups.

It’s also important to talk with your healthcare team about the food choices that are right for you. Be sure to ask about any foods or drinks you should avoid. And always ask your doctor before starting a new diet or taking any vitamins or herbal or nutritional supplements.

Dealing With Eating Problems

Eating right can be difficult when you have MM. Both the cancer and its treatments can affect you in many ways. You may lose your appetite and not want to eat. Or, you may eat too much and gain unwanted weight. You may also experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, loose stools or constipation, or a sore, dry mouth.

Here are some tips that may help:

  • Try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day
  • Get gentle exercise (like walking) to help increase your appetite. Just remember to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program
  • Stay hydrated by drinking the types and amounts of fluids recommended by your healthcare team
  • Ask your healthcare team about medication or other ways to ease problems such as mouth sores or loss of appetite
  • Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician for a more in-depth nutritional plan if needed

Remember, always check with your doctor before starting a diet or exercise program, or before taking any vitamins (like vitamin D, calcium, or iron) or herbal or nutritional supplements. Only your doctor can tell you what’s safe for you.

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