Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1.Head over to this page:

    2.Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3.Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    after colorectal cancer
    An_253531 posted:
    my brother had cancer and dr's removed 80% of his colon. Now when he eats he goes to the bathroom 6-8 times a day and mostly diarrhea. Is there something he should be eating, so he doesn't have this problem? dr's tell him he can eat whatever he wants, which I think is not right. Is this what he should expect from now on?
    georgiagail responded:
    Think of the colon as the "storage" facility where that portion of food that cannot be absorbed into the body is "stored" until it is passed out via a bowel movement. The normal adult colon is (roughly) about three feet long. It doesn't absorb food but it can absorb fluids in food.

    In your brothers case only 20 percent of his colon is left which means the "storage" area is quite short and waste passes through quickly which is why he is experiencing frequent bowel movement and mainly diarrhea (this passage is so fast his body doesn't have time to absorb any of the liquid that may be in this waste).

    It may benefit him to keep a food diary of everything he eats (and drinks) to see if certain foods tend to worsen these trips to the bathroom. For example, some people cannot handle dairy products after this type of surgery. For others, controlling the amount of liquids they drink with meals (any type of liquids) helps to slow things down.

    Would he consider doing this for a few weeks to try and get a handle on all of this?

    sam1985 responded:
    I think vegetables, fresh fish and a limited consumption of red meat should be fine for his health.
    ike1954 responded:
    I lost about 12 inches of colon and rectum - I have to work in a public area and had the problem of Multiple runs to the bathroom every day,. I did not have the diarrhea attached to this, but I use store brand Imodium to hold off every day I have to work. This helps but every so often the Imodium doesn't catch and I have to take a day off for (bathroom runs).

    I do eat anything and no Dr. has given me any "diet" to help.

    Best of luck.
    georgiagail replied to sam1985's response: careful on sending folks to all these sites. Highlighting this one brought up a warning that it is a risky site.


    Helpful Tips

    it worked for me!
    My husband died 2/3/4 of colon cancer. August 2011 I became vegan on a dare and 2/3 12 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was surprised! ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 3 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Gastrointestinal Cancer Center