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4 Ways To Eat Healthily With Pancreatic Cancer

Unfortunately, it’s common for people with pancreatic cancer to struggle with maintaining their weight and adhering to the correct dietary requirements. The pancreas is an organ found in the abdominal area, namely behind the stomach and in close proximity to the duodenum, small intestine and gallbladder.

It plays an important part in the process of converting the food that we eat into fuel that our body cells use. If cancer has spread to the pancreas, it may not be able to perform its duty of digesting food effectively. Read on to learn 4 ways to eat healthily with pancreatic cancer.

1. Keep an eye out for changes in bowel habits

Both the disease itself and the treatments for pancreatic cancer can cause changes in your bowel habits. These include diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and gas. Inform your health care provider as soon as possible if you notice any changes in the frequency or consistency of your bowel movements.

They might suggest making changes to your diet, medication or supplementary pancreatic enzymes. These help your body absorb more of the minerals and vitamins in the food that you eat.

2. Take pancreatic enzymes

Patients who have undergone Whipple surgery, in which a portion of the pancreas is removed, are at an increased risk of developing pancreatic enzyme deficiency. Symptoms of this include cramping, bloating and gas. Enzyme supplements can be prescribed by your doctor to help your body digest carbs, fats and proteins.

3. Stay on top of your weight

After receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and starting treatment, it’s common to experience weight loss. If you’re losing more than one or two pounds each week, you should get advice from a trained nutritionist as soon as possible. A licensed dietician will offer specialist advice on how to increase your calorie consumption.

4. Eat more plant-based foods

Incorporate easy-to-digest plant-based meals into your diet. This includes oats, bananas, barley, peaches, pears, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes and asparagus. Monitor how well your body responds to each one and slowly expand the types of plant-based foods you eat. We suggest trying a variety of cuisines and flavours to see what you find the most appetising. For more information, please read our article on coping with pancreatic cancer.

Contact Birmingham HPB Clinic for more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle while being treated for pancreatic cancer.