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Ask the expert: Guidance for diet and alcohol during and after treatment?

Published on: 20 February 2020

There are no specific guidelines for during or after lymphoma treatment - it is recommended you follow the government guidelines.

Eatwell Guide with fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, protein, dairy and fats

Eating a healthy diet is important for both physical and mental wellbeing. It gives your body the nutrients it needs to grow, repair, and work well. 

We know people can be very poorly and may lose their appetite during treatment - if this is the case speak to a member of your medical team. This is definitely not a time to try and lose weight; instead ensure you have enough calories to maintain your weight.

The government’s Eatwell Guide (pictured) provides guidance for a balanced diet, which is important for everyone. There is no evidence that supplements make a difference.

We often hear that people go off the taste of alcohol even before they are diagnosed with lymphoma. During treatment people’s taste may change, often putting them off alcohol.

However. there is no reason not to drink, so long as you keep it in moderation. So stick within the recommended guidelines for both men and women, which is no more than 14 units of alcohol each week, over 3 days or more. This is the equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or just under 6 standard glasses of wine per week. 

  • Diet and nutrition is a topic at our Lymphoma Focus Day on 16 May – book your place today to learn more from our expert speakers.

20 February 2020

This question was first covered in Lymphoma Matters issue 109

Thanks to Dr Cathy Burton, Consultant Haematologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Dr Graham Collins, Consultant Haematologist, Oxford Cancer and Haematology Centre.