Friday, November 19, 2010

Digestive Issues Continue

After being diarrheic for a few days, I realized we didn’t have the proper foods in the house to help minimize the effects. So D suggested looking on the net and making a list of foods to eat for constipation and diarrhea. I came up with three lists to manage things a bit better:
  • foods to eat when diarrheic
  • foods to avoid when diarrheic
  • foods to eat when constipated
Who knew that if you are diarrheic you shouldn’t eat peas but eat carrots instead. So we went shopping and filled in the gaps in the pantry with things like white rice, soda crackers, white noodles and white bagels … all bland foods for managing the trots. We also picked up PowerAde to help replenish lost electrolytes and topped the list off with Imodium.

One thing I am doing right is to eat smaller portions and see how my stomach likes it and go from there. Something I am not doing right is shying away from fluids because I’m having trouble holding water.

The good news is that there were no cramps last night so something’s starting to work.


finding a way said...

I've been making "smoothies" - basically just a lot of greens and some fruit blended until it becomes liquid. My favorite is this one: blend 2-3 cups baby spinach with about a cup of Berry blend V8 splash and a handful of blueberries and raspberries (blend until unidentifiable)
then add 4 or 5 strawberries (less if you're having acid problems at the time)

After those mix all up, I add either a half a banana (whole if having diarrhea), or a quarter cup of french vanilla coffee creamer, as well as a chunk of tofu for protein (because I'm not supposed to have carbs)

The end result tastes pretty good, and the spinach seems to reduce some of the stomach issues that cancer causes. It's also loaded with anti-oxidants.

Usually, when my stomach acts up, I start introducing a liquid based diet, and it seems to ease things up a little.

I don't know if this will help you, but I thought I'd throw it out there, because it's full of nutrients and relatively easy to digest. I hope you feel better soon...

Love and peace,

Daria said...

finding a way,

Thanks for that recipe ... it sounds amazing. I'll have to substitute some other form of protein for tofu as tofu is soy based and high in estrogen. My cancer is estrogen based. I need to avoid it.

Of course most protein powders are soy based except for whey powder which can be hard on my stomach too.

Definitely a liquid based diet is easier on the stomach. I look forward to trying the smoothie.

Thanks for your comment.

finding a way said...

I'm not supposed to have soy either.. but I'm lactose intolerant. I forgot about that, sorry. I hope it helps you some, either way... I know it helps me, at least on the days I can keep it down.

Cheryl said...

Daria has a good probiotic been recommended?

Joanie said...

I know when my kid were little, the doctor would tell me to give the kids the BRAT diet... Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Would those foods work for you too?

Daria said...

Chez, quite a while back my last Onc suggested I do not add any probiotics to my diet. She just didn't want to bring any new bacteria into my body.

But I'm on a new chemo and new Onc, I will ask again. Inadvertently I bought some Ensure high protein shakes that have probiotics in them. So we'll see what happens. Thanks for the great suggestion.

Daria said...

Joanie, that is exactly what I've been following. I found it via the net and thought I'd try it. My stomach has settled down and no cramps for two nights. I really think it's the answer.

I'm actually shocked at how eating the right foods can calm the stomach. I have my fingers crossed that it's that simple and I've got it licked.

gillian said...

I love the fact that when you have a problem, you go out there and deal with it. It's what helps make your blog so inspiring and a compulsory, addictive read. I admire you and feel like I know you - often bring you into conversations.
Must say, didn't know that peas vs carrots things. Can you tell me more about that? Just curious.

Whidbey Woman said...

Sorry you are having this problem.
Here's some tips that helped Ron when he went through that:
1) Eat small amounts of food throughout the day instead of eating three large meals.
2) Eat potassium-rich foods: Oranges, potatoes, peaches, and apricots (bannanas are also recommended, but Ron is allergic to them)
3) Eat low-fiber foods: White bread, white rice or noodles, creamed cereals, ripe bananas, canned or cooked fruit without the skin, eggs, mashed or baked potatoes without the skin, pureed vegetables, chicken, turkey without the skin, and fish.
4) Avoid high-fiber foods: Whole grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and fresh and dried fruit.
5) Avoid hot or very cold liquids, which can make diarrhea worse.
6) Avoid coffee, tea with caffeine, alcohol, sweets; stay away from fried, greasy, or spicy foods.
7) Avoid milk and milk products (including ice cream).
8) Drink plenty of clear liquids to stay hydrated: Broth, water, diluted fruit juice, and G2 gatorade.

Daria said...

Gillian, thank you for your kind words.

Apparently, peas are considered a gas producing food which could contribute to diarrhea.

Carrots, particularly in juice form, help rebalance electrolytes in the body when you have diarrhea and ... carrot juice also has essential oils which have an effect on the mucous membranes in the stomach to help settle things down.

That's what Google says ...

Daria said...

Whidbey Woman ... thanks for all the info. I have incorporated most everything on your list. I will now avoid hot/cold drinks too.

gillian said...

thanks for that additional info re carrots and peas. had no idea

Dr. Swill said...


How are things going? I've taken a long break from blogging and come back to find you with digestive problems! ARG!

When I was returning to solid foods after being on my feeding tube for 2 years, I began with first juicing and then puree and always small portions. For a long time the vicodin I take for pain would bind me up if I took too much. Then when I introduced more food as I went off the tube it was a wild ride to find balance.

When I began to really eat more I wanted to introduce back into my diet... popcorn. In the beginning it was very hard for me to eat. My doctors couldn't believe how ambitious that was after a tongue resection, but after I conquered that, the fiber balanced out the other issues and I was back to normal. I never eat the mirco-wave stuff...only "air pop" with butter. I tried to have 2 or 3 bowls a week.

You probably think I'm crazy, but it worked for me!

I hope things get better soon.


Dr. Swill said...

Hey Daria,

I might need to retract the popcorn suggestion. I did some research and one health site said NOT to eat popcorn. I think it helped balance me out, but I guess maybe I got lucky. Better not try you. TOO MUCH TO LEARN JUST TO STAY ALIVE!!!


Daria said...

Dr Swill ... nice to have you back.