I am on day 10 of my 2nd FEC treatment and ever since I started the chemotherapy I seem to have continual bloating and pains in my colon. I suffer from IBS anyway but wonder if the chemo could be making it worse. It really is quite painful at times. Does anyone else have problems?


Bee x


Chemo will definately make it worse. I have really bad bloat / noxious gas  ? with FEC and at times it was very painful.

Ginger in any form but I found extra strong mints quite soothing…

Hi Bee,


Sorry to hear you’re having this problem too, it’s horrible! Just finished my last round of FEC, 6 in all. I have to say, for me the bloating is the worst side effect, which to others may sound trivial but I don’t really think that bloating begins to describe how you feel - like being 8m pregnant and having consumed two large Christmas dinners that don’t go anywhere for days and days! None of my normal clothes fitted, I felt like an ugly, bald, fat bird - talk about kick you when you’re down, and doesn’t help when the drugs are making you feel crap anywa!


I mentioned it countless times to my disinterested onc’ all he seemed interested in was whether I had indigestion/heartburn, something I’ve never had so I didn’t really know what I had. I only realised at round 5 reflux was part of the problem. At round 6 I ended up in hospital with an infection, where the doctors also thought my stomach had become sensitive to the chemo drugs. My husband now tells me that I just didn’t push it enough with the onc’ too passive! Not any more!


Although I’ve not found anything that got rid of it it did help knowing it would improve and I would be feeling normal again before the next round of chemo and below is a list of things that helped me. Unfortunately for me, the bloating lasted a day or so longer with each round.


  • Stay on top of constipation. Really important to keep what you are eating moving through smoothly! I used Senna (but I probably needed more for a few days post chemo) couldn’t take movicol?? and that’s all I was offered.


  • eat smaller meals, and eat your main meal earlier - I was better if I ate at lunchtime.


  • used gaviscon chewy tablets? To try and keep that at bay after food.


  • I drank a lot of milk to keep hunger at bay, when I didn’t want to eat.


  • try ‘windease’ tablets, might help.


  • try to keep drinking lots of water or weak squash.

i also kept a little pack of cherry ‘tic tacs’ to suck on when mouth felt horrible. 



Bit of advice, make sure you tell the onc’ how much it’s affecting you and ask if there’s anything else you can do/have to make it better, I didn’t persist, but I should have.

very best of luck for the treatment and future, take care.?