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50
SIDE EFFECTS AND SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT /// CHAPTER 34
Diarrhea
What Causes Diarrhea?
Many different things can cause diarrhea.
It is important to figure out the right
cause so that the treatment can work
well. Some things that cause diarrhea are:
» Anxiety or stress
» Infections
» Antibiotics
» Too much stool softener
» Malnutrition
» Radiation to the abdomen or pelvis
» Some chemotherapy
Why Are We Talking About This?
Of course diarrhea is not fun, but
we also want you to be aware
that if left untreated, diarrhea
can cause big problems for you
that might bring you back to the
hospital. These include:
» Dehydration
» Malnutrition and weight loss
» Skin breakdown around your
bottom that can become
painful and/or infected
» Bleeding in the GI tract
What Can I Do If I Have Diarrhea?
» Tell your medical team. They
can help you figure out the
best way to treat it before it
gets too bad
» Drink clear fluids like water
and Gatorade
» Eat low fiber foods like white
rice and bananas
» Keep your bottom clean:
You may need to use soft
wipes, or even rinse off in the
shower. Any poop sitting on
your skin can cause irritation
and infection.
» Apply a barrier cream like
Desitin if your bottom starts
to hurt
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea describes
when you have too
much poop, too loose
and/or too often.
WHEN TO
CALL THE
DOCTOR
» If you have a fever
» If you are having
6 or more bowel
movements in a day
» If your urine is dark
in color, or you
haven't peed in 12
hours (This means
that you are having
so much diarrhea
that you are getting
dehydrated)
» If you see blood
in your poop,
in the toilet, or
when you wipe
https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

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