Understanding the Side Effects of Chemotherapy and How to Manage Them

Chemotherapy is often an effective cancer treatment, despite having several side effects that can be difficult to control. These side effects can be reduced or eliminated with the proper treatment plan, improving quality of life.

There are eight of the most common side effects of chemotherapy along with guidance on how to deal with them for the best treatment results.


Feeling exhausted even after adequate rest and sleep can be a sign that you need to adjust your activity levels. Regular breaks, getting enough rest at night, and staying away from exhausting activities can all help you feel less fatigued.

Other than that, you can also make some lifestyle changes to manage fatigue caused by chemotherapy. Eating a balanced diet full of nutritious foods, avoiding alcohol, and exercising regularly can all help reduce the intensity of fatigue during chemo sessions.

Nausea and Vomiting

As you’ve guessed, chemotherapy can make it difficult for patients to eat and drink properly, further worsening the issue. This even leads to side effects including low blood pressure, dehydration, and other problems. That’s why you should have a proper diet while receiving chemotherapy.

Some medications, such as antiemetic drugs and Ondansetron HCL, can help reduce symptoms. If you want to save money, an Ondansetron HCL coupon is available to help you save money on your medications.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of chemotherapy’s most recognizable side effects, affecting almost everyone undergoing the treatment. While it can be challenging to accept, understanding what is happening and taking proactive steps to manage it can help reduce hair loss and restore some of your confidence.

But, do you know why chemotherapy causes hair loss? It’s probably because of the chemicals used to destroy cancer cells can also damage the healthy cells in your hair follicles. Once those cells get damaged, they can no longer function properly. That’s why it can be hard to stop hair loss once it starts.

Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to reduce the intensity of hair loss, such as taking biotin and other supplements or using a scalp-cooling device.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores can be painful and disruptive during chemotherapy. It’s essential to keep your mouth clean and avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Additionally, you may find relief from cold foods and drinks like ice chips, popsicles, and smoothies.

It is also helpful to avoid hot food as the heat can irritate your mouth. Moreover, it would be best if you discuss medications with your doctor that can reduce mouth sore discomfort.

Decreased Appetite

Chemotherapy can cause a decreased appetite and make it difficult to eat. To boost your appetite, try eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than fewer large ones. Also, choose lower-calorie foods high in protein, like nuts, skinless poultry and fish, and legumes.

Staying hydrated is also essential, as dehydration can make it harder to eat. Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day will help you stay nourished and improve your appetite during chemotherapy.


Constipation is another common side effect of chemotherapy that can be uncomfortable and disruptive. To help manage this symptom, adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet is essential.

Moreover, exercising regularly can also help reduce constipation caused by chemotherapy. Every day, going for a walk or performing some light stretching will help your digestive system work much better and reduce constipation symptoms.


One common side effect of chemotherapy that can be unpleasant is diarrhea. Drink plenty of fluids to help manage this symptom and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can also help reduce diarrhea caused by chemotherapy treatment.

Furthermore, it would be best if you also talked to your doctor about medications or supplements that can help manage symptoms of diarrhea such as loperamide. This medication can help slow down the frequency and intensity of diarrhea, helping you live a more comfortable life during chemotherapy.

Low Blood Counts and Infections

Neutropenia often referred to as low blood counts, can be a dangerous side effect of chemotherapy. It is because when someone has this condition, their body has an inadequate number of white blood cells which are necessary for helping fight off infections. It can make them very vulnerable to infection and other health complications.

To help manage low blood counts, it’s essential to be extra cautious and take steps to prevent infections. The best course of action would be to spend time outside, get lots of rest, and keep your distance from sick individuals.

Final Thoughts

Chemotherapy is a critical cancer treatment and can be a difficult journey. By making some lifestyle adjustments, like spacing out meals throughout the day, and exercising often, it is possible to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy. Low blood counts require extra caution to prevent infection, but remaining safe and healthy during chemotherapy treatment is still possible.

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind alltheragefaces.com, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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