Diarrhea

Diarrhea is frequent, soft, loose, and/or watery bowel movements. It occur more than 4 times a day.

What causes diarrhea?

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Surgery
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • The Cancer itself
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Other Medicines (Stool Softeners, Laxatives)

What happens when people have diarrhea?

  • Loose, watery stools
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling tired
  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramping
  • Urgent, frequent need to go to the bathroom

What should I eat when I have diarrhea?

When experiencing diarrhea, drink a lot of fluids, foods with sodium/potassium, and a little soluble fiber.

Drink fluids often

  • Water
  • Ginger ale
  • Fruit juice
  • Sports drinks

Foods/liquids high in sodium and potassium

  • Broth/soups
  • Saltine crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Dried fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Leafy greens
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Nuts and seeds

Consume SOME soluble fiber

  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Canned peaches
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery

Other low-fiber foods

  • Yogurt
  • White toast
  • Rice
  • Cooked carrots
  • Noodles
  • Sherbet/Sorbet
  • Mushrooms

What should I NOT eat when having diarrhea?

When experiencing diarrhea, avoiding foods with high fiber, greasy foods, caffeine, and other irritating foods.

High-fiber foods

  • Nuts
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Peas
  • Bran muffins
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Popcorn
  • Artichokes

High-fat / greasy foods

  • French fries
  • Hamburgers
  • Bacon
  • Fried foods
  • Pizza

Caffeine

  • Coffee
  • Teas
  • Soda
  • Chocolate

Gas-causing

  • Dried beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chewing gum
  • Carbonated drinks

Spricy foods

  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Chili pepper

What else can I do when experiencing diarrhea?

  • Eat small frequent meals and snacks
  • Have foods and drinks at room temperature
  • Limit dairy to 2 cups a day
  • Allow soda to become "flat" before drinking
  • Keep insoluble fiber intake low

When should I call my healthcare provider?

  • If you have a fever above 100.5
  • If there is blood, mucus, or pus in your stools
  • If your rectal area bleeds or is very sore
  • If the diarrhea and/or bloating last longer than 3 days
  • If you have dark urine and/or black stools
Downloads: