Welcome to the new Cancer Survivors Network website! Existing members can click HERE to review the changes and new features on CSN.

Diarrhea... help

NoniK
NoniK Member Posts: 46

I’m  getting radiation treatments everyday and have suffered with diarrhea since the first treatment. It has gotten progressively worse to the point where I am barely eating. I had a bite of banana and 1/2 English muffin for lunch. 20 minutes later I had such an attack of diarrhea that it made me weep. I take 2 Imodium before I have a slight breakfast then 1 pill after every bout. For the most part I am done eating for today. I don’t have any appetite. I’ve tried all the nutritional drinks I can think of. They all made me nauseous and again diarrhea shortly after I drank them. 

I know I should be eating and drinking more but I can’t figure out how. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Comments

  • ckdgedmom
    ckdgedmom Member Posts: 166
    talk to your doctor

    definitely discuss this with your radiology oncologist...in fact I would call them today and see if you can talk to a nurse...

    I never had severe diarrhea like you are experiencing but many times I was nauseous as well so I took Zofran and that helped the nausea and stopped the diarrhea...

    hang in there...wish I had more to offer...see if maybe they can get you an Rx...

  • NoniK
    NoniK Member Posts: 46
    ckdgedmom said:

    talk to your doctor

    definitely discuss this with your radiology oncologist...in fact I would call them today and see if you can talk to a nurse...

    I never had severe diarrhea like you are experiencing but many times I was nauseous as well so I took Zofran and that helped the nausea and stopped the diarrhea...

    hang in there...wish I had more to offer...see if maybe they can get you an Rx...

    Thanks

    I didn’t know Zofran could help with diarrhea. I’ll ask about it.

    Any tips for easy to eat foods? Basically I’m down to mashed potatoes and popsicles.

     

  • CheeseQueen57
    CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933
    Probiotic

    I took Culturelle and never experienced diarrhea during radiation. Good luck. 

  • ckdgedmom
    ckdgedmom Member Posts: 166
    NoniK said:

    Thanks

    I didn’t know Zofran could help with diarrhea. I’ll ask about it.

    Any tips for easy to eat foods? Basically I’m down to mashed potatoes and popsicles.

     

    zofran

    my nurse at radiology suggested it because it will plug you up...I had plenty leftover from chemo so I just took one when I got the nausea/diarrhea

    are you on a probiotic?  that will help too...

    when my kids were little it was always bananas, rice, applesauce and toast...don't do anything with milk or a lot of fiber...

    a baked potato might help? eggs? so you get some protein?

    oh girl I hate that you are going through this...

    maybe they can prescribe you some Lomotil...that is fo diahrrea...

  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 749 **
    edited January 2018 #6
    Radiation Treatment Low Fiber, Bland Diet

    I've dealt with diarrhea ever since I started on Metformin a few years ago. I had several bad bouts while on chemo, for which I took Imodium.

    Knowing my tendency, I was worried about diarrhea when I was about to start radiation. But the nurse gave me a low fiber, bland diet plan to follow. The one time I deviated (fresh tomatoes from the farmers market) I immediately had diarrhea. After that I stuck with the diet. It was a boring five weeks, but it did work for me. I've included the plan given to me below, in the hope that it may give you some other foods to try (and avoid). 

    Radiation Treatment Low Fiber, Bland Diet  

     

    Foods Allowed

    Foods to Avoid

    Milk/Milk Products

    Skim or lowfat milk and milk and milk beverages, plain or flavored yogurt if permitted by your doctor

    Yogurt containing fruits that are not allowed

    Meat

    Beef, lamb, veal, poultry, pork, canned ham, fish and liver. Meat should be baked, broiled, boiled or pan fried in a small amount of oil

    Rare meat, sausages, hot dogs, cold cuts and any other spiced, cured or smoked meat or fish

    Eggs

    Eggs prepared any way

     

    Cheese

    Lowfat cottage cheese, lowfat cream cheese processed cheese and any mild flavored cheese (American, Swiss or Muenster)

    Strong flavored cheese

    Potato or Substitute

    Boiled, broiled, creamed, mashed, scalloped, and baked white or sweet potatoes without skin, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti and white rice

    Potato skins, and potato chips, French fries

    Vegetables

    Canned or cooked: asparagus, green and wax beans, beets, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, pimiento, pumpkin, spinach, winter squash and tomato sauce

    Raw vegetables or salads. Peas, com, cucumbers, all dried legumes and gas-producing vegetables like baked beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, green pepper, and onions

    Fruits

    Applesauce, bananas, and cooked or canned fruit

    All other fresh fruits, and dried fruits including raisins, berries, figs, coconut, and pomegranates

