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Chemotherapy (Immune System)

How to build up the Immune System after Chemotherapy.

Question

My son, who is 32, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He has been told to eat as normal. What is your opinion?

Answer

My experience at the Integrated Medical Centre shows that patients who eat the best diet, practise relaxation and yoga and have massage therapy go through chemo and radiotherapy with greater comfort than others, and suffer fewer side effects such as fatigue and nausea. Many also regain their hair quickly, which is an indication that the body has not been badly damaged. (Do not, however, massage any cancerous areas on the skin, or in the glands or lymph nodes.)

There are a few basic guidelines regarding diet:

  • Eat only fresh organic food
  • Avoid all canned or preserved food
  • Eliminate alcohol, coffee and cigarette/cigar/pipe smoking
  • Avoid products containing fungi, including yeast, bread, cheese, vinegar and mushrooms
  • Avoid citrus fruits and juices

In between chemotherapy sessions, I suggest that patients go on a raw fruit and vegetable diet for a couple of days, followed by a nourishing diet based on 60 per cent carbohydrates, 25 per cent unsaturated ‘good’ fats, ten to 15 per cent protein and plenty of still water - at least six to eight glasses daily. In particular, I recommend soft-boiled eggs, lots of oily fish (salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, sardines, pilchards), and almond and marrowbone soup (see recipe, right). We also give infusions of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and selenium, which must be administered by a qualified doctor or nurse. This regime ensures quicker elimination of the toxic chemicals and boosts the immune system.

After chemotherapy, patients should eat fruit and vegetables only for up to l5 days to detoxify the body through the liver. Fresh organic juices such as carrot, apple and ginger, watermelon and mint and wheatgrass are good; as is cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, sea kale and brussels sprouts. Colonic hydrotherapy can also be beneficial during this detox phase.

However, the body also needs building up. As soon as the liver throws out the toxins - you will know this because the tongue will be clear and bruising will lessen - switch to a nourishing diet (as above), with lots of fruit vegetables and fresh juices.
I also recommend doing yoga, practising relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises, being with nature and having hands-on healing.

On the Nail:

Weak flaking nails are often linked to digestive problems. Irritable bowels cause malabsorption of calcium which is essential for strong nails. Make sure you are not constipated by eating papayas, prunes, spinach, and lots of organic fruit and vegetables in general. If you get diarrhoea, however, eat bananas, eggs and fish, and avoid vegetables except for mashed potatoes. In addition, take Vega aloe vera capsules - one twice daily for two to three months.

Body-boosting Recipes:

    Almond and Marrowbone Soup

  • Boil one or two marrowbones of organic lamb, with a little chopped fresh ginger and salt for two hours. Skim any fat off the stock. Soak a handful of fresh almonds in their skins for 24 hours, skin them, grind finely and add to the soup. Season to taste, just before serving, add chopped fresh herbs, ribbons of spinach or any green leaf.
  • Watermelon and Mint Juice

  • Cube the flesh of one quarter of a fresh organic watermelon, put in the blender and whiz up with a handful of mint leaves. Drink immediately.
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