Constipation may be caused by some medications, particularly strong pain medication, a diet low in fibre, lack of exercise, or by not having enough fluids to drink.

  •  Drink plenty of fluids, at least eight to twelve glasses per day (2–3 litres), e.g. water, fruit juice, herbal tea, milk–based drinks or soup.
  • Consume a variety of fibre–rich foods, such as wholegrain breads, cereals, pasta, fruit, vegetables (especially raw and unpeeled), nuts and seeds, legumes and pulses such as baked beans, lentils and chick peas.

  • Fresh orange, apple, pear or prune juice are possible alternatives to a fibre rich diet, especially for those people on fluid diets.

  • Avoid or reduce constipation due to radiotherapy by completely emptying your bowels before each treatment.

  • Try some gentle exercise, such as walking each day. Talk to your doctor, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist about the amount and type of exercise that is right for you.


Diarrhoea may be caused by a number of different factors including treatment, medications, infections, food sensitivity or anxiety.

  • Take anti–diarrhoea medications as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Water and diluted cordials are better hydrating fluids rather than high sugar drinks, alcohol, strong caffeine or very hot/cold fluids which may worsen diarrhoea.

  • Oral rehydration drinks may be needed to replace lost electrolytes.

  • Talk to your Dietitian about whether there are any individual dietary strategies that may help you if you have diarrhoea.