Constipation is a common symptom during treatment. The most frequent cause is because of changes in diet (reduced intake of liquids and/or foods rich in fibre), reduced or lack of physical exercise, and coping with certain medicines and drugs. All these factors can reduce bowel movements, causing stools not to absorb water and to become dry and hard. Bowel movements will become more difficult and will often be accompanied by pain and discomfort.


  • Drink around two litres of water between meals throughout the day.
  • Drink mainly water-based liquids, but you can also combine herbal teas, vegetable broths, natural fruit, and vegetable juices with their pulp (plum, orange, pineapple, tomato…).
  • Avoid black tea or other astringent teas, rice, or carrot drinks.

If there is no nausea, add a tablespoon of virgin olive oil to a glass of lukewarm water, followed by a piece of fruit, such as a kiwi or an orange.

Sit on the toilet every day, if possible, at the same time, even if you do not have a bowel movement at first.

Increase consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably raw), pulses, whole grains and cereals, mushrooms, and nuts. If you prepare soups, purées, juices, or smoothies, do not strain the preparations to not eliminate fibre.

Some suggested recipes:

Examples of food preparations to incorporate more fibre in meals
Dishes made with whole grains or pulses, with vegetables, dried fruit, or nuts:
With stews:
With omelettes/scrambled eggs:
  • Omelettes: spinach, aubergine, beans, mushrooms…
  • Scrambled eggs: with garlic, artichokes…
With vegetables and mushrooms:
  • Vegetable soups (unstrained).
  • Vegetables and mushrooms steamed, microwaved or grilled.
Foods to snack on
  • Muesli, wholemeal breakfast cereals (sugar-free).
  • Natural yoghurt with oats and sultanas, walnuts and sultanas, seeds, fruit…
  • Homemade popcorn.
  • A handful of nuts.
  • A handful of dried fruit: sultanas, prunes, apricots…
  • Fruit with skin: apple, grape, pear, peach, plum…
  • Fruit without skin: mango, pineapple, pomegranate…
  • Homemade fruit ice cream and ice lollies.
  • Wholemeal breadsticks with cereals and/or seeds.
  • Wholemeal biscuits.
  • German bread sandwich with whatever you fancy inside.

Such as quince, banana, white rice, toasted bread, baked apple, or compote.

Except for cases where treatment has been accompanied by weight gain.

Walk every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If this is not possible, mobilise the gut by doing small clockwise rotating massages on the abdomen.

Do not take laxatives without consulting a specialist.