Diabetes and cancer are fatal health conditions that can co-exist in many patients. Both can be difficult to deal with even individually on their own. Suffering from both diseases at the same time can add more stress to life. As per studies, there is an increased risk of cancer diagnosis in patients with diabetes. The tumour or cancer treatment therapies can cause spiking sugar levels in diabetic patients. These uncontrolled glucose levels lead to a higher risk of mortality for many malignancies. Management of diabetes in cancer patients is usually due to several factors. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Jitendra Pahlajani, Medical Oncology, HCG Cancer Centre Jaipur, to know about tips to manage diabetes in cancer patients.
The treating team of doctors have to consider a lot of factors such as what level of glycaemic control can help, which therapy should be used, how to deal with therapies, patient’s dietary requirements, how diabetes complications can affect cancer treatment and drug interactions, etc. It is important to carefully manage the condition during and after cancer treatment if you already have diabetes. One might be more inclined towards managing a cancer diagnosis, but diabetes care is also extremely critical to health and can impact the success of a treatment plan. During the treatment, one should focus on cancer treatment with euglycemia, thereby it is important to manage diabetes too to make sure your body can tolerate and benefit from chemotherapy, radiation, or other modalities.
Tips to manage diabetes in cancer patients
If you have Type II diabetes or pre-diabetes, try to manage it with moderations in your diet. As your diet allows, indulge into a healthy eating schedule which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in fat and calories. You can help keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range by keeping a balance of these foods in your diet throughout the day. Here are some tips listed below to manage diabetes in cancer patients:
● Try to understand needs of the diet and lifestyle modifications and how it can affect your cancer treatment. This will help in taking proper care of yourself and reduce diabetes complications.
● Maintain a healthy diet. Eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Reduce the intake of red meat and processed foods you eat. And, you should also take care of your portion sizes.
● Exercise daily and stay fit. Try to focus on moderate physical activity or vigorous exercise routine every day.
● To prevent this from happening, restrict your alcohol intake. It is high in calories and sugar. According to research, it was proved that heavy drinking can damage cells and result in cancer.
● Keep a check on your blood sugar. Managing blood sugar levels within a normal range can help in preventing infection, nausea, fatigue, and other worsening symptoms.
● Reducing stress is very important. Dealing with cancer can be challenging and its treatments can cause your body to release some hormones that increase your blood sugar. This can weaken the immune system. Stress management tips can help you feel more relaxed, calm and less anxious.
● Make healthy lifestyle choices. Along with staying on track with plans for managing sugar levels, eating healthy, and reducing stress, as you are undergoing cancer treatment, it is also important to avoid smoking and other drugs. This will help in keeping blood sugar levels under control and helps your body in better treatment during cancer treatment.
Can cancer treatment affect blood sugar levels?
The type of cancer treatment offered plays a crucial role in managing diabetes during treatment. Chemotherapy therapy can cause hyperglycemia, an increase in blood sugar levels. This should be monitored carefully as hyperglycemia can cause excessive dehydration and put stress on organs and the immune system. Taking extra care to manage blood sugar levels can help in staying hydrated and getting better with treatment. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels also can have a negative effect on other organs. Monitoring blood sugar levels can help in keeping them healthy during cancer treatment. The euglycemia achieved through diet and anti diabetic drugs is linked to better outcomes and results.
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