A Cancer Patient’s Guide to Chemotherapy and Dehydration

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Know the Symptoms of Dehydration and Ways to Prevent It

Patients undergoing chemotherapy often find themselves dehydrated. Since the treatment brings side effects such as heavy sweating, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, it’s not uncommon for cancer sufferers to experience excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes in their bodies. With the lack of essential fluids, the body won’t be able to function properly, eventually shutting down when left untreated.

 

Symptoms of Dehydration

So, how can you tell if your body’s dehydrated? Here are its telltale signs:

  • Decrease in urine output
  • Dry mouth
  • Often thirsty
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Difficulty in swallowing dry foods
  • Fatigue
  • Dark urine
  • Crinkled or loose skin
  • Thick or dry secretions

 

How Chemotherapy Leads to Dehydration

While chemotherapy kills cancer cells, the treatment adversely affects your health. Diarrhea and vomiting are two of the most common reactions that can result in severe dehydration.

Your treatment can also cause you to lose your appetite or sense of thirst, which makes it even more difficult for you to replenish your body with important fluids. Additionally, you might experience sore throat from your chemo sessions, which can further discourage you from drinking. Fever is another side effect that you can get from chemotherapy, leading to you sweating more frequently than usual.

 

Ways to Prevent Dehydration

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to combat dehydration as you undergo chemotherapy. Other than that, here are several other preventive measures you should apply before, during, and after your treatment:

  • Try other liquids.

If you’re tired of the same bland taste of water, you can always go for other drinks like juice, tea, decaf coffee, milk, or sports drinks. Just be sure that you get at least eight glasses of water.

  • Eat foods rich in fluids.

We’re talking about soups, broths, yogurts, fruits, and vegetables. Frozen pops and gelatin wouldn’t hurt, either!

  • Suck on small ice chips.

Your cancer care team might suggest you suck on tiny pieces of ice if you’re still having trouble swallowing foods.

  • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages.

Any drink high in caffeine causes frequent urination, which is why you must try to avoid them at all costs. If you’ve always relied on coffee to get you through the day, try reducing your intake to only one cup a day.

  • Track your fluid intake and output.

To make things easier for you when you consult with your doctor, keep a record of your fluid activity every day. On a notebook, log how many ounces you drink and how many times you experience diarrhea or vomiting.

 

When to See Your Doctor

Should you encounter any of the situations below, call your doctor right away to schedule an appointment:

  • Little to no urine output for 12 hours or more
  • Urine appears darker
  • Fever higher than 100.4o F
  • Signs of confusion or dizziness
  • Excessive sleepiness

 

Help Breast Cancer Patients in Your Area

We at Breast Cancer Car Donations would like to invite you to take part in our advocacy of saving the lives of breast cancer sufferers. By donating your clunker to us, you’ll get to help breast cancer-stricken women in your community.

We’ll auction off your donated vehicle and distribute the collected funds to our charity partners. They will then use the money to provide their beneficiaries with financial assistance, easy access to medical facilities for their treatment, counseling, breast cancer screening, and other breast cancer prevention and education services.

To repay you for your charitable contribution, we’ll provide you with our free pick-up and towing services wherever your vehicle is located in the country. Your donation will also entitle you to receive a maximized tax deduction in the next tax season.

If you have inquiries or concerns regarding our donation process, please contact us at 866-540-5069 or leave us a message here. You may also learn more about our work by browsing through our FAQs page. As for the types of vehicles we normally accept, you can check them out here.

 

Be a Local Hero Today

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Help beat breast cancer with your vehicle donation. When you save a life, you’ll become a local hero in your community. Call Breast Cancer Car Donations at 866-540-5069 or fill out our online donation form now!

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