"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you."
~ Deepak Chopra
What is it?
Diarrhea is defined as having more than three bowel movements in a day accompanied by
loose stools. It is a symptom, rather than a disease and is often induced as a result of
radiation (rare in ovarian cancer treatment) or chemotherapy. Other possible causes of
- anxiety or stress
- surgery on the large bowel or in the pelvic area
- antibiotics, antacids containing magnesium, anti-nausea medication, laxatives or stool softeners
- lactose intolerance
If you suspect your chemo is causing your diarrhea, the following guidelines suggest when to call your healthcare provider:
- If dietary measures and self-medications do not decrease the diarrhea symptoms and/or if your condition is accompanied by:
- fever over 100.5F (38.3C) or higher
- moderate to severe abdominal cramping, pain, straining or bloating
- dry mouth and skin
- black stools or blood in stools
- dark (concentrated) urine
- sudden rapid or irregular heartbeat
Chemo-induced diarrhea is usually short-lived and generally resolves on its own with treatment cessation. There are many effective over-the-counter solutions available to control moderate diarrhea. Conditions such as those listed above which persist after self-medication should be brought to the attention of your health care provider for immediate evaluation.
Things you can do to minimize the effects of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea:
- diarrhea causes severe dehydration so SIP, SIP, SIP to avoid stressing your system and aid in expelling the chemo drugs - drink plenty of clear fluids - 2-3 litres per day (8 –12 cups)- broths, decaf teas - chamomile and ginger - or diluted juices including peach, pear, papaya, mango AVOID grape and prune
- follow the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, applesauce and toast
- add high-soluble fiber including oatmeal, cream of wheat and plain unsweetened graham crackers
- Ayurvedic remedies include eating organic yoghurt, kefir and buttermilk to rebalance
your intestinal flora. It is also suggested that making tea with a handful of fresh or a
2 tbsps of dry peppermint leaves or ½ tsp dry ginger in a glass of buttermilk is helpful.
- avoid raw vegetables and fruit
- avoid strong spices
- avoid whole grains, cereals, nuts and popcorn
- avoid beans, cabbages and carbonated beverages
- avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages
Might I Suggest:
We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional
about your specific medical condition and treatments.
The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a
substitute for medical advice.