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Coping With Constipation Related to Chemotherapy
What to Do About Constipation
- Record your bowel movements. Show this to your doctor.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen the bowels. If you do not have mouth sores, try warm and hot fluids, like coffee or tea. Water works especially well. Eight cups of water or other fluids throughout the day is a good amount.
- Check with your doctor to see if you can increase the fiber in your diet. Keep in mind there are certain kinds of cancer and certain side effects you may have for which a high-fiber diet is not recommended. High-fiber foods include bran, whole-wheat breads and cereals, raw or cooked vegetables, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and popcorn.
- Get some exercise every day. Go for a walk or try a more structured exercise program. Talk to your doctor about the amount and type of exercise that is right for you.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov
BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Chemotherapy and you. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/chemotherapy-and-you.pdf. Updated June 2011. Accessed February 5, 2014.
Understanding chemotherapy: a guide for patients. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/understandingchemotherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/understanding-chemotherapy-more-side-effects-constipation. Updated March 17, 2013. Accessed February 5, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: .0/2012
- Update Date: 05/14/2012