Gleevec is a strong medicine and it causes a number of side effects. One of the things that it does is it reduces the levels of calcium and magnesium in the blood. Why it does this is still being studied, but one theory is that it affects bone metabolism. This lowering of calcium and magnesium may cause muscle cramps and muscle aches. Talk to your doctor about calcium and magnesium supplements. In addition, you should have your vitamin D levels checked as these can be low on Gleevec and vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency has been noted with Sutent, but we are not aware of it with Gleevec. That said, these drugs have many similar targets. Side effects from one can often be caused by the other as well. B-12 deficiency can also be caused by removal of the stomach or part of the stomach. Many Gleevec patients take some type of B-12, often shots if they have had part of the stomach removed.
Vitamin C: There is no proven issue with vitamin C. There have been a couple of lab experiments in cell lines concerning vitamin C (in CML cells). Some of these experiments showed a beneficial effect and some a detrimental effect of vitamin C. Nevertheless, your body still needs vitamin C.
Read the article: Antioxidants: Useful Supplements or Should We Refrain? by Omer Mercier, Ph.D., LRG Science Team.
You are What You Eat: Healthy Living with GIST
Presenter: Alice Sulkowski, GIST patient and Nutritionist, Mountain States Health Alliance
Originally shown on : November 15th at 12:00 p.m. EST-Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 61 minutes
Many GIST patients have questions about eating a healthy diet after being diagnosed with GIST, whether it is relative to taking Gleevec, Sutent or recovering from surgery. For those lost in the maze of scientific information, this presentation aims to simplify the principals of sticking to a healthy diet.
Alice Sulkowski will address the basic ingredients of maintaining a healthy diet for GIST patients and strategies for managing nutrition problems and concerns during and after treatment.
Eating well will help patients regain their strength, rebuild tissue, and feel better overall. By the end of this webcast, you may decide to change what you eat.
On January 27, 2008, the LRG Chicago Chapter invited Christy Tangney, PhD, FACN, CNS, and Cheryl Sullivan, MS, RD, CSND, LDN from Rush University Medical Center to discuss the topic of Nutrition and GIST.