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Help with eating when you have constipation

Constipation may be caused by your medication, reduction in food or fluid intake, or lack of activity. The leaflet tells you which foods will help ease your constipation.  Contact details for the dietitians are given at the end of the leaflet.   

The following advice may help: 

  • Eat fibre rich foods such as wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholemeal or granary bread and rolls, wholemeal pasta and rice and 50:50 bread.  It is important to introduce these foods gradually and eat some at each meal.
  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Choose fresh, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables. Remember one glass of fruit juice or a portion of baked beans can be counted as a portion.
  • Snacks which contain fibre include dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars and bran biscuits or biscuits and cake which contain fruit, nuts and coconut.
  • Drink at least eight cups or glasses of fluid each day.  You may be advised to take more than this during your treatment.
  • Continue with some light activity each day.
  • Just eating some food can encourage the bowel. This is especially important if you have been off your food for a few days.
  • Medication is available from your doctor to help combat constipation.

If the constipation lasts longer than 3 days, please tell your doctor or the nursing staff. 

Further information
If you would like further information please contact the dietitians on: 
Phone: 029 2061 5888 ext 2214 

This leaflet was written by the dietitians at Velindre Cancer Centre.  It has been approved by health professionals and patients.