How to Prevent Diarrhea and Dehydration
Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments often experience diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and weight loss. Signs of dehydration include thirst, dark yellow urine color, urinating less frequently than normal, light-headedness, dizziness, poor skin turgor or dry skin.
Your physician will discuss medications to help you manage your diarrhea, but these dietary tips may also be helpful:
• Try several smaller meals throughout the day rather than three larger meals.
• Limit foods that are greasy, fried, fatty, or high sugar foods.
• If you’re having trouble consuming dairy products, consider trying dairy alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk and/or rice milk products.
• Soluble fiber works to soak up fluid and form a gel in your bowel, which can slow bowel movements down. Foods high in soluble fiber include applesauce, bananas, smooth peanut butter, white rice, barley, the insides of apples and pears (peel them) and oatmeal.
• Consider including marshmallows or sugar-free gelatin (mix gelatin with liquid and drink before turns into Jell-O consistency) and foods high in pectin such as bananas, banana chips, plantain chips, citrus fruits, applesauce, apples and plums.
• Limit the amount of insoluble fiber, which is considered to be “roughage” and is found in bran, nuts, vegetables and fruit peels.