Log in
My Ovacome
11,249 members13,641 posts

low fibre diet

hello ladies

reading on this and other forums what everyone says, I wonder why women in chemo aren't in low fibre diet like I was? I don't think I've seen a handful of women who mentioned it.

reason behind this diet is that digestive system is pretty much destroyed by chemo and fibre can't pass and create blockage which can be lethal.

for example, I just read Lorraine talking about prunes. God forbid if I mentioned even prune juice to my oncologist or onc nurse!!! it's one of the worst things you can eat, apparently. no peals, no "healthy" stuff at all. pasta, rice, chicken and fish was my diet for best part of last year. and laxatives.

even after chemo my digestive system changed a lot. I am intolerant to apples and peaches and a lot of other stuff now, including lactose that give me wind. so chemo changes al in ways we can't see.

has anyone talked to you about diet during or after chemo?


The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.
39 Replies

I was low residue (eg fibre) after my op but that was because I had bowel resection (with complications). Couldnt wait to start eating vegetables!! :-)

1 like

Hi there K ...

I was told a low residue diet and I find that I'm intolerant to a lot of fruit too.

I have a lead pipe bowel which basically means it lacks function. I have stimulants, oilers and Movicol powders to get help and then it's mostly gravity.

Blockages have happened in the past which has meant A and E and lengthy hospital stays but I haven't had one now in four years. This year I've had bowel pain and vomiting but they thankfully resolved themselves.

I wasn't told that chemo permanently damaged the lining of the digestive system but it was explained to me that the intestine is always shooting this way and that and with Ovarian, there is a greater risk of the intestine getting twisted. When this happens, the caught bit can swell and stop it unravelling. Then the food gets behind causing pressure exacerbating the problem.

I don't think it means that because we have high fibre food, we'll automatically have a blockage. It really depends where scarring and deposits are, what we've eaten and the body's own reactions. I think that the low residue diet regime, in most cases, reduces the risk of a blockage.

I hope this helps.

Sue xx

1 like

low fibre and low residue are different diets for different reasons.

Low residue diet limits high-fibre foods...

1 like

no it limits high residue fibre. like pineapple is allowed on low fibre but NOT allowed on low residue one

chemo doesn't damage the lining, it kills all bacteria which makes fibre good and supposed to help with bowel movement.

eating fibre doesn't mean you'll have blockage, but I'm just surprised how few women actually been told to follow it.

Hi there, I was never told this at all,although was given a list of things not to eat like soft cheese, pate, eggs unless they were hard boiled, takeaways, ham etc. but this is due to low resistance to stomach bugs. I must admit I did keep to this regime whilst on chemo,but fortunately I was able to eat normally & still do which I am pleased about as I love fresh fruit & veg. I still make sure that my meat is cooked very well if I am out for a meal. This time of year I eat a fig every day & have not encountered any bowel problems except after my hysterectomy.

1 like

I was ...on doctors advice, at the start of my weekly taxol treatment 10 weeks ago. ( there is a post on my feed if you can find it...) . Can't even 'find' myself on this forum to re read...!?

Given a fairly useless booklet on what to eat and never really found anything Consistent or useful from googling. Hated it from the start - I understood the theory but it seemed to go against ALL the stuff you shouldn't eat re sugar, extreme dairy, additives, a lot of 'rubbish ' processed foods. Protein is there but if you were vegetarian then...?? As beans in any shape or form strictly forbidden. Also double kitchen prep needed if you have family to feed. So after about 3 weeks I started introducing my normal healthier diet, And now about 80/90 % back to where I was before and no problems 🙏🏻 ....hoping current chemo regime is resolving the restricted bowel problem noted from scan, along with daily laxative. I still peel fruit, liquidise veg in home made soup, cook fruit and veg until really soft and chew more carefully before swallowing...

I really think you have to work out what's best for your system, as for every food or supplement piece of advice you are going to find an opposite - and doctors are the same!

We are all different... janet x

👻 👿 🤡 😻 👩🏼‍🌾 🙋🏾 ❤️

1 like

Macmillan dietician can help with more information.

Sugar meat and other baddies are long ignored by any doctors during chemo. There's simply not enough evidence. For them its more important to avoid problems that are real like nausea and weight loss and blockage


Copied from Macmillan online page:

Constipation means that you’re not able to open your bowels routinely and it can become difficult or painful for you to pass bowel motions. Some chemotherapy drugs, anti-sickness drugs and painkillers can cause constipation.

Tips to help prevent or reduce constipation:

Make sure you have plenty of fibre (roughage) in your diet. Good sources of fibre include: wholewheat breakfast cereals like Weetabix®, Shredded Wheat® or muesli; wholemeal bread and flour; brown rice; wholemeal pasta; and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids – both hot and cold drinks will help. Aim to drink at least two litres (3.5 pints) a day. This is particularly important if you increase the amount of fibre in your diet, as eating fibre without drinking enough fluids can make constipation worse.

Popular natural remedies for constipation are prune juice, prunes and syrup of figs.

Gentle exercise, such as walking, will help keep your bowels moving.

If the constipation is due to medicines that you’re taking, it may be possible to adjust the dose you take. You may need to take laxatives as well. Talk to your doctor who can give you further advice.

1 like

What's point on this copy-paste?

Macmillan general chemo dietary advice...

1 like

Yes. Try to concentrate on word GENERAL.

Not all chemo work the same way. Point is very few people here even know about other options

Hello Janet, hope you are well this evening?. I laughed when you mentioned in your reply to this post, that you cannot find your own old posts on this forum. So pleased it is not just me then!. I am an absolute dinosaur with these darn computers. I have however ( no idea how) discovered that if you click on your picture on your answer it will take you straight to your Bio and any posts you have written. Then, to return to where you were originally, you click on the arrow pointing left at the top left of the page and it,ll take you straight back. Have a lovely weekend. x x x

1 like

Yeah! It works ! You're a genius (even an accidental one 😆). I call today my golden Thursday after treatment and still full of meds.. met with old friends for lunch and catch up. Just reread this post to the end. 😒.

Ovacome please mediate!

Have a good ne yourself and thanks for the pick up and help 💕

1 like

I suspect- like many things- one size doesn't fit all. I ate bland carbohydrates for the first few days of chemo then gradually increased the fruit and veg..as a lifelong vegetarian they are my lifeline! But if fruit doesn't agree with you, I agree why eat it. I was also told what not to eat but 'a healthy diet ' was left to me to interpret. xx

1 like

Hi Not one word. My digestive system has changed..... I used to have a cast iron stomach which would take anything but now find that certain foods have a tendency to induce chronic wind (enough said about that the better) or 'loose' issues!. Doesn't stop me eating such foods just have to be selective about when ! xx

1 like

this little video is quite useful and explains a lot


not just for us teal sisters but for anyone with 'funny' stomach.

I just wish women would be made aware of issues that cause blockage or discomforts at very least and explained that prunes can kill you and not help.

I took them regularly when on standard chemo with no ill effects.

1 like

sorry wrong link - video at the bottom of this page


Sorry I am a bit confused.

The link you have given takes me to information about treatment for medically diagnosed IBS.

I cannot find any mention of it being appropriate for ovarian cancer or a "funny tummy".

Have you posted the wrong link by mistake?

1 like

Maybe you should read what this discussion is about first?

Thank you for the suggestion but I have already read the discussion.

Again why are you posting irrevelant and confusing information?

Your confrontational and aggressive manner is not appropriate in this setting. The community here is safe, supportive and respectful. Please try to consider this before you post.


Which info was irrelevant or confusing? Ibs is developable condition and mostly goes undiagnosed especially after chemo.

It doesnt have to be ovarian cancer related but it's useful to know how our gut is working why we have bloating and other symptoms of "funny tummy". In fact i said "anyone not just teal sisters".

I repeat your manner is not appropriate in this forum.


There’s lots of diet advice around. I have a low fibre diet since my stoma otherwise I suffer with bad cramps and soreness. I will be back on SW diet soon but with very limited fruit and veg

I’m in awe of the staying power of those on carefully managed diets

LA xx


Wow I was told eat what u fancy

1 like

Hi Ladies I hope I have not give any one advice which could kill or harm anyone especially about prune juice I was told it was ok by my oncologist,.

The American Cancer society feels it is ok to drink prune juice, do ask you Dr what he thinks. I posted a link about this information hope it helps, I been drinking it now for over 2 years.

I don't like prunes but the juice is ok, any advice given to you by anyone should be talk over with your team,,,,Take care everyone Lorraine xx


Of course you didnt but when i saw it i just wondered why my doctors and nurses stressed it so much. I've not had stoma or any bowel surgeries or anything. Seem like most women are not told about potential problem with fibre.

Even on the link you attached it says IF its ok with your medical team!

Hi SmileNwave,Yes you should allway ask your team. I have read that a low fiber is the best ,then other times it should be high fiber, it is defiantly a learning journey we are on, and it helps to share advice and have a open mind but all ways run it by your team.

I hope all the post on this subject will help in some way and with the support and respect from all our lovely ladies this site will be a safe and pleasant place to come as I have found it to be in the last 3 years.

Take care all....Lorraine 💙💙


I think its unhelpful and inaccurate to suggest that prunes are potentially lethal to all women with OVCA who are having chemo....

As some of the comments show, SOME of us will have being advised to make changes in our diets in the type and amount of fibre we consume but this is likely for a number of individual and specific reasons eg Stoma, resection, lead-pipe bowel.... there will also be other situations where there is a risk of blockage, other conditions etc etc

The general advice is to try to eat fruit, veg and wholegrains as this along with drinking plenty of water can help reduce /prevent constipation.

Of course, always speak to your team and they may have particular advice for you.

The reason that very few women are on a low fibre diet is because they haven't been advised to be on one by their medical team!



And where exactly did i say ALL women? Seems you have same problem with me as flamingomeat lol

I shared my experience and asked about other's. And nobody here really knows why there are not on any restrictions.

smile & wave, one thing so many of us are learning through this journey is there are so many theories out there from our doctors that it is hard to really know what is right for each one of us until we try for ourselves thus the uniqueness for each beautiful lady here.

For me it was all of the bowel retractions that created the need for a low residue diet. to allow things to heal. Coming from an all organic mainly raw diet to a residual diet was a total shock to my system. I felt like I wasn't getting any nourishment but somehow I survived in spite of it.

The tease here when the every 3 weeks chemo group got together we would go have a salad the day before chemo just so we could get our nourishment before chemo day. The chemo nurses would shake their heads at us, but you know what we all managed to stay well through the whole 18 week ordeal.

Wishing you a smooth venture through chemo and thank you for all the insight to fiber, very helpful.



I've no idea how i survived on that diet...no fruit or veggies! Not even vitamins and suplements.... but liw residue is even harder. But, been admitted with intestines twist from which i screamed like i did only in labour with my daughter, I'd not like to get blockage too!!

I think Monash university gives great explanation on how guts react to foods... lots of healthy people can benefit from it yet alone us after nuclear war ie chemo



I agree with Sunfleury. I wasn't given any particular dietary advice but what Macmillan advise seems to make sense. The anti-sickness meds gave me raging constipation so a low fibre diet was the last thing I needed. I've never seen anything about prunes being dangerous.

By the way, chemo hasn't destroyed or particularly damaged my digestive system-it isn't inevitable. All I needed to do was to use probiotics to restore my gut flora and in fact my digestion is better now I don't have a big ovarian cyst sending my IBS into overdrive.


1 like

There's a lot of different probiotics which i doubt you know about. Your gut survived - mine didnt. Its pretty pointless to compare individuals isnt it.

Point is i was made aware of dietary requirements whilst majority have no idea of the danger they can get into with heavy fibre. If you dont know about it, it doesn't mean its wrong or invalid.

General guidance means nothing as usual. Prunes on low fibre diet are amoung first on forbidden list.

Of course know about different probiotics-I'm not stupid. I also have tried different ones and know the one that suits me.

There has been, and continues to be, a lot of research on the effect of gut flora on health.

Girls, please don't fight. We are all different. Some of us ask questions and some don't. Even the advice we get differs from doctor to nurse. It's a bloody minefield navigating through this disease. All I know is that I've lost 25kg since chemo started in August - yes I was a chubby lass - mainly because I was so ill all the time. Now I can't stop eating as I'm on weekly chemo of carbo and avastin only. I'm ravenous all the time. Not putting weight on but eating healthily - I hope - but no sugar as recommended by doctor unless natural in fruit etc. My big worry is that I've gone right off alcohol. Eek! Now that's really serious...

Be kind to each other.

Kryssy xxx


Dear all

We are closing this thread due to a number of concerns raised by forum members regarding the tone of the replies from the opening poster.

Our forum guidelines state that if we receive 5 or more reports of abuse or complaints about a forum member they will be blocked. This is the action we have had to take regarding this member, based on reports received due to this post and also from previous concerns raised by forum members.

If any of you have any queries or concerns about this, please do private message us.

Additionally, if you wish to carry on a discussion regarding fibre in diets, please start a new thread - we do not wish to limit the discussion of the topic in any way.

Best wishes

The Ovacome Team

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.

You may also like...