Managing the Side Effects of Hormone Therapy
Weight gain: Gaining a few extra pounds is a common side effect of treatment.
What you can do: While it’s difficult to control your weight on hormone therapy, you may want to rethink your diet. Avoid processed foods and red meat and consider switching to a Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fish, produce and healthy fats like olive oil. Eating healthfully also has a psychological benefit—it may help you feel more confident and in control.
Anemia: Low red blood cell counts. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, decreased energy, dizziness, pale color, shortness of breath and a change in heartbeat.
What you can do: Take frequent short naps (about 30-40 minutes a day) and try to drink around eight glasses of water per day to avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded. Your doctor may also prescribe medication.
Elevated cholesterol levels: Your cholesterol may increase due to a drop in testosterone levels.
What you can do: Eat more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, etc.). And try to walk about 20-30 minutes a day at a comfortable pace.
Depression: Depression affects about 10% to 16% of men with advanced prostate cancer, according to a study published in Psycho-Oncology. Symptoms can range from excessive worrying and decreased energy to a loss of interest in pleasurable activities (such as watching football or seeing friends) and feeling hopeless.
What you can do: Pain often leads to depression, so work with your healthcare provider to make sure it’s under control.