Siteman Education Series – Diarrhea
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Siteman Education Series – Diarrhea

September 11, 2019


Welcome to the Siteman Cancer Center
Patient Education Video Library. The purpose of this video is to talk
about diarrhea. , an unpleasant but very common and often unrecognized symptom for many people with cancer. Diarrhea is defined as having 3 or more
loose or watery stools in a 24 hour period. In addition to the normal causes of diarrhea , there are other things specific to cancer
that can bring on diarrhea including your cancer treatment, chemotherapy,
radiation or surgery, infections, stress, anxiety and the cancer
itself. Diarrhea can affect your quality of life
and it may also be a sign of something more serious. Talk with your doctor before taking any over the counter medications
for diarrhea. helpful treatment strategies include
switching to a diet of clear liquids such as water, apple juice, or clear
broth. At the first sign of diarreah, eat foods that are high in potassium
like bananas, potatoes, apple sauce and then add low fiber foods like rice,
toast, can or cooked vegetables, well cooked eggs. You should eat small meals throughout
the day. Avoid foods that can irritate your digestive
track like fresh fruits and raw vegetables, nuts, popcorn, dairy products, and spicy
foods. Don’t drink alcohol beverages that
contain caffeine. Avoid acidic drinks like tomato or citrus juices. And stay away from carbonated soft drinks. Foods that are rich like desserts, pastries
and candies, or greasy foods can also make diarrhea worse. Call your Siteman Cancer Center doctor or
nurse right away if you have 6 or more loose bowel movements a day for more than two days, see blood in your stool, have trouble
urinating for 12 hours or more, experience loss of weight or find it
difficult to drink liquids for more than 2 days. Your care team can help you manage your
symptoms.

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