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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

Fatigue and Cancer Patients

Posted Feb 1st, 2022 in Naturopathic Medicine, News, Tips

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints about patients with cancer diagnosis whether they are on active treatment for cancer such as Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Targeted Therapy, Hormonal Blockage, or a combination of more than one of these interventions or they are cancer survivors or even struggles with advanced stages of cancer with no more active treatment just on palliative care.


From the medical and biochemical angles,  fatigue for patients with cancer has many reasons and sometimes they are all existing. The reasons for fatigue are many such as inadequate nutrition, lack of proper nutrient absorption or assimilation by the body, and the production of chemicals by the cancer cells known as interleukins or cytokines such as Interleukin 1,4 and 6. TNF Alpha, interferons, and Chemokines. These chemicals target the satiety center of the brain for cancer patients and cause low appetite for food so patients with advanced cancers do not have enough appetite for food also they increase the sense of fatigue and tiredness for these patients. Patients on Chemotherapy do feel fatigued as well because of the direct effect of the chemotherapy on the energy stores of the body and also lowering the appetite for patients on chemotherapy which affects their food intake in addition to causing nausea and vomiting for certain types of chemotherapy.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11764-010-0145-7 


There has been lots of research on how to improve the energy and overcome fatigue for cancer patients in general including those who are on active treatment or cancer survivors.

Today, I will present relatively recent research published in 2021, in Nutrient Journal and this is the link for that research Nutritional Status Predicts Fatty Acid Uptake from Fish and Soybean Oil Supplements for Treatment of Cancer-Related Fatigue: Results from a Phase II Nationwide Study

This research aimed at giving either Omega 3 fish oil 6 GM a day versus Soybean oil 6 GM a day versus both at a dose of 3 gm each. At the end of this research, it was concluded that patients in all the study arms (whether on Omega Fish Oil alone, Soybean oil alone, or both) had better energy scores and their fatigue symptoms were markedly improved.


So, in conclusion, supplementation of Cancer Patients with anti-inflammatory supplements such as Omega 3 Fish oil Soybean oils, or both can be a promising tool in managing or reducing fatigue symptoms in patients with cancer.

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