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If you or a loved one is undergoing chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, you may find that eating is complicated by odd tastes, loss of appetite, nausea, or other problems. You'll need a bit of patience, but these annoyances will pass. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you.

Lack of Appetite

- Being relaxed helps, so you'll want to make mealtime calm. If your appetite is intermittent, go ahead and eat whenever you are hungry. Let yourself have several small meals during the day instead of trying to get through three large ones.

- Morning may be the time you have the most appetite. If so, make the most of this time. For example, have two small meals and a snack before noon.

- Drink liquids half an hour before or after meals so you don't get filled up with fluid when you're trying to eat.

Taste Changes

Your sense of taste may change if you are on medications or receiving radiation treatment to the head or neck. Perhaps you can hardly taste or smell food at all. Nonetheless, keep eating during this temporary stage. Foods will still be nourishing.

Your sense of taste may continue to change during treatment. Experiment with sour, sweet, salty, and bitter foods to find out what's best for you. Try different seasonings.

Coping with Taste Changes

- For those with an increased sense of strong or bitter tastes, the mild flavor of some soy products can be a welcome change.

- For those with a metallic taste in their mouth, use plastic dishware and silverware.

- Peanut butter, tofu, and beans are bland foods that may be appealing.

If taste blindness is a problem, using marinades and seasonings for tofu and tempeh can enhance the flavor.

More information about chemotherapy for cancer disease: mesothelioma cancer and cancer information

Cancer - Side Effects of Chemotherapy