    Juices

    Apple juice, cranberry juice, apricot or peach nectar

    All others including orange juice

    Breads

    Bread or toast: French, Vienna, refined whole wheat, light rye without seeds. Melba toast, rusk, zwieback, white or graham crackers, plain crackers without seasoning or seeds for hard rolls, plain sweet rolls, plain coffee cake, waffles, pancakes, cornbread, and French toast

    Coarse whole wheat, whole grain, bran, rye breads and grains, dinner or sweet rolls with nuts, fruit or seeds

    Cereals

    Dry puffed wheat or rice cereals; cream of rice, cream of wheat, farina, hominy grits, Malt-0- Meal, and oatmeal

    All dry bran, granola and wheat cereals or cereals made from prohibited flours and foods

    Fats (use minimally)

    Crisp bacon, butter, margarine, oils, cream dry cream substitutes mayonnaise, shortenings, smooth salad dressings, sour cream, smooth gravy, and white sauce

    Salad dressings made with prohibited ingredients and tartar sauce

    Soups

    Cream and broth based soups made with allowed ingredients

    All others

    Desserts

    Custard, gelatin, ice cream, sherbet, bread pudding, rice pudding, tapioca and other plain puddings, frosted or unfrosted cakes and cookies, and pie made with allowed foods

    Any dessert containing nuts, seeds, raisins, coconut, or fruits not allowed

    Seasonings

    Salt, allspice, cinnamon, mace, monosodium glutamate, paprika, sage, and thyme, all flavoring extracts, and chocolate

    Pepper, chili powder, cloves, dry mustard, horseradish, nutmeg, garlic and onion seasoning, and all other spices and herbs

    Beverages

    Fruit-flavored drinks, decaffeinated coffee, weak tea, coffee with milk or cream limited to one cup with meals as tolerated

    All others including alcohol and carbonated beverages

    Miscellaneous

    Jams, jellies and preserves without seeds or skins, sugar, syrup, honey, hard candy, smooth cream candy, smooth peanut butter, and marshmallows

    Nuts, popcorn, olives, pickles; chili sauce, soy sauce, Tabasco, Worcestershire and other meat sauces, and prepared mustard

  • Jairoldi
    Jairoldi Member Posts: 221
    Metamucil

    My radiologist recommended Metamucil along with immodium. The Metamucil adds bulk to the stool.

  • NoniK
    NoniK Member Posts: 46
    ckdgedmom said:

    zofran

    my nurse at radiology suggested it because it will plug you up...I had plenty leftover from chemo so I just took one when I got the nausea/diarrhea

    are you on a probiotic?  that will help too...

    when my kids were little it was always bananas, rice, applesauce and toast...don't do anything with milk or a lot of fiber...

    a baked potato might help? eggs? so you get some protein?

    oh girl I hate that you are going through this...

    maybe they can prescribe you some Lomotil...that is fo diahrrea...

    Yes I am taking a probiotic.

    Yes I am taking a probiotic. After my treatment today I got an IV to help with dehydration. Luckily my electrolytes were good thanks to bananas and GatorAid. I’m going to try taking the Zofran 3 times a day to see of it’ll stop things up. Also just got a new prescription for Lamotil. 

    Thanks for all your support.

  • NoniK
    NoniK Member Posts: 46
    Jairoldi said:

    Metamucil

    My radiologist recommended Metamucil along with immodium. The Metamucil adds bulk to the stool.

    Thanks I’ll try it. 

    Thanks I’ll try it. 

  • NoniK
    NoniK Member Posts: 46
    cmb said:

    Radiation Treatment Low Fiber, Bland Diet

    I've dealt with diarrhea ever since I started on Metformin a few years ago. I had several bad bouts while on chemo, for which I took Imodium.

    Knowing my tendency, I was worried about diarrhea when I was about to start radiation. But the nurse gave me a low fiber, bland diet plan to follow. The one time I deviated (fresh tomatoes from the farmers market) I immediately had diarrhea. After that I stuck with the diet. It was a boring five weeks, but it did work for me. I've included the plan given to me below, in the hope that it may give you some other foods to try (and avoid). 

    Radiation Treatment Low Fiber, Bland Diet  

     

    Foods Allowed

    Foods to Avoid

    Milk/Milk Products

    Skim or lowfat milk and milk and milk beverages, plain or flavored yogurt if permitted by your doctor

    Yogurt containing fruits that are not allowed

    Meat

    Beef, lamb, veal, poultry, pork, canned ham, fish and liver. Meat should be baked, broiled, boiled or pan fried in a small amount of oil

    Rare meat, sausages, hot dogs, cold cuts and any other spiced, cured or smoked meat or fish

    Eggs

    Eggs prepared any way

     

    Cheese

    Lowfat cottage cheese, lowfat cream cheese processed cheese and any mild flavored cheese (American, Swiss or Muenster)

