Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God love Gatorade!

They say to eat light, consume high-fiber and stay well-hydrated for chemo. Two to three hours before an infusion, I should eat lightly and make high-fiber choices. That means I have to be up early! I hate early! Chemo drugs tend to slow peristalsis (digestion and bowel processes), so whatever I eat may remain in my digestive system longer than usual, and will dry out. Eating a high-fiber snack helps, since fiber helps retain moisture in the bowels. I need to drink lots of water or sports drinks, (and avoid caffiene) to boost my electrolytes. Staying hydrated helps the cells process the chemo drugs through my system faster. The faster the better if you ask me!
I must say that I believe that Gatorade is a miracle drug! It has been about the only thing that makes me feel human and helps me function. The use of Gatorade in medical conditions associated with extreme dehydration, such as diarrheal diseases and other causes of volume depletion, offers the medical community a relatively simple and inexpensive way to manage conditions that are often life-threatening.
Gatorade actually got its start on a spring day in 1965 when then-assistant Gator football coach Dwayne Douglas questioned University of Florida kidney disease specialist Robert Cade about why players lost so much weight during practices and games but urinated so little. In early September 1965 Cade and his colleagues began collecting all manner of samples from 10 UF freshmen football players. The results were eye-opening. The players’ electrolytes were completely out of balance, their blood sugar was low and their total blood volume was low. The impact on the body of this upheaval in chemistry was profound. “The solution,” Cade says, “was to give them water, but with salt in it to replace the salt they were losing in sweat. Also, give them sugar to keep their blood sugar up, but not so much sugar that it would upset their stomachs.”

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