Latest studies have proved that ice chips can bring relief from the side effects of chemo. Ice chips can help people who are undergoing chemotherapy to eat better.
One of the chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers is Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin). This drug is associated with side effects such as issues with eating or drinking especially cold items. Patients undergoing chemotherapy infusion usually show lowered levels of appetite and less tolerance to cold food items or beverages.
A research involving 50 patients was conducted. The patients were segregated into two groups. The patients in group A had to hold the ice chips in their mouths during the chemotherapy for as long as possible. Whereas the patients in group B couldn’t put ice cubes (as it is cooler than the room temperature) in their mouths during the chemotherapy infusion.
All the 50 people included in this research didn’t have any oral symptoms initially. Post the first treatment cycle, around 32% of the people in group experienced oral symptoms such as burning and tingling whereas around 72% of the people in group B experienced the symptoms.
Also, people who held ice chips in their mouths claimed alleviation in the peripheral neuropathy symptoms such as weakness in hands and feet, pain and numbness in the hands and feet.
Also the studies show that during infusion, patients who held ice chips in their mouths were able to drink and eat properly when compared to their counterparts who didn’t keep ice chips.
Researchers mention that reason for this effect caused by the ice chips. The ice chips lower the internal temperature of the mouth which in turn leads to constriction of blood vessels located inside the mucous membranes.
In this way, ice chips can improve the quality of life for patients suffering from the oral side effects of oxaliplatin based chemotherapy infusion.