Many aspects of cancer care contribute to constipation. They include treatment medications, pain medications, decreased food and fluid intake, depression and decreased activity levels.

You can help prevent constipation by following these recommendations:

  • STOOL SOFTENER TAKE DAILY: Use any of the following: Docusate- Colace, Surfak or Dialose, etc.  Available over-the-counter.
  • FLUID INTAKE: Drink 8-12 cups of liquid daily.  Include fresh fruit juices and hot liquids upon arising.
  • DIETARY CHANGES: Include high fiber foods every day in your diet. Use whole grains rather than refined grains; add bran, fresh fruits, raw vegetables and prunes to your diet.
  • EXERCISE: Include physical activity in your daily routine.
  • LAXATIVES: If you do not have a bowel movement in 2 days, take 2-3 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia or Senna tablets.  Repeat every 12 hours for 2 times or until you have a bowel movement. Do not use Milk of Magnesia if you have kidney problems.

If you do not have results from the laxative, use a Dulcolax suppository or Fleets enema.

However, if your platelets or your white count is low, do not use either. Call us instead.

If you have kidney disease, remember that you need your doctor’s permission to take Milk of Magnesia and/or Fleet’s phosphosoda.