Brain metastases take place whenever cancer cells spread from their actual site towards the brain. The cancer may reach you to your brain and likely to cause brain metastases from breast, lung, colon, melanoma and kidney cancer.
What To Eat When You Have Brain Metastases?
Treatment for brain metastases includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy depending on the specific condition of the patient. Even though the treatment helps patients to manage their symptoms by reducing cancer symptoms and pain, they sometimes cause other side effects, such as fatigue, constipation, diarrhea and nausea, which create difficulty in eating.1
Moreover, in some cases, the problem of malnutrition interferes with the healing ability of a brain metastases patient based on the interruption and/or delay in treatment.2 In this situation, it is essential for you to consult with an experienced dietician to get an appropriate diet plan based on the symptom/symptoms you experience.
Foods To Eat i.e. Diet Plan For Brain Metastases According To The Side Effects At A Glance
Nausea: If you experience nausea after your radiation therapy or surgery for brain metastases, dieticians often recommend you bland and a low fat diet to eat. This includes ginger products, cold food items, sea bands and peppermint, all of which are helpful to combat nausea problems.
Fatigue: In case of tiredness or fatigue in brain metastases, dieticians suggest you having small, but frequent meals consisting of food items rich in protein. At the same time, you have to reduce the intake of sugary drinks or whole sugar to energize your body properly.
Diarrhea: Brain metastases patients experiencing diarrhea side effect after the treatment should go with BRAT diet consisting of white rice, bananas and toast. The diet plan plays a major role to avoid/reduce digestive tract irritation and pectin or other water-soluble type of fiber supplements and in turn help in the formation of firm stool.
Constipation: To get immediate relief from constipation in brain metastases, you have to increase the fiber intake and make sure staying hydrated for the whole day. If possible, you should intake prune juice or drink warm liquids on a regular basis.
Phyto-Nutrients Foods: Whether you have brain metastasis/metastases or simply brain tumor, it is essential for you to have foods rich in phyto-nutrients or cancer fighting nutrients. These include green tea, basil, oregano, green and leafy veggies, along with thyme.
Ketogenic Diet-the Most Preferable Diet Plan for Brain Metastasis Patients: The word ketogenic consists of two words i.e. ketones produced by the human body and genic implies producing. In normal cases, body of a person converts carbohydrate from different food items, like bread, sugar and pasta into glucose a form of sugar to use it for obtaining energy. Even though glucose constitutes an energy source for various healthy brain cells, it gives scope to cancer cells to survive, as they rely on glucose metabolism i.e. glycolysis.3, 4, 5
Here comes the role of ketogenic diet for brain metastases i.e. a type of low carbohydrate, high fat and controlled protein diet. Thus, when you choose for keto diet plan, you reduce your carbohydrate intake and your body fails to use glucose; instead, it forced to use stored fats as the energy source, also known as ketosis metabolic process.6
In contrast, brain tumor cells or cancer cells unable to metabolize ketones produced from your body during the ketosis procedure.
Ketones thus form excellent energy sources for the neurons and produce in the human body during low glucose conditions. Consumption of a diet containing healthy fats, proteins in adequate amount and low carbohydrate activate the production of ketones and let you starve off the growth of malignant cells. If this is not enough, following a ketogenic plan benefits you by reducing the oxidative stress and brain inflammation, while prevents the supply of nutrients to brain tumors.
To conclude, we should say that foods to eat or a specific diet plan depends on specific condition or side effect of patients. However, in general, every individual with brain metastasis should definitely intake phyto-nutrients and follow ketogenic diet plan strictly.