Alternative medicine is an important part of my cancer treatment. These treatments are not going to cure my cancer, but they play an important role in relieving chemo symptoms, pain and helping to replace prescription drugs. My insurance covers some of the treatments. I do not get coverage for supplements that can be purchased over-the-counter.
I see a Doctor of Naturopathy every six weeks. At that time we review my current prescription drugs, chemotherapy, and health issues I am experiencing. She asks me if I have stopped taking any of the supplements she recommended and based on my current situation, she may revise my supplement list.
Does it work? I believe it does. I take supplements to relieve chemo symptoms like nausea, fatigue, hot flashes, low blood counts and mouth sores. The list of supplements I take is long. It is important to work with a Doctor of Naturopathy instead of self prescribing supplements. My oncologist, dietitian and naturopathy professional work together to make sure that what is prescribed will not interfere with my chemotherapy drugs or prescription drugs.
Proper diet plays a huge role in cancer recovery. A good dietitian can adjust your diet to make sure that your protein intake will help support surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Use your dietitian to help you reach your weight goals and dietary goals while undergoing treatment for cancer. My dietitian has been a huge help with offering suggestions for when I skip meals.
I have spoken with him about changing to a vegetarian diet and he is very supportive of that. We have discussed ways to keep my protein intake at the proper level so that recovery from surgery will not be an issue. Chemo takes its toll on the body and he has helped me to come up with a diet that will help alleviate some of the toxicity of chemotherapy.
My background in martial arts included training about pressure points. I understand how acupuncture works and it is a safe and proven method of relieving a whole host of medical symptoms. It will not cure cancer, but acupuncture will help to alleviate side effects of chemo, surgery and prescription drugs.
In my case, I was having heartburn and reflux issues prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. The steroids used to pre-treat chemo were causing me to have side effects. One of the biggest issues for me are menopausal symptoms caused by chemotherapy. I am also experiencing severe bone pain as a reaction to an injectable medication to prevent my white blood count from dropping to dangerous levels.
Acupuncture is a free service that my cancer treatment center offers to their patients. The staff acupuncturist is certified, licensed and an expert in her field. We discuss all of my medical issues, chemo treatments, drugs and supplements prior to starting. The process is painless and the entire appointment lasts about 45 minutes.
My heartburn and reflux have been eliminated through acupuncture. It has reduced my bone pain and hopefully it will start to help alleviate my menopausal symptoms--especially the hot flashes I am having.
Complimentary medicine, the new name for alternative medicine, can greatly improve your quality of life after a cancer diagnosis. Using these services will improve your overall well-being by making you feel better. I have more energy and fewer side effects from cancer treatments due to incorporating naturopathy, diet and acupuncture into my battle with breast cancer.
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