Digestive Distress (Gas) Following Appendix Cancer Surgery

Gastrointestinal cancer patients, and the public in general, are often caught in the dilemma between eating a healthy diet and suffering from the pain, bloating, flatulence (gas) and associated distress that accompanies many common foods.

These problems may be exacerbated for Appendix cancer patients, especially following surgery and/or chemotherapy treatments. 

In today's article we provide general information regarding common complaints among our fellow gastrointestinal cancer patients.

Consult with your healthcare provider regarding your specific personal needs.

It is a normal condition to have air travel through the digestive system. The average adult produces up to two quarts of air (gas) daily. Gas may be produced by the foods you eat or when air is swallowed when you eat, drink or chew gum.

Some medications, including antihistamines, and calcium channel blockers may contribute to gas production.

Gas Producing Foods

Confused about gas producing foods? The following foods may be some of the “culprits” that you may have overlooked!

Bagels, Beans, Bleu Cheese, Bread, (Carbohydrates) Broccoli, Brussell Sprouts, Buttermilk, Cabbage, Carbonated beverages, Cauliflower, Corn Flakes, Crackers, Fried and Fatty foods, Fructose (natural sugar) Peanuts, Peas, Potatoes, Ranch dressing, Sorbitol (artificial sweetener) 

High fiber foods

Intestinal cancer patients may experience difficulties in digesting a high fiber dietand should consult with their physician before adding or deleting foods from their meal plans.

Common high fiber foods include:

Apples, Artichokes, Asparagus, Beans, Bran, Brussell sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Peas, Pineapple, and whole grains

Gluten Sensitivity

Patients affected by Celiac Disease may be unable to consume whole grains. For more information about gluten sensitivity, see the Celiac Disease Nutrition page on www.pmppals.org


Laxatives should only be used after consulting with a physician. 

Bulk forming laxatives are taken with water, absorb water in the intestine and make the stool softer.

These laxatives may interfere with the absorption of some medications:


Stimulant laxatives cause intestinal rhythmic muscle contractions:

Correctol,Ducolax,Feen a Mint,Purge,Senokot

Stool softeners add moisture to the stool and may be prescribed following surgery:

Colace,Dialose,Mineral Oil

Saline laxatives draw water into the colon for easier stool passage:

Citrage of Magnesia,Haley’s M O,Milk of Magnesia


Diarrhea may occur following gastrointestinal surgery and may accompany chemotherapy.

Foods and beverages that may aggravate diarrhea:

Coffee, High fiber foods, Milk, Milk based foods (ice cream, yogurt) Raw vegetables, Strong tea

Foods that may ease diarrhea:

Applesauce, Bananas,Rice, Toasted bread

Medication to combat diarrhea (consult with your physician):

Immodium, Lomotil, Sandostatin

For more information about Diet, Nutrition, Malabsorption and intestinal distress, visit the

NUTRITION link at www.pmppals.org