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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 day
1 serve = e.g. 1 slice bread or 1/3 cup oats

Vegetables or legumes
≥ 3 serves per day
1 serve = e.g. 1 cup salad or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables

≥ 2 serves per day
1 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 Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds (LSA) or chia sees
  • Choose wholemeal or wholegrain products for example 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​