Fatigue during cancer treatment is a common complaint, so do not worry. Most cancer patients notice a loss of energy. During chemotherapy and radiation; around 70% of patients develop fatigue. For many, the fatigue is severe and limits their activity. This inactivity then leads to muscle wasting and loss of function, so taking action to prevent this now can help your overall recovery when the treatment period ends.
An aerobic training program can help you break this cycle. In research studies, regular exercise has been linked to reduced fatigue. It is also linked to being able to do normal daily activities without major limitations. An aerobic exercise program can be prescribed as treatment for fatigue in cancer patients. You may wish to talk with your doctor about this and ask for suggestions.
The top tips to reduce fatigue, as suggested by past cancer patients include:
1). Setting up a daily routine that allows activity when you are feeling your best.
2). Exercise regularly at light to moderate intensity.
3). Get fresh air.
4). Unless you are told otherwise, eat a balanced diet that includes protein (lean/white meat, fish, milk, eggs, and legumes such as peas or beans) and drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
5). Keep your symptoms such as pain, nausea, or depression controlled, make a diary of when they occur, e.g how long after treatment and you may be able to predict their onset more easily.
6). To save energy, keep things you use often within easy reach.
7). Enjoy your hobbies and other activities that give you pleasure.
8). Use relaxation and visualization techniques to reduce stress.
9). Balance activity with rest that does not interfere with night time sleep.
10). Ask for help when you need it.
The key is to keep your exercise program simple and fun. Exercise and relaxation techniques are great ways to relieve stress. Reducing your stress is a vital element in maintaining health.