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Diarrhoea is often an uncomfortable side effect of cancer treatment. Watch our diarrhoea video for some dietary tips that could help manage the symptoms and side effects associated with diarrhoea.

If symptoms persist discuss diarrhoea management options with your treating team.

Key dietary strategies to assist with diarrhoea:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Use electrolyte replacement drinks to help replace salts and minerals lost in frequent loose motions.
  • Avoid foods that can irritate the gastrointestinal tract like spicy and fatty foods, carbonated and caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
  • Reducing your fibre intake can help decrease the volume and frequency of bowel motions (see below for suggestions).

Reducing your fibre intake can help manage diarrhoea by reducing stool volume and the frequency of motions


Food Group High Fibre Lower Fibre Alternatives
Breads & cereals Wholegrain or wholemeal bread, pasta or biscuits, brown rice. Bran and bran cereals, weetbix. Cereals containing dried fruit, seeds, coconut or nuts for example muesli, wheat germ. Cornflakes, puffed wheat, rice cereal, rolled oats (strained), instant oats (½ cup cooked), semolina, white bread, noodles, pasta, rice. Plain biscuits for example water cracker, rice or corn cruskits, short bread.
Fruit Dried fruit, guava, jackfruit, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, pear (raw), prunes, rhubarb, whole citrus fruit (orange, mandarin, grapefruit), juices with high pulp content. Apple (peeled), banana (ripe), pawpaw, peeled stone fruit (peach, nectarine, apricot, plum), rockmelon, seedless grapes, strawberries, tinned fruit (except prunes), watermelon, pulp free juice.

Beans (green or dried), brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, chinese broccoli, celery, corn, leek, lentils, parsnip, peas, spinach, split peas, turnip, salad vegetables such as cucumber.

Be mindful to avoid soups made from high fibre ingredients i.e. pea soup and lentil soup.

Asparagus tips, bean sprouts – tail removed, beetroot, bok choy (well chopped), broccoli (florets), cauliflower (florets), eggplant, mushrooms, onion (small amount), potato (peeled), pumpkin (peeled), radish, squash, sweet potato (peeled), tomato (no skin or seeds), zucchini.
Dairy and dairy alternatives Yoghurts with nuts, dried fruit, chunks of fruit. Smooth yoghurt, custard, cheese, milk, soy milk
Meat and meat alternatives Hard tofu, lentils, legumes such as chickpeas, baked beans, tempeh.

Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, silken tofu, vegetarian sausages

*if less than 2g fibre per serve


Large servings of chutney, pickles, relish, date spread.

Hummus, tahini.

Chives, chopped parsley, garlic powder, herbs, mayonnaise, pepper, salad dressings, salt, soya sauce, spices, tomato paste, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce honey, smooth peanut butter, lemon butter, marmalade jelly, Marmite, Promite, seedless jams, Vegemite