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diet restrictions during radiation

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2017

I am starting radiation treatments and doctor tells me not to drink coffee or carbonated beverages . I miss this and wonder if it would be ok to sometimes cheat. Do not understand why carbonated beversges are bad since they are no longer carbonated when they reach your bladder. What are reasons for diet restrictions? 

RobLee's picture
Posts: 261
Joined: Feb 2017

I too am under dietary restrictions during radiation, and have just passed the halfway point (20 down, 19 more to go).  The list of forbidden foods includes anything that is gas producing.  Beans, cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, and carbonated drinks. Also limited to one cup of coffee each morning, though I do cheat.  Caffiene is restricted because it causes dehydration and the RT requires the ability to hold a full bladder.  Gas producing foods would cause the bowels to move around and make targeting more innacurate. Bowel toxocity is a big problem during RT and has hit me especially hard.

I miss my oatmeal and granola. My choices in foods are limited, as onions, tomato sauce and anything spicy is also prohibited. For some reason almost all prepared foods today must be made "zesty" or some other name for adding a lot of pepper. Somehow they think people enjoy that.  NOTE TO FOOD PREPARERS:  diners can always add seasoning, but cannot remove what YOU put into it. That message seems to have been lost recently.



Posts: 40
Joined: Aug 2017

I have had 3 different doctors tell me never to let other doctors talk me out of coffee. They tell me up to 3 cups a day is fine.

The reasons doctors hate caffeine are hard to know. There has been study after study showing the modest levels of caffeine intake protects heart and brain function and even some that show modest anti-cancer benefits.

If you drink plenty of water in addition to coffee you won't get dehydrated. If your urine is pale yellow or light straw color you're probably drinking enough. If it is dark or orange you need more fluids. Caffeine doesn't cause dehydration, it causes urination, and if you don't drink more water THAT causes dehydration.

I'm not going to tell you to ignore your doctors, but I challenge mine over nonsense like this, and quite often find that they have no good reasons or data at all. It's easy for them to tell you to stop eating, drinking, and living your life. Telling you how to survive these treatments and live a good life isn't something that most doctors do.

RobLee's picture
Posts: 261
Joined: Feb 2017

SPT, did YOUR radiation oncologist tell you that it's okay for YOU drink three or more cups of coffee per day uring YOUR two months of radiation treatment?

I do what my doctor instructs me to do.  If his treatment doesn't work then it's HIS fault.  If I disregard his orders and it fails, then it's MY fault.

Posts: 40
Joined: Aug 2017

If you choose to abandon all agency and adult decion making and blindly obey whatever your doctor says, go for it.  If his treatment fails, you pay the price, he gets paid.  Fault is irrelevant.

The OP asked a question.  I provided an answer.  The reasons dallaschain's doctor gave him don't stand up to scrutiny. 

As a matter of fact, the advice I recieved about coffee came from two different doctors, my oncologist and my GP.


Will Doran
Posts: 207
Joined: Sep 2015

I had Robotic surgery Dec 2013.  Followed by two full years on Lupron, and I had 40+ radiation trestments, post surgery, as clean up.  I was never told to change anything with my diet.  Coffee, my beloved Vodka, etc.  In fact it was suggested that I have a shot of Kentucky Bourbon (my doctor's favorite, but he said Vodka was just as good)   a couple times a week after a few days post surgery.  .  So, that was my doctors suggestion, and I did as he told me.  My Radiation Oncologist did suggest using Benefiber daily. especially during my treatments.  He suggested staying on that full itme, and I have.  That way there is no straining.  

Our situaitons are different, so do as your  doctor recommends.



Posts: 127
Joined: May 2017

I was specifically told not to change my diet, in part because they dont want you to get constipated as the irritation of your rectum advances. I chose not to drink coffee every day until after my daily morning treatment because it made the consistency of developing and holding a full bladder easier.



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