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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I prepare my immune system for chemotherapy?

    I had bowel surgery 4 weeks ago and am on a low fibre diet for 6 weeks while the bowel heals.

    In two weeks I begin chemotherapy and my worry is that being on low fibre for six weeks, limited veggies and no fruit apart from tin fruit, That my immune system will be low and my body run down before I begin

    How will my system cope with the bombardment of chemo?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

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    Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    It is well known that if you are well nourished prior to chemotherapy this will help your treatment outcome.

    Vitamin D boost immunity. Many Australians are vitamin D deficient, it would be good practice to check with your GP to ensure your vitamin D levels are within range and take a supplement if your levels are low.

    You may be missing out on a number of nutrients due to your restricted diet. Often a low dose liquid multivitamin which you can purchase from the chemist is a good idea.

    Try to ensure the food you do eat is as nutritious as possible and eat the vegetable and fruit suggestions on the BCA website and scroll down to ‘Make it healthy, low fibre/low residue diet’.

    Try to maintain your weight by eating small frequent meals and enjoy plenty of healthy proteins such as fish, chicken and eggs in the lead up and throughout chemotherapy with suggested vegetables and carbohydrates. Soups and stews are often better tolerated, yoghurt will help with digestion throughout treatment. Drink ginger tea, ginger beer or eat crystallised ginger to help with nausea.

    We hope the helps to answer your questions.

    Please feel free to contact us anytime for individualised advice at:
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nutrition Adviser -
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser -

    Kind Regards,
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nutrition Adviser

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.

    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.

    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

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