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Constipation

When you have difficulty moving your bowels or move them less than 3 times per week, you are experiencing constipation. If you are constipated for long periods of time, you may develop other problems such as hemorrhoids or an anal fissure.

Chemotherapy drugs and pain medication are well known to cause constipation. Any kind of intestinal surgery or a wide-variety of cancer-fighting drugs can weaken the muscles which move the bowels, leading to constipation. When you do not eat or drink for a few days, constipation will follow.

Consult your doctor immediate if you are experiencing constipation. Many drugs and other alternative methods are used to ease constipation. Staying hydrated is key, so drink fluids as much as you can tolerate. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation to relax the mind and the digestive system, are very powerful and will be presented. Using stretches from Tai Chi or Yoga, such as twisting and rotating the trunk and abdominal area, may help. Massage techniques promote relaxation and are, therefore, helpful for those with irritable bowel syndrome, as well as for those with constipation. We also recommend consulting a nutritionist when making changes to your diet that may help keep your digestive system more regular.


References:

Cancer.net – http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/side-effects/constipation

Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/basics/causes/con-20032773

The Moffitt Center – https://moffitt.org/File%20Library/Main%20Nav/Research%20and%20Clinical%20Trials/Cancer%20Control%20Journal/v11s3/10.pdf

Constipation / Digestive Issues – Symptom Overview & Tips

Constipation / Digestive Issues – Symptom...

3:29
Constipation

In this video, Mark Yoder (N.P., Oncology) describes constipation and digestion issues related to cancer treatment, and some tips …

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