    Strong flavored cheese

    Potato or Substitute

    Boiled, broiled, creamed, mashed, scalloped, and baked white or sweet potatoes without skin, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti and white rice

    Potato skins, and potato chips, French fries

    Vegetables

    Canned or cooked: asparagus, green and wax beans, beets, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, pimiento, pumpkin, spinach, winter squash and tomato sauce

    Raw vegetables or salads. Peas, com, cucumbers, all dried legumes and gas-producing vegetables like baked beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, green pepper, and onions

    Fruits

    Applesauce, bananas, and cooked or canned fruit

    All other fresh fruits, and dried fruits including raisins, berries, figs, coconut, and pomegranates

    Juices

    Apple juice, cranberry juice, apricot or peach nectar

    All others including orange juice

    Breads

    Bread or toast: French, Vienna, refined whole wheat, light rye without seeds. Melba toast, rusk, zwieback, white or graham crackers, plain crackers without seasoning or seeds for hard rolls, plain sweet rolls, plain coffee cake, waffles, pancakes, cornbread, and French toast

    Coarse whole wheat, whole grain, bran, rye breads and grains, dinner or sweet rolls with nuts, fruit or seeds

    Cereals

    Dry puffed wheat or rice cereals; cream of rice, cream of wheat, farina, hominy grits, Malt-0- Meal, and oatmeal

    All dry bran, granola and wheat cereals or cereals made from prohibited flours and foods

    Fats (use minimally)

    Crisp bacon, butter, margarine, oils, cream dry cream substitutes mayonnaise, shortenings, smooth salad dressings, sour cream, smooth gravy, and white sauce

    Salad dressings made with prohibited ingredients and tartar sauce

    Soups

    Cream and broth based soups made with allowed ingredients

    All others

    Desserts

    Custard, gelatin, ice cream, sherbet, bread pudding, rice pudding, tapioca and other plain puddings, frosted or unfrosted cakes and cookies, and pie made with allowed foods

    Any dessert containing nuts, seeds, raisins, coconut, or fruits not allowed

    Seasonings

    Salt, allspice, cinnamon, mace, monosodium glutamate, paprika, sage, and thyme, all flavoring extracts, and chocolate

    Pepper, chili powder, cloves, dry mustard, horseradish, nutmeg, garlic and onion seasoning, and all other spices and herbs

    Beverages

    Fruit-flavored drinks, decaffeinated coffee, weak tea, coffee with milk or cream limited to one cup with meals as tolerated

    All others including alcohol and carbonated beverages

    Miscellaneous

    Jams, jellies and preserves without seeds or skins, sugar, syrup, honey, hard candy, smooth cream candy, smooth peanut butter, and marshmallows

    Nuts, popcorn, olives, pickles; chili sauce, soy sauce, Tabasco, Worcestershire and other meat sauces, and prepared mustard

    Thanks for th suggestions. I

    Thanks for th suggestions. I’ve been trying this diet yet still the diarrhea persists. I can’t stand the smell of most of the proteins like eggs, chicken, etc. mainly eating bananas and potatoes as even toast (white bread) starts things up. I did get a new prescription today. Hopefully it will help and I can eat more.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 749 **
    NoniK said:

    Thanks for th suggestions. I

    Thanks for th suggestions. I’ve been trying this diet yet still the diarrhea persists. I can’t stand the smell of most of the proteins like eggs, chicken, etc. mainly eating bananas and potatoes as even toast (white bread) starts things up. I did get a new prescription today. Hopefully it will help and I can eat more.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    I really hope that the new

    I really hope that the new prescription helps. I didn't have nausea or the sensitivity to food smells during radiation, but I had both during chemo, in addition to the diarrhea. For me, anti-nausea medication and Imodium did help (although I still hated to go to the grocery store and smell the food there!). 

  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 749 **
    NoniK said:

    Thanks I’ll try it. 

    Thanks I’ll try it. 

    Metamucil

    My instructions from the radiologist also said to take Metamucil. I only used it a couple of times because it seemed to actually cause diarrhea, perhaps because I already have a tendency towards loose stools,

     

    When I told the nurse, she recommended that I take the one teaspoon of Metamucil in only 4 oz of water, not the 8 oz of water listed on the instruction sheet. I have to admit that since the low fiber/bland diet was controlling the diarrhea for me, I never tried the Metamucil again. So I can't say if the revised amount of water would have made a difference or not, but I'm passing her advice along in case it helps.

  • Soup52
    Soup52 Member Posts: 905
    I was the total opposite and

    I was the total opposite and had constipation. I followed the low fiber diet too strictly. For me multiple abdominal surgeries, radiation and chemo have given me lifelong constipation, but I a, alive! I see a gastroenterologist and have learned ways to deal with it.