Changing Eating Habits After A Prostate Cancer Diagnosis – A Patient's Story
Diane interviews a man who changed his eating habits after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Here's what he said about his journey.
Falling into bad eating habits
I believe I can confidently say that I am a well-informed individual. After being on this earth for many years, I am aware of the different kinds of foods and their benefits. This has never stopped me from having terrible eating habits. Who doesn’t get a constant craving for certain foods?
We shouldn’t be eating everything we crave. It brings on a great feeling and feels good. The sad part is that I get healthy homemade meals at home. I love a large greasy burger, and I love to wash it down with a sweet sugary coke. A good homemade meal would be better for me. It’s not always appealing to me at times.
Confirming my worst fears
I went to have my routine physical. My health practitioner detected a mass. The doctor advised me to undergo a biopsy, which came back positive for prostate cancer. My prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests were normal around that time period. I immediately sought out a second opinion. It confirmed my worst fears that I had to have surgery.
Dietary changes after treatment
Friends and family gave me a lot of unwarranted advice on what to eat. What to avoid to guarantee a speedy recovery. Some of their suggestions were downright hilarious, as a person who really enjoyed tasty foods. Everything I put in my mouth tasted different. The water tasted horrible and all the meals I had tasted bland, to say the least.
I decided to seek professional help to improve my diet. Here is what was recommended to me.
- To be as active as I possibly could
- Make sure I get all essential nutrients - carbs, proteins, and vitamins, as well as fiber, minerals, phytonutrients, and water
- Maintain a healthy weight
Foods recommended to me
- Plant proteins
- Green tea (antioxidants)
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Peppers and jalapenos
Things I was recommended to avoid
- Animal proteins
- Sugary drinks
- Raw milk
- Unpasteurized cider
An improving appetite
It wasn't hard to convince me of the fresh fruit and vegetable diet. I had a poor appetite anyway. I got better, and my appetite improved. It became harder and harder to fight food cravings. Don't forget about good hygiene along the way.
Eating right was just important. There are times you might not be able to fight off some illness. The body will just be too weak. This could include viruses, fungus, and bacteria that can cause damage. My doctors instructed me to drink a lot of water. The taste was horrible to me. My nutritionist advises me to substitute it with tea, soup, almond milk, or flavor it by using fresh fruits.
Sticking to a healthy diet
If the food tastes bland, I can try some seasoning in it. You can use cayenne, garlic, rosemary, dill, or other spices of your choice. Sometimes I get a metallic taste in my mouth. You can chew gum, mints, and eat citrus fruits to help with this.
If sores have developed in the mouth, I find it's good to smooth food with a blender. Changing and sticking to a healthy diet was the toughest thing I have ever attempted; I wish you luck.
Let's support each other and lift each other up. Together we can do this.
Have you gone to a pelvic floor physical therapist?