By​ ​Fliss​ ​Kay​ ​|​ ​​ 
Fliss​ ​blogs​ ​about​ ​mental​ ​health,​ ​wellness​ ​and​ ​self-improvement​ ​over​ ​at​ ​​​. 

For​ ​more​ ​life​ ​hacks,​ ​wellness,​ ​inspiration​ ​and​ ​self-care​ ​tips,​ ​visit​ ​​​.  

Taking​ ​care​ ​of​ ​the​ ​side​ ​effects​ ​caused​ ​by​ ​radiation​ ​therapy​ ​often​ ​takes​ ​a backseat​ ​to​ ​treating​ ​the​ ​root​ ​cause​ ​of​ ​the​ ​problem.​ ​Yet,​ ​it’s​ ​incredibly​ ​important​ ​to​ ​take​ ​note​ ​of any​ ​and​ ​all​ ​side-effects​ ​which​ ​may​ ​occur​ during, or ​after​ ​treatments,​ ​as​ ​-​ ​left​ ​untreated​ ​and​ ​ignored,​ ​they can​ ​develop​ ​and​ ​cause​ ​further​ ​problems. 
It’s​ ​the​ ​little​ ​things,​ ​like​ ​looking​ ​after​ ​yourself,​ ​which​ ​can​ ​make​ ​you​ ​more​ ​comfortable​ ​and​ ​get you​ ​through​ ​your​ ​radiation​ ​therapy.​ ​The​ ​below​ ​list​ ​is​ ​just​ ​a​ ​few​ ​examples​ ​of​ ​potential​ ​Radiation therapy​ ​side-effects,​ ​and​ ​some​ ​quick,​ ​cheap​ ​and​ ​easy​ ​ways​ ​of​ ​how​ ​these​ ​can​ ​be​ ​dealt​ ​with.  

Remember,​ ​the​ ​better​ ​you​ ​look​ ​after​ ​yourself,​ ​the​ ​stronger​ ​you​ ​will​ ​be! 


-Dry​ ​Mouth 

The​ ​most​ ​basic​ ​and​ ​important​ ​piece​ ​of​ ​advice​ ​to​ ​give​ ​anyone​ ​undergoing​ non-​intrusive​ ​bodily treatment​ ​is​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​hydrated.  
Drinking​ ​fluids​ ​(the​ ​best​ ​is​ ​filtered​ ​water)​ ​not​ ​only​ ​flushes​ ​your​ ​system,​ ​but​ ​keeps​ ​your​ ​body’s organs​ ​and​ ​processes​ ​running​ ​smoothly.​ ​Water-filled​ ​cells​ ​are​ ​stronger​ ​cells,​ ​and​ ​have​ ​stronger chances​ ​of​ ​fighting​ ​against​ ​aggressive​ ​diseases​ ​and​ ​treatments.  
Additionally,​ ​avoid​ ​temperature-controlled​ ​rooms,​ ​as​ ​the​ ​air​ ​in​ ​them​ ​is​ ​very​ ​dry.​ ​This​ ​quickly dries​ ​out​ ​your​ ​skin​ ​and​ ​your​ ​mouth​ ​far​ ​quicker​ ​than​ ​in​ ​a​ ​non-temperature​ ​controlled environment.  


In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​the​ ​above​ ​tip​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​hydrated,​ ​if​ ​you’re​ ​experiencing​ ​nausea​ ​and/or​ ​vomiting,​ ​you can​ ​target​ ​two​ ​birds​ ​with​ ​one​ ​stone​ ​by​ ​drinking​ ​herbal​ ​teas.​ ​The​ ​best​ ​for​ ​nausea​ ​are​ ​ginger​ ​and peppermint,​ ​both​ ​of​ ​which​ ​have​ ​natural​ ​anti-nausea​ ​properties. 
They​ ​are​ ​particularly​ ​helpful​ ​in​ ​re-hydrating​ ​the​ ​body​ ​after​ ​vomiting​ ​(as​ ​repeated​ ​vomiting​ ​or diarrhea​ ​tends​ ​to​ ​dehydrate​ ​people​ ​very​ ​quickly).  
If​ ​you​ ​find​ ​yourself​ ​vomiting​ ​and​ ​unable​ ​to​ ​even​ ​keep​ ​down​ ​liquids​ ​for​ ​24​ ​hours​ ​or​ ​more,​ ​go straight​ ​to​ ​an​ ​emergency​ ​room. 

