Breast Cancer, Radiation, Estrogen-blocking medication, Hypothyroid

by Tricia
(California)

I am struggling with what I call, "Radiation Narcolepsy" mainly because the intermittent and unpredictable nature of my energy levels are impossible to discern since approximately 2 weeks after my last radiation treatment...

I am eating a primarily plant-based diet with some fish and occasional poultry. I've been avoiding wheat-based products since 1999 which stabilized my weight & digestion; I've been avoiding sugar with great diligence (especially since 2011); I'm participating in a local Cancer Wellness fitness program and Nutrition course and am at least walking every day.

My experience with Cancer has inspired me to study for my Associative of Arts degree in Kinesiology: Fitness, Nutrition & Health, and I hope to one day become well enough to help others be & stay well!

Meanwhile, this exhaustion is not easy to deal with and I wonder about the estrogen-blocking medication and my thyroid function (as I have had hypothyroidism and been taking medication for that at levels that are monitored with regular blood tests), are there specific foods to add or avoid for my present situation?

Comments for Breast Cancer, Radiation, Estrogen-blocking medication, Hypothyroid

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Jun 30, 2013
Healthy Transitions
by: Misty

Hi Tricia
Thank you for your submission!

Likely, you are suffering from what is commonly referred to as "cancer fatigue".

It's not uncommon to have fatigue side effects post treatment. There are a variety of reasons at play and it could be one or more likely, all factors for you.

1. Post treatment, the body is working hard to rebuild cells damaged/killed by both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
2. You might develop anemia if your treatment destroys too many healthy red blood cells.
3. When you have cancer, changes can occur in your need for and ability to process nutrients. These changes can lead to poor nutrition, resulting in fatigue. So many focus on a plant based diet with poultry when the current science tells us that poultry is more inflammatory and less building than that of red meat. (red meat from grass fed beef has blood building and immune supporting nutrients like iron and zinc) Juicing might be beneficial to you as well. If you choose not to consume beef, oysters might be a good option for you once weekly along with a nice multi-mineral supplement like ConcenTrace.
4. Your adrenal status is undoubtedly taxed. This is a common side effect in cancer treatment and one of the top reasons for fatigue. Rebuilding your adrenals with Vitamin C, salt, Minerals (Redmonds sea salt is nice) and fat through plenty of cholesterol foods is your best bet to rebuild hormones. Taking adaptogens and an excellent Vitamin B source is necessary for you right now too. To obtain both B Vitamins and Zinc as well as fight the potential anemia and build your blood, I like desiccated liver tablets by Solgar. You can find these at your local Whole Foods or other health food stores and they're relatively inexpensive. Liver is one of the most sacred foods for healing yet we have such aversions. Traditional cultures knew that glandular therapy was the first course action in healing.
5. Do make sure your physician is staying current with your thyroid. Have you ever been tested for Hashimoto's? Too frequently our Physician's today only look at one number and that's TSH. We need to make sure the whole picture is taken into consideration and antibody testing is a must with 80% or more of our thyroid patients with Hashimoto's, an auto-immune disorder.

Congratulations on your journey to wellness education! The best educators of course are those who have suffered so I know you will do well and take great pride and compassion with what you do.

GAIA makes a nice adrenal health supplement and this is readily available at most health food stores.

Do pay special attention to your immune boosting foods like mushrooms (cordyceps specifically) fermented foods like kvass, kombucha and sauerkraut and be sure to get plenty of coconut product in for that boost in lauric acid to help build your T-Cells. MCT Oil can be a beneficial energy source too.

Be well!
Misty

Jun 30, 2013
Good answer, Misty :)
by: Mary Titus

Although I am not a medically trained professional, my research totally agrees with what you said, Misty.

My main concerns were the lack of grass fed, red meat in her diet and the neglected need for fat.

I find that red meat has been the most energizing food.

Originally I thought that as long as I ate some form of protein I am fine. But when I go for a few days without red meat, I begin to feel a need for it.

Now that I think of it, B vitamins are in red meat. It is the primary the food that supplies B vitamins...energy vitamins. Also the rich fats that are needed by the body were a concern.

MCT oil and coconut oil products were my first consideration. Her consistent avoidance with removing sugars from her diet also removes an energy source.

Her only other source would be fat. SO she should be supplementing with fat, especially saturated fats.

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