Constipation

Constipation is an uncomfortable side effect of cancer treatment. Watch our 'constipation' video for some tips on how to make changes to your diet which could help manage the symptoms and side effects associated with constipation.

If symptoms of constipation persist discuss management options with your treating team

 Key strategies to assist with constipation:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Be active.
  • Everyday movement is good for bowel function.
  • Increase fibre intake slowly.
  • Consume fibre from a range of foods (see below).
  • Discuss with your treating team if a fibre supplement or laxative could help.

Who can help?

Treating Doctor
Nurse
Dietitian

When adding fibre to the diet, increase slowly and ensure you drink plenty of fluids. Include the following foods to help reach your daily fibre target:

Breads and cereals≥ 4 serves per day1 serve = e.g. 1 slice bread or 1/3 cup oats
Vegetables or legumes≥ 3 serves per day1 serve = e.g. 1 cup salad or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
Fruit ≥ 2 serves per day1 serve = e.g. 1 piece of medium fruit

 

Tips to add more fibre to your diet:

Eat breakfast cereals that contain high fibre grains like barley, wheat or oats

Top cereal with LSA or chia sees

Choose wholemeal or wholegrain products e.g. bread, pasta or brown rice

Grate vegetables into meals

Add lentils/legumes to meals

Snack on whole fruit, vegetable sticks, dried fruit or nuts

Don't forget to drink plenty of fluids!

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