Bowel Troubles

I do not know about everyone else but I have trouble with the loo even though my last chemo was in May of this year.  I would not say I am constipated at times but I think I am not getting enough fibre in my diet.  I try but eat frozen veggies and kidney beans and some fruit.  I like to use ground flax in my cereal.  I am starting to use a fibre supplement to see if it helps out.  It cannot hurt from what I understand.  Their tastes are vile though.  


  • Hi CurlyHair,

    I too have issues with my bowels. 
    I have severe adhesions throughout my abdomen and had unsuccessful debulking surgery....they basically just opened, looked,  and closed my abdomen. One biopsy was done. 
    The adhesions and tumors cause a loss of bowel motility so I rely on laxatives and stool softeners to keep my bowel movements on the loose side. 

    I have been on chemo since March 2017 so I do not know if bowel function will improve once I stop  or change chemo.  Some days I am not sure if I need to increase or decrease the dose of bowel meds, or if the cramping and pain is due to chemo side effects or any tumor effects.  
    It is all very frustrating.

    A  consultation with the dietitian at my chemo clinic was very helpful.  She reviewed my diet, and had information on what laxatives and stool softeners might help me.  She  did not recommend any stool bulking agents in my case because of the motility issues.

    Please consider asking for a consult with a dietitian.

    Good luck.

  • I took Senokot regularly during chemo. What about water intake? I'm 7 months post treatment now and don't take anything for bowel issues, but I find that if I drink more water, things move a little better.
  • I definitely get sufficient water JaneWest.  I have always had a bit of a problem even before cancer.  That is just the way my body works.  I think I just get a bit nervous and overreact with the slightest issue.  
  • Thanks @midcanada.  I have spoken to a dietitian regarding my eating before but I may go back regarding fibre.  I wanted to ask if you have contacted your doctors regarding clinical trial options?  There are some new drugs out there for ovarian cancer that are getting some decent commentary from the USA who is always ahead of Canada.  Olaparib, niraparib and a couple others.  If you have not please contact your doctors about them.  Try to get your GP to assist you if you can since they are so hard to understand.  I am not in one right now but have read about them.  Hard to understand. 
  • Thanks  CurlyHair

    I have a CT scan in a few weeks and then a meeting with my doctors to decide what is next.  We will discuss clinical trials.
  • I have irritable bowel syndrome and get constipated easily. I had lots of fun during chemo...and lots of Senokot. I try to eat Bran Buds everyday along with lots of water and it really seems to help.
  • Does anyone know of any natural cures/treatments for adhesions other than surgery?
  • My own experience is that using a stool softener has helped me immensely. I eat loads of vegetables, eat porridge, and try to drink lots of fluids. In cold weather I drink warm water or mix it with a fruit concentrate. I also drink soda water or ginger ale, take Tums and chew gum - all preventive measures to encourage passage of gas one way or another! (However with persistent bloating and discomfort you might want to go back to your gynaecologist. I went back a month before my scheduled visit with my gynaecologist because of the gassy symptoms and discomfort which I recognized as having had prior to my diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy. She couldn't feel any tumour in my abdomen but said my symptoms were worrisome. She sent me for a CT scan and lo and behold here I am back in the medical bubble because it showed my cancer had recurred. But that's just my experience and probably uncommon.)
  • Hello @Agreed @kastoyles - Senokot, and the Bran Buds worked well for me.  Water, apricots and prunes did help too. 
    For diarrhea,  bananas may help solve that. You may need to try different foods / liquids to see what works for you and that may also change over time (in treatment/on medication/ or when done all).  

    Hello @Courtenay - how are you doing today and I'm wondering has your doctor provided any options regarding your adhesions?
  • Hi Flower girl!  My Dr. referred me to a dietician, who suggested avoiding a lot of fiber as that can create blockages because of the tumors.  I am on Lynparza, and tumors are small (5 about 1 cm) which may or may not be causing the constipation.  But it's something I've had trouble with all my life.  Apparently, some poeple just get constipated more than others!  I do all the right things, I drink tons of water, eat fruit and and vege, exercise, etc.  Apparently the chemo kills the nerves which allow peristolis to occur.  It probably shrinks the bowels, too.  
  • Hi @Courtenay -that is great information on the Lynparza and the bowels - makes sense that it may occur like that. Yes, it takes a while to find out what works and what to avoid - hope you are doing well this week.
  • I had suspected disease noted Nov 20 during a physical with elevated CA125.  Had a CT done in Dec confirming disease.  Developed ascites and had a paracentesis.  Have been on laxatives as there was noted fecal build up with the constipation.  I am awaiting a consult with oncologist regarding new treatment plan.  So between Nov 20 and Jan 5 all the medical treatment I have received is a paracentesis and laxatives.  
  • Flax seed oil (capsules) helped me post op and then later when I was on an iron supp. I still take it now just less even though my iron is back up and holding it's own. I also has a lot of other health benefits.
  • Hi - yes, thanks @terrylee.. I forgot about the flaxseed oil! I had a receipe for Flaxseed cookies that I made in batches and it was a nice treat!
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