There are some particular issues that may affect you, linked to your chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). One of the symptoms of CLL is fatigue16.
Here are some tips for staying energetic and avoiding fatigue: eating well and drinking lots of fluids can help increase your energy levels17. To help maintain your energy levels when you exercise18:
- Eat a starch-based meal 1 to 4 hours before you start exercise
- Drink plenty of water or other fluids to stay hydrated
CLL can cause unexplained weight loss, pain or an early sense of fullness in the stomach when eating16.
Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy weight. If you can’t face big meals, eating small and frequent meals may help19. Boosting energy in everyday foods and/or drinking nourishing drinks can help you boost your protein and energy intake without having to eat more food20. There are many ways to boost energy in everyday food – choose full-fat and high-calorie options when you can.
If you find you are losing weight or need to put on weight, here are some ideas to boost energy in everyday foods20:
- Add sugar or honey to porridge
- Use lots of butter on toast
- Use ghee or butter for cooking
- Use full-fat fromage frais or yogurt
- Add sugar or syrup to desserts
- Serve vegetables with butter
- Add ice cream, cream or evaporated milk to cold puddings
Try to keep your weight within the normal range for your height. Your doctor can advise you on your ideal weight. If you’re concerned about your weight, get in touch with your doctor for advice and support. CLL will increase your chance of catching infections16. A strong immune system will help you fight infections. Eating a healthy balanced diet will provide nutrients and help your body’s immune system fight infections.
16. American Cancer Society. Leukemia - chronic lymphocytic. April 2016. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003111-pdf.pdf. Accessed April 2017.
17. Macmillan Cancer Support. Managing symptoms of fatigue. July 2013. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/tiredness/tips-manage-symptoms-fatigue.html. Accessed April 2017.
18. NHS. Food and drinks for sport. May 2014. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Sport.aspx. Accessed April 2017.
19. Macmillan Cancer Support. Appetite. September 2014. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/eating-problems/appetite.html. Accessed April 2017.
20. Macmillan Cancer Support. Meal ideas. September 2014. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/maintaining-a-healthy-lifestyle/preventing-weight-loss/sample-menus.html. Accessed April 2017.