-Muscle​ ​stiffness 

Firstly,​ ​it’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​note​ ​that​ ​your​ ​muscles​ ​could​ ​be​ ​feeling​ ​sore​ ​or​ ​stiff​ ​for​ ​any​ ​number​ ​of reasons.​ ​Primarily,​ ​it’s​ ​because​ ​this​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first​ ​area​ ​to​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​effects​ ​of​ ​an​ ​intrusive​ ​therapy​ ​-muscles​ ​form​ ​a​ ​protective​ ​layer​ ​around​ ​the​ ​body’s​ ​organs,​ ​so​ ​if​ ​you’re​ ​targeting​ ​a​ ​specific​ ​area of​ ​the​ ​body,​ ​you’re​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​hitting​ ​those​ ​muscles​ ​first.​ ​It’s​ ​for​ ​this​ ​reason​ ​that​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to pay​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​any​ ​muscle​ ​soreness,​ ​and​ ​treat​ ​it.  
The​ ​most​ ​effective​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​do​ ​this​ ​are​ ​by​ ​(again),​ ​remaining​ ​hydrated​ ​(hydrated​ ​muscles​ ​are stronger,​ ​better​ ​functioning​ ​muscles!)​ ​and​ ​also​ ​through​ ​professional​ ​massage.​ ​Note​ ​-​ ​it’s important​ ​to​ ​let​ ​your​ ​massage​ ​therapist​ ​know​ ​that​ ​you​ ​are​ ​undergoing​ ​treatment,​ ​and​ ​the specific​ ​area​ ​which​ ​is​ ​being​ ​targeted.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​also​ ​massage​ ​therapists​ ​who​ ​specialist​ ​in palliative​ ​care​ ​-​ ​ask​ ​your​ ​physician​ ​or​ ​oncologist​ ​to​ ​refer​ ​you​ ​one​ ​should​ ​you​ ​wish​ ​to​ ​go​ ​down this​ ​route.  
An​ ​easy,​ ​speedy​ ​and​ ​cheaper​ ​way​ ​to​ ​soothe​ ​muscle​ ​soreness​ ​is​ ​to​ ​run​ ​a​ ​warm​ ​bath​ ​and​ ​lay​ ​in it.​ ​Make​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​water​ ​is​ ​not​ ​too​ ​hot,​ ​and​ ​add​ ​some​ ​lavender​ ​oil​ ​for​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​of​ ​extra​ ​relaxation.  


Diarrhea​ ​is​ ​your​ ​body’s​ ​way​ ​of​ ​quickly​ ​ridding​ ​itself​ ​of​ ​toxins.​ ​Although​ ​it’s​ ​unpleasant,​ ​it’s​ ​a necessary​ ​and​ ​natural​ ​‘emergency’​ ​bodily​ ​function.​ ​Therefore,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have​ ​diarrhea​ ​-​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to let​ ​it​ ​happen.​ ​Do​ ​not​ ​take​ ​any​ ​medication​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​the​ ​diarrhea.  
There​ ​are​ ​easy,​ ​natural​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​strengthen​ ​your​ ​stomach​ ​and​ ​your​ ​bowel​ ​movements​ ​- primarily,​ ​boiled​ ​white​ ​rice.​ ​Prepare​ ​some,​ ​without​ ​salt​ ​or​ ​oils,​ ​and​ ​eat​ ​as​ ​much​ ​as​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​you can.​ ​Otherwise,​ ​healthy​ ​carbohydrates​ ​and​ ​foods​ ​high​ ​in​ ​starch,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​a​ ​plain​ ​slice​ ​of​ ​toast,​ ​or hard​ ​crackers​ ​(such​ ​as​ ​saltines)​ ​absorb​ ​the​ ​excess​ ​acids​ ​in​ ​your​ ​stomach,​ ​stopping​ ​diarrhea sooner​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​later.​ ​Also,​ ​remember​ ​to​ ​replace​ ​your​ ​fluids​ ​and​ ​stay​ ​hydrated​ ​-​ ​diarrhea uses​ ​your​ ​body’s​ ​water​ ​supply,​ ​and​ ​can​ ​dehydrate​ ​you​ ​quickly.  
An​ ​important​ ​note:​ ​If​ ​you​ ​have​ ​been​ ​having​ ​bad​ ​diarrhea​ ​and/or​ ​vomiting​ ​for​ ​over​ ​24​ ​hours,​ ​and it’s​ ​showing​ ​no​ ​sign​ ​of​ ​stopping,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​go​ ​straight​ ​away​ ​to​ ​an​ ​emergency​ ​clinic.  

-Tender​ ​skin  

This​ ​tends​ ​to​ ​affect​ ​each​ ​person​ ​differently​ ​-​ ​for​ ​some,​ ​‘tender​ ​skin’​ ​may​ ​be​ ​redness,​ ​or​ ​swelling; for​ ​others,​ ​it​ ​could​ ​be​ ​dryness​ ​or​ ​itching. 
Radiotherapy side effects

Applying a warm compress provides very effective muscle pain relief

Whatever​ ​type​ ​of​ ​tenderness​ ​the​ ​skin​ ​is​ ​experiencing,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​some​ ​easy​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​manage and​ ​prevent​ ​further​ ​inflammation.​ ​For​ ​example,​ ​protect​ ​yourself​ ​from​ ​the​ ​sun​ ​-​ ​either​ ​with​ ​sun cream​ ​or​ ​by​ ​covering​ ​up​ ​the​ ​area​ ​which​ ​is​ ​tender.​ ​Sun​ ​cream​ ​has​ ​wonderful​ ​healing​ ​properties for​ ​certain​ ​types​ ​of​ ​damaged​ ​skin,​ ​however​ ​do​ ​not​ ​apply​ ​it​ ​if​ ​your​ ​skin​ ​is​ ​irritated​ ​as​ ​it​ ​will​ ​make​ ​it worse.  
In​ ​general​ ​you​ ​should​ ​avoid​ ​using​ ​any​ ​skin​ ​products,​ ​hot​ ​water​ ​and​ ​soap​ ​-​ ​as​ ​these​ ​will​ ​irritate and dry an​ ​already​ ​inflamed​ ​area.​ ​Try​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​skin​ ​care​ ​as​ ​simple​ ​as​ ​possible,​ ​and​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have muscle​ ​soreness​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​area,​ ​try​ ​a​ ​warm​ ​-​ ​not​ ​hot​ ​-​ ​compress,​ ​applied​ ​through​ ​a​ ​sheet​ ​or protective​ ​layer. 
Hopefully,​ ​you​ ​won’t​ ​have​ ​to​ ​experience​ ​any​ ​of​ ​these​ ​side-effects which sometimes can be nasty,​ ​however​ ​feel​ ​free​ ​to enjoy​ ​these​ ​tips​ ​-​ ​they​ ​are​ of ​generally​ ​important​ ​to​ ​a​ ​healthy,​ ​well-balanced​ ​life.
Fatigue and tiredness during radiotherapy during radiotherapy is covered in a separate article.
For​ ​more​ ​articles​ ​and​ ​tips​ ​on​ ​wellbeing,​ ​health​ ​and​ ​self-improvement,​ ​visit​ ​Fliss​ ​at​.