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Symptom Management:

Symptom Management

Side Effects of Treatment
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Pain
Fatigue
Appetite Loss
Bladder Disturbances
Incontinence - Urinary
Bleeding
Constipation
Diarrhea
Dryness of the Mouth
Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
Hypercalcemia
Flu-like Syndrome
Hair Loss
Infection
Anemia
Itching
Lymphedema
Menopausal Symptoms
Nausea & Vomiting
Neurological Disturbances
Spinal Cord Compression
Peritoneal Effusions
Shortness of Breath
Skin Conditions
Sleep Problems (Insomnia/Oversleeping)
Sore Mouth
Swallowing
Bone Metastases
Coping
Anxiety
Depression
Grief
Sexuality Issues
Sexual Dysfunction
Chronic Diarrhea

Symptom and Description Chronic diarrhea is defined as loose or watery stools, more than two per day, that lasts longer than 2 months. Chronic loose stools can occur as a result of your cancer treatments.

Learning Needs Loose or watery stools, if left untreated, can result in weakness, weight loss, skin soreness, and poor nutrition. You need to learn strategies for controlling diarrhea, and you need to learn when you should get in touch with your nurse or doctor.

Management

  • Follow the low-residue diet food list provided by nutritional services or dietitian.
  • In general, avoid eating foods high in fiber, fatty foods, rich desserts, and other foods that increase bowel activity such as hot peppers, drinks with caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Use Imodium-AD, 1 to 2 tablets twice a day; or use Sandostatin as directed.
  • If diarrhea occurs after meals, schedule your meals to allow enough time to move your bowels before planned activities.
  • Increase your intake of liquids to six 8-ounce glasses (about 1.4 liters) per day (unless told not to do so by your doctor).

Follow-up You should have less diarrhea if you follow these tips. If you do not, let your doctor or nurse know. In addition, you should let them know if:

  • You have bloody or hard stools
  • You have a temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or greater
  • You are unable to keep down liquids
  • You become dizzy
  • You notice your urine becoming dark yellow in color, more concentrated
  • You develop right upper abdominal pain (if taking Sandostatin)
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2004 2nd Cancer Opinion USA