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Eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise are two positive steps all myeloma patients should think about. Making healthy lifestyle choices will help you cope both mentally and physically when living with myeloma.
There are no specific dietary recommendations for myeloma patients, so myeloma patients should follow a normal healthy diet. This can help you maintain your energy and strength and may aid recovery after treatment. A healthy diet should include carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables, dairy and fat.
There will be times when you may need to pay greater attention to the foods you eat. For example, you may need to alter your diet if your immune system is compromised and your white cell count is low. This is because you’re at increased risk of picking up an infection.
Some myeloma treatments can affect how much and what you want to eat. It’s important to eat what you can, when you can, to help keep your energy up.
Myeloma can sometimes reduce how well your kidneys work, so it is important to drink a lot of fluids to help your kidneys work well – 2 to 3 litres (or 3 to 5 pints) of liquid per day is recommended. All liquids count and tea, coffee and alcohol can be included, in moderation.
As well as eating well, you should exercise regularly. Being physically active can improve your physical and emotional ability to carry on with day-to-day life, boost your mood and help to improve fatigue.
The most important thing for you to think about when planning any sort of exercise is the effect it might have on your bones. You should avoid strenuous exercises like weightlifting or contact sports such as rugby. Gentle forms of exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling, gentle aqua-aerobics, gentle gym work, yoga and tai chi are good for overall health and for muscle strengthening.