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Diet whilst on RT

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 13:09

Hi all

my hubby starts his RT on 22nd. We’ve been having conflicting advice on diet whilst having the treatment. 

We know about caffeine and fizzy drinks, no fresh orange juice etc but has anyone got advice on what’s good to without it irritating the bladder and bowel? 

Thanks in  advance 

Chris 😺


Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 15:59

Just started mine. We had a teach-in a week before, and were told no fizzy drinks, caffeine, or alcohol. I expressed surprise there weren