Diarrhea is the presence of two or more discharges of very soft or liquid stools per day. It is a very frequent side effect of chemotherapy during the treatment of prostate, cervix, bowel, rectum and pancreas cancers.
Diarrhea makes the body unable to sufficiently absorb nutrients and water. Unless it is treated (through diet modification and drug therapy), diarrhea can lead to serious consequences: stomach cramps, weakness, weight loss, dehydration, poor appetite and electrolyte alterations.
If diarrhea is present, it is useful to make changes in the diet by following these directions:
- Drink a lot in order to replenish the lost liquids (the same indications apply in case of constipation)
- Have little snacks during the day instead of hearty meals, so that your body can digest food
- Avoid eating foods that are too hot or too cold
- Limit fiber consumption (reduce fruits and vegetables and avoid whole grains and legumes)
- Eat simple, boiled or steamed, low-fat foods: plain, boiled rice and pasta, semolina soup, rice cream, crackers, breadsticks, white bread, white low-fat meat, low-fat fish
- Given their astringent properties, prefer the following foods: banana, peeled apple, boiled potato, boiled carrot, white rice and lemon
In case of diarrhea, you should avoid: dairy products, fried, fatty and spicy foods, sweets and foods with a high content of sugar, raw fruits and vegetables, legumes, all kinds of seeds, coffee and alcohol.