The importance of fluids and symptoms of dehydration

Staying hydrated is crucial for everyone, as fluids are vital for cell function, nutrient transport, temperature regulation, and immune support. For those facing cancer and its treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, fluid loss due to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea is common. Dehydration can intensify these side effects. Additionally, older adults are more susceptible to dehydration due to reduced ability to conserve water as they age.

Detecting dehydration is crucial, and recognising symptoms such as thirst, dry mouth and lips, headaches, confusion, low energy, sleepiness, decreased urine output, and darker urine colour can help. Other signs include elevated body temperature, low blood pressure, dry skin, constipation, sunken eyes, and fatigue. Being mindful of these indicators is vital to promptly address dehydration.

How can one stay hydrated?

Maintaining hydration often involves drinking around 8 glasses of water as a general guideline. Aim to consume smaller amounts of water frequently to fulfil this requirement.

  • Drink water steadily (in sips) throughout the day rather than having it in large quantities at once.
  • Consume fluids consistently throughout the day instead of waiting until you feel thirsty.
  • Try varying temperatures when it comes to beverages, as preferences may differ some might prefer cold drinks while others opt for room temperature options.
  • If plain water is challenging during cancer treatment, consider options like lemon or ginger-flavoured water, ORS, buttermilk, soups, and broths.
  • Certain foods like watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green leafy vegetables are rich in water content and help in meeting your fluid intake.
  • In case of fever, diarrhoea, or vomiting, it’s important to increase fluid intake to compensate for the lost fluids. After each episode of vomiting or diarrhoea, aim to drink 1 cup of fluid.
  • Keep water easily accessible by having a glass, cup, or bottle nearby at all times. This increases the likelihood of maintaining fluid intake.
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and sports drinks can lead to fluid loss. Opt for their decaffeinated version instead to maintain hydration.

Foods and beverages that aid in maintaining adequate fluid intake comprise a variety of options such as:

  • Soup and broth
  • Ice cream (preferably homemade)
  • Fruit ice and popsicles (preferably homemade)
  • Sorbets (preferably homemade)
  • Watermelon, muskmelons
  • Clear-liquid nutritional beverages
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Decaffeinated coffee and Tea
  • Fruit or vegetable juice (Freshly made)
  • Liquid nutrition supplements
  • Hot chocolate
  • Milkshakes (preferably homemade)
  • Yoghurt and pudding
  • Ice cubes/ Ice chips
  • Tender coconut water
  • Herbal teas

Foods and drinks to avoid

  • Processed foods like popcorn, chips
  • Cured meat
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Sugary drinks
  • Fried foods

Personalised care is essential during cancer treatment. Consulting with healthcare professionals or nutritionists helps customise a diet that meets individual needs, ensuring proper nutrition and support for overall health throughout treatment.

Solis Services

A holistic approach to cancer care.

We offer patients, caregivers, and families holistic, empathetic, and person-centric assistance through the difficult road of cancer care. We lend a hand through the oft-overshadowed but critical aspects of cancer care through our Patient Education Workshops, Subscription and Individual services.

Subscribe to our blog

Error: Contact form not found.





No Responses


You might also like

Merits Of A Nutritious Diet In Cancer Care
Cancer Care

Merits Of A Nutritious Diet In Cancer Care

It can be overwhelming to listen to pieces of advice when we don’t know who or what to follow. We are bound to feel confused about important aspects of care. In this article, we talk about the aspect of food and nutrition. Merits of a Balanced Diet in cancer care While it is essential to […]

Yoga as Complementary Therapy
Cancer Care

Yoga as Complementary Therapy

Yoga is not an alternative to cancer treatment- it cannot ‘cure’ or treat any kind of cancer- but it may help relieve some of its symptoms, improve mood and quality of life when integrated into ongoing standard treatment. Our immune system responds to our feelings, and it could do with less of the stress, anxiety, […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *