Bowel problems during chemo

I had my first chemo last friday & by the weds the meds had made me constipated. Since then i’ve had stomach cramps now & again during the day when i’ve had to rush to the loo with slight diarrhoea & it’s been really painful, such a burning sensation. Do u think i may have done some damage or does chemo make your bum burn! It’s making me wince. I took an Immodium last night. Next chemo i’ll be taking the Laxido they gave me early on. Thanks for any advice u can give.

Your anus may burn due to the poisons coming out or due to anal ulcers. if you have mouth ulcers due to neutropenia, they don’t stop at that end of the intestinal tract! Mine went full-length.

If the diarrhoea is only slight, it may be small slippage past a constipated blockage; only take Imodium if you have true diarrhoea or you could make constipation worse.

Take movicol or similar for constipation caused by the anti-emetics, coupled with loads of dates, nuts and All-Bran.

I found it helpful to drink lots. I was given a capsule to take once a day for three days to ease things. My onc said that drugs dry out the natural mucas you have down there which eases evacuation, sorry if I am too blunt lol. That was for fec.
Now on navelbine and last( first) cycle I made the mistake of taking an anti diarrhoea pill which gave me exactly the same probs as you minus the bottom problem. It took a few days for things to recover. Eat as much fruit as you can
X Sarah

Prunes! During my chemo I had dreadful constipation, tried dulcolax but no movement, so went the old fashioned diet route. Loads of water, grapes, figs & prunes. It worked! Only problem that I have now, is that I can’t stand prunes or water any more due to the industrial quantities I was eating/drinking! Hope it all gets better for you all, gentle hugs to you

Hi hjv,

Oh you poor thing, not funny when your bottom is burning. It does sound as though the diarrhoea type liquid is passing a constipated lump. When liquid comes from high up it is still full of acid and that is what is burning you. Use a salve, vaseline will do, every time you have been to the loo. Best not to take strong meds for the constipation. Try dulcoease capsules which draw lots of fluid into the stools to make them softer to pass. Drink lots and as the others say, eat what you can to help keep you regular.


Poor you.
I had excrutiating constipation in hosp after the surgery. Was told it was as a result of 2 general anaesthetics and pain killers, especially morphine. Was eventually prescribed Movicol which did the trick after a few lots.
Onc prescribed it too when I was on AC chemo.
Now I’m having Paclitaxol I was expecting the TAX trots, but luckily that hasn’t happened.
I would suggest you put the vaseline on your poor sore bottom before and after going to the toilet. It might ease the burning a little.
I hope it feels better soon.

Hi there

Sounds horrible for you. I agree though that taking immodium should be an absolute last resort or you could end up with really bad constipation again.

To protect the anus, try something like sudocreme or if you want something more natural, then Neal’s yard baby barrier (which is what I used. It’s very gentle:

If it gets very sore or you get piles (which I did from the constipation) then you could also try something like anusol cream:

Best things I found for constipation was syrup of figs. It was gentle enough not to cause the bad griping I found with Movicol or senna. I would though suggest that you check with pharmacist that anything you plan to take is okay with your treatment to be on the safe side. Elinda x

The things we have to discuss eh ladies, no dignity left,lol. But thanks so much for all your advice, feeling a lot better today thankfully. I’ve been to the shops & have stocked up on sorts of things ready for next chemo,All Bran, Dulcoease, prune juice,etc, u name it, ive bought it! I’ll start taking something earlier, though i was drinking loads of water i probably wasn’t eating the right foods. x

Dignity - well we’re all in this together - some currently having treatment and some of us thinking back to when we had it. While I wouldn’t discuss any of this ordinarily with other people, it’s great we can talk about this and loads of other things with each other on this site.

Hope all your purchases do the trick!

take care, Elinda x

Hi hjv,

Glad you are feeling better today.

Okay, you have stocked up on all you need for next time, but, do not take the bran, prune and dulcoease all at once. You will have to experiment to see just what you need or you could do too much and actually cause diarrhoea. Start taking the dulco on the day of your chemo and see how you go. I only needed one capsule per day. If that is not enough add a little bran to your cereal. If you need more add the prune juice. Your next chemo will be testing time to get right exactly what you need to take.

After day three I got diarrhoea, badly, so had to take immodium so that I did not become dehydrated. It’s a tricky balance but you will get used to what you need and when.

Are you sucking iced lollies during your chemo, it really does help. If you get mouth ulcers swish pure pineapple juice around your mouth a few times a day. You can buy it in bottles but it must be pure.

Ask if you need more help.

Good luck,