Gastrointestinal and Digestive Upset
Constipation and diarrhea are symptoms that some patients undergoing chemotherapy experience. Dietary changes can help relieve these symptoms. If constipation or diarrhea persist for more than two days after you change your diet, call your doctor.
Constipation can result from not ingesting enough fluids. Drink 8 glasses of water, juice, lemonade or herbal tea a day. Another cause of constipation is not eating enough fiber. Get enough fiber in your diet by eating plenty of unprocessed, whole grain foods such as raw fruits, raw vegetables, brown rice, legumes and wheat bread.
Diarrhea can cause dehydration and low levels of sodium and potassium in the body. Drink plenty of water, sports drinks and broth and eat bananas and canned fruit to help you replace water, sodium and potassium in your body. Stay away from fiber rich foods, high fat foods and dairy products, which may be the cause of your diarrhea. Once your diarrhea symptoms have subsided, slowly introduce fiber, fatty and dairy foods into your diet -- one at a time -- to find out which foods do and don't agree with you. If you find that certain types of foods consistently cause diarrhea symptoms, a fiber restricted diet, low-fat diet or lactose free diet may be necessary, while you are undergoing chemotherapy.