Login to Pancreatic Cancer UK

Tips for coping with diarrhoea

Treatments for pancreatic cancer such as chemotherapy can cause diarrhoea. There are treatments available for this. Changes to your diet may help to reduce diarrhoea, but there are also other causes so speak to your medical team about it. The following tips may help.

If you are taking pancreatic enzyme supplements it is sometimes difficult to work out whether the diarrhoea has been caused by the chemotherapy or by not taking enough enzyme supplements. Talk to your dietitian if you need help and advice with this.

  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Drink plenty (up to two litres a day) to replace fluids lost with diarrhoea.
  • It can help to avoid spicy foods, alcohol, tea and coffee.
  • It may help to avoid eating high fibre foods – although this won’t help if you have diarrhoea as a side effect of chemotherapy. High fibre foods include beans, wholemeal bread, brown pasta or rice, high fibre cereals, nuts and dried fruits.
  • Do not cut out fruit and vegetables completely as they can help to make your poo more solid. 
  • If you have very bad diarrhoea, you may need to replace lost salts with salty and sugary foods, isotonic sports drinks, or a rehydrating solution such as Dioralyte®.
  • Diarrhoea can also be a sign of infection. If you are having chemotherapy check if you have a temperature over 37.5oC. If you do, phone the emergency number that your doctor or nurse should have given you for urgent advice.

More tips for managing different pancreatic cancer symptoms

Updated November 2017

To be reviewed November 2019

Information Standard

  • We would like to keep a record of the fact that you’ve ordered a publication from us so that we can monitor how people use our services. This information can only be accessed by our Services team and will not be shared with any third parties.

    We’d like to contact you by email and SMS to tell you about the progress we’re making through research and provide information about how you can get involved in supporting us from campaigning, volunteering and awareness-raising through to fundraising or donating.

    We will contact you by post and (unless you’re TPS-registered) by phone. If you’d prefer not to hear from us in these ways, please tick one or both of the below boxes:

    Submission completed!