Common Complaints & Tips

Talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

This guide is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.

Reflux / Heartburn: A burning sensation that rises up into your chest or throat. Stomach contents and/or acid move back up into the esophagus creating discomfort.

Tips: Sit upright when eating. Eat soft and well-cooked food in small bites. Avoid or limit spicy, fried, and acidic food. Avoid or limit alcohol and carbonated beverages. Eat 3 to 4 hours prior to going to bed. Sleep with a second pillow and/or raise the head of the bed at least 6 inches.

Dysphagia: A difficulty or discomfort in swallowing.

Tips: Eat soft and well-cooked food in small bites. Eat slowly. Make smoothies and soups and drink with a straw. Toasted bread may be easier to swallow than untoasted bread.

Nausea: A feeling of sickness.

Tips: Avoid strong smells and the kitchen. Ask someone to prepare your food. Cold foods may be better tolerated than hot foods. Eat a few crackers prior to a meal to start digestion. Ginger lozenges or weak ginger tea may provide relief.

Constipation: A difficulty in emptying the bowels, often with accompanying hard stool.

Tips: Increase consumption of water, fiber (from fruit, vegetables, and grains as tolerated), and daily activity. Stewed prunes may help you to stay regular. Discuss with your healthcare provider the potential effects of opioids.

Loose Stools: Stools not holding shape.

Tips: Stay hydrated by increasing water intake. Avoid or limit fatty and greasy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy products. Consider eating bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast to firm up stools.