Diarrhoea

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 & bran cereals, weetbix. Cereals containing dried fruit, seeds, coconut or nuts e.g. muesli, wheat germ. Cornflakes, puffed wheat, rice cereal, rolled oats (strained), instant oats (½ cup cooked), semolina, white bread, noodles, pasta, rice. Plain biscuits i.e. 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.
Vegetables

Beans (green or dried), brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, chinese broccoli, celery, corn, leek, lentils, parsnip, peas, spinach, split peas, turnip, salad vegetables e.g. 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 & Dairy alternatives Yoghurts with nuts, dried fruit, chunks of fruit. Smooth yoghurt, custard, cheese, milk, soy milk
Meat & Meat alternatives Hard tofu, lentils, legumes (e.g. chickpeas, baked beans), tempeh.

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

*if less than 2g fibre per serve

Miscellaneous

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

 

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