Diarrhea

Diarrhea can follow certain chemotherapy or radiation treatments. It can also be caused by changes in your diet, low blood counts, inactivity and certain medications.

What to do:

  • STOP INTAKE OF HIGH FIBER FOODS: nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, dried fruits, raw fruits and vegetables
  • Stop all stool softners or laxatives
  • Follow your doctor or NP’s advise on how to take Immodium or Pepto Bismol
  • Start clear liquids after fasting 2-4 hours
  • Force fluids up to 8-10 glasses per days
  • Sip fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration

What to avoid:

  • Dairy products – they can make diarrhea worse
  • Gassy foods and carbonated beverages (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts,  beans)
  • Hot and cold beverages, alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes
  • Any high fat, fried, spicy or greasy foods
  • Chewing gum, sugar-free gum and all candies made of sorbitol

What to eat:

  • Water, clear broth, soup, flat soda or sports drinks – these all replace fluids lost by diarrhea
  • Bland, high protein foods
  • High calorie, low-fiber foods
  • Drink and eat high potassium foods, such as fruit juices and nectars, sports drinks, potatoes without the skin and bananas
  • Foods high in pectin such as applesauce
  • Plums, peaches, watermelon and cantaloupes are okay to eat
  • Skinless chicken, toast, crackers or pretzels
  • Squash and eggplants

How to deal with a sore rectum:

  • Use commercial wet towels without alcohol and avoid dry toilet paper
  • Desitin or combination Aquaphor and Questran in a 9:1 ratio will act as a protective barrier to your perirectal area
  • Sitz baths may help if you develop hemorrhoids

When to notify your doctor or NP:

  • If your diarrhea continues without relief for greater than 24 hours. This is because of the risk for dehydration and loss of nutrients
  • If you have any associated fever, blood stools, vomiting or severe cramps with your diarrhea
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