Although there is no specific diet that is recommended for people with myeloma, healthy eating habits are always a good idea (for all of us!). That may mean eating a little more of some foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and a little less of others, like fatty foods.
Some myeloma patients feel that they should make major changes to their diet, believing that it may help them overcome the disease. However, there is no evidence that a change of diet can alter the outlook for people with myeloma.
That said, maintaining a balance between different foods is important for your overall health.
What does a healthy diet look like? It includes a variety of foods, including:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables.
- High-fiber foods, such as whole-wheat bread and cereals.
- Plenty of fish and chicken, and not too much red meat.
- Fewer fatty or fried foods.
- Less sugar and salt.
Eating this way can help give you more energy, build up your strength, and aid in post-treatment recovery.
There's no need for you to avoid foods that contain calcium, since they have no effect on blood calcium. Likewise, foods containing protein do not have an impact on paraprotein levels.
You should, however, avoid drinking too many beverages that contain caffeine, like tea, coffee and soft drinks. As for alcohol consumption, that's something you should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, because alcohol should be avoided with certain medications. Caffeine and alcohol are also known to increase urination, which may lead to dehydration and fatigue.
Be sure to drink plenty of water – up to two liters per day – to help flush medications and toxins out of your body.
Some people take a multivitamin supplement when they feel they may not be getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet.
You should be careful, however, not to take large doses of vitamin C (i.e., more than 500 mg per day). Doing so will add more acidity to your urine, which could damage your kidneys.
Supplements like cod liver oil and evening primrose oil are probably safe to take, but it's best to avoid any supplements or remedies that are aimed at boosting the immune system (e.g., echinacea), which can negatively affect your myeloma.
Because vitamins and/or supplements can have an impact on your myeloma and/or its treatment, be sure to always consult your doctor before taking any of these substances.