Tips for dealing with diarrhoea if you have pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer can cause diarrhoea. Read our tips for dealing with this, and where to get more support.

Pancreatic cancer can cause diarrhoea. Pancreatic enzymes can help manage diarrhoea if it is caused by problems with your digestion. Treatments such as chemotherapy can also cause diarrhoea – your medical team can give you medicines for this.

Diarrhoea can be a sign of infection. If you are having chemotherapy check if you have a temperature over 37.5°C. If you do, phone the emergency number that your chemotherapy team should have given you for urgent advice.

Speak to your doctor or dietitian for advice about diarrhoea – they can work out what’s causing it and how to treat it. The following tips may help.

  • Eat small meals often.
  • Chew your food well and try to eat slowly.
  • Drink plenty (at least two litres a day) to replace fluid you’ve lost so you don’t become dehydrated.
  • It can help to avoid spicy foods, alcohol, fruit juice, tea and coffee.
  • 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 and fluids with salty and sugary foods, isotonic sports drinks, or a rehydrating solution such as Dioralyte®.

Get support with diarrhoea

If you have diarrhoea, speak to your doctor or nurse.

You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line with any questions about diarrhoea or other symptoms.

Speak to our nurses
Pancreatic Cancer Nurse Jeni Jones

Updated January 2020

Review date January 2023