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How to deal with meals for diabetic/heart disease?


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Hi, my name is Dianna and my father-in-law (age 55) is a long time smoker and was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer that has metastasized to his liver as well as COPD and diabetes Dec. 27, 2010. He has also had a heart attack previously so that is also an issue. Since then he has moved in with us so we can help him check his sugar (so far unable to do himself) and get him to his Dr. appointments. He will be starting his first round of chemo on Tuesday.

My problem is that he is now supposed to eat a low sodium (for the heart problems) and diabetic diet. The diabetic part isn't too difficult but the low sodium has been difficult. Prior to his diagnoses he lived alone and had a steady diet of tv dinners, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, and chocolate milk. It's only been a week but he is unhappy with anything but what he used to eat. We've tried low sodium alternatives to his favorites (meatloaf, ketchup, and spaghetti) and he will eat a little bit but doesn't like those either. The only things that taste good to him seem to be full of salt (fries, regular ketchup, pizza, Wendys). Sometimes I just feel like I should let him eat what he wants but we don't want him to have a heart attack or extremely high blood sugar while he is also trying to fight this cancer.

Not sure what to do.

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Definitely take it up with his doctor.

Chemotherapy does a job on ones system. Fatigue and Nausea may become a big issue.

Usually they will recommend the patient eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they can because in most cases the appetite disappears and weight loss becomes dangerous...BUT in your FIL's case he has other health issues that need to be addressed.

Ask his medical team.

I wish I could help more, but know that we are here for you. Please keep posting and please keep us updated.

You can ask the experts at GRACE (Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education) about dietary/ low-sodium recommendations. You can access GRACE at www.cancergrace.org

I'll keep you and your FIL in my prayers. Keep us updated!!

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DV,

Not sure if this will help, but does he like spicy/hot stuff? On t.v. a chef said that he used a little cheyanne pepper to help enhance the flavor of his Mom's food. You can also try all the non-sodium alternatives. I don't know how much sodium your Dad is allowed per day, but maybe let him have the ketchup, but you make the fries with a sodium substitute? I would use alot of garlic, cheyanne pepper, onion and any other spice you can think of. Good luck!

Dana

P.S. They are also saying that some spices are very good for fighting cancers!

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Don't have much to add. However, I use Mrs. Dash Salt Free Seasonings in everything I cook, and never add salt. You can get them in the baking aisle with the spices. There is the original blend, garlic and herb, onion and herb, lemmon/pepper and herb. They are wonderful, and all natural.

Wishing you the best with this.

MI Judy

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I'd just add that when your FIL starts chemo, he'll have a whole new set of taste-related issues to deal with. So stay flexible, and it's even possible that some of the new problems can cancel out some of the old ones. While I was on my first-line chemo, I had zero taste along with an irritated esophagus which made most solid food painful to swallow, so I survived mainly on drinks like Ensure, Boost, or Carnation Instant Breakfast mixed in soy milk or dairy milk. Good luck and Aloha,

Ned

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