peppery heartburn and diarrhea/constipation after chemo

Bellen Member Posts: 281 Member

Hello all - The past two wks in between 5th treatment fulfiri + avastin, + 5 days of neupogen shots, I have felt really crappy - 4 days of constipation, then several days of diarrhea - + weird, peppery type burning in esophagus, stomach and throat area - and lots of crampy stomach (told that irinotecan causes cramping and given atropine during chemo admin).  I have been brushing my tongue, gums with baking soda (to prevent sores) and wondered if the burning night be connected to the baking soda or just another new side effect. I have never had heartburn, but guess it could be from chemo cocktail.  Been using tums - doesn't help a lot.  I have a small bowel stricture from previous cancer radiation 11 yrs ago, and been told the stricture, which can cause very painful spasms - partial blockages is a scarred area from radiation.  It worries me because, I have found that, being regular is very important to prevent blockages, and I have taken Miralax daily for past 5 yrs to help.  Boy, I have not been able to control the switch from constipation to diarrhea - taking miralax and then having to take so many immodium to control so many bowel movements all day long.  Plus worried about losing weight, as all this destroys my appetite or desire to eat.  Think I may have it under control now, and have chemo in 2 days - no days to feel pretty good in between this treatment - sucks!  Any suggestions about any of this would be appreciated.  Best to all.  Bellen



  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    edited November 2016 #2

    Oh, I had the worst heartburn during chemo, that I've ever had in my 58 years.  I never did find anything to control it, other than figuring out which foods made it worse. 

    Your post reminds me of how awful Chemo was. 

    Sorry I can't be any more help.


  • Bellen
    Bellen Member Posts: 281 Member
    Fulfiri - controlling side effects

    Hello all - Yesterday during chemo regime, I was told that the anti-nausea pills given and that I take 3 more of in next day causes constipation, so I hope I have a better hold on the constipation/diarrhea I have experienced. Going to take something for constipation for now, and start the immodium sooner if needed, as soon as get loose stool.  Because I suffered from chronic constipation for yrs, which contributes to partial blockages that I get from a small intestinal stricture, I have never taken immodium - new for me to have to use immodium.  I have had loose bowels but it has been from the Miralax, which sort of acts like a colon cleanse.  Also got script for peppery burn in esophagus and abdomen - will use tums if only a few days, but if chronic, as you said you had TRU, will pick up Rx.  Talked about having a 3 wk treatment, so that my husband and I could possibly get away for few days. We live in Canada, so there isn't anywhere close by to get warmth, but I would have a week when I might feel the best prior to the 3rd week.  Clinic booked a break last week Dec, but only because clinic is basically closed between Christmas and New Year's.  May feel good for New Year - yah!  Best to all.  Thank you for all your suggestions and help.  Much appreciated.  Bellen

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited December 2016 #4

    Bellen, I had problems with heartburn more than nausea.  What helped most for heartburn:  ginger chews from a health food store,  and prescription omeprazole.  I try not to use the anti nausea meds or the heartbun meds due to side effects - such as constipation.  Tums can help if its not too bad, but if it gets really bad you need to use the prescription strength.  My doctor said the chemo can cause stomach ulcers - and believed I was developing stomach ulcers from the pain I was describing, so he gave me the prescription.   I also try to avoid spicy foods that cause heartburn. 

    Good luck!