Possible side effects on your stoma during chemotherapy – Diet

Hear from Kate, a community stoma care nurse.

If you are suffering from diarrhoea during chemotherapy, I would suggest that you reduce the amount of fibre you eat. This means eating less fruit and vegetables or ‘brown foods’ such as bran, brown rice, brown bread. Fruit and veg high in fibre have skins that do not get broken down in digestion. This increases gut activity and your gut is working extra hard due to the chemotherapy, so these could just make things worse.

Try and eat more carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, white rice and white bread, also protein in the form of meat, fish, cheese and eggs. Potatoes and bananas are also good to eat as they are easy for your bowel to digest and will help to thicken your output.
You may find that you lose your appetite, so as well as having your 3 meals a day, try eating little and often. Try and eat some Low fibre snacks such as crisps, plain biscuits, cheese and crackers. These can be eaten in- between meals as these foods are high in carbohydrate which will give you calories and energy.

Some people have found eating marshmallow or jelly babies helps firm up the output because they contain gelatine and again they will give you calories and energy.

If you have any concerns regarding your nutritional intake, your appetite or weight loss during chemotherapy remember there plenty of help and guidance at hand. Speak to your oncology nurse or doctor and ask to be referred to a dietician who will gladly help and guide you.

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