Diet & KIT+ GIST: Some Food Facts
A change of diet may be necessary
Because of the location of most GISTs, there may be issues that compromise food and nutrition intake and absorption. It is best to speak with your doctor and nutritionist about specific dietary restrictions you may need to follow.
Dealing with acid reflux
Some patients may experience acid reflux. If you believe that you are experiencing acid reflux, please be sure to talk to your doctor.
Side effects of stomach surgery
Depending on where the removal of the GIST is within the stomach, rapid movement of food through the stomach may occur. Smaller, more frequent meals may be necessary if this happens. Be sure to discuss all dietary concerns with your doctor.
Why does this rapid movement happen?
The rapid movement or emptying of food through the stomach into the small intestine is known as "dumping." It happens because the removal of any part of your stomach can result in the inability to retain food long enough for digestion to occur. The symptoms of dumping include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fullness, and vomiting.
Are there foods that can hurt or help this "dumping" effect?
Foods and liquids that contain high amounts of sugar may worsen the symptoms. Limiting the amount of liquid during meals may help, as well as increasing your intake of protein (such as eggs, meat, poultry, yogurt, peanut butter, and tofu).
About Exercise: A Guide to Staying Active
Is exercise helpful if I have KIT+ GIST?
Before starting an exercise routine, please remember to discuss it with your doctor. In the past, cancer patients were told to limit their physical activity. Of course, this is sound advice if such activity causes severe discomfort or pain. But many doctors are recommending that patients incorporate some type of exercise, even if it's very light, into their daily routines.
Should I ask my doctor about exercising?
Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Whatever exercise you choose to do, it should always be safe and enjoyable, taking into account how you're feeling physically. Your doctor can help you identify the kinds of activities that are right for you and perhaps recommend a physical therapist, should you need one.
Benefits of exercising
During treatment, exercise might be the last thing you want to do, especially if you're feeling tired. But recent studies have shown that exercise may actually increase energy levels while improving mood, mental well-being, and self-confidence, not to mention your physical abilities.
There are several types of exercise
Aerobic exercises, as well as strength, flexibility, and resistance training, might be too intense for some people. Do as much as you feel your body will allow. Keep active, but don't push yourself too hard. An afternoon walk or swim might be more your speed—or something more vigorous. Balance is the key, with the aim of feeling better from day to day. If exercise makes you feel better, more power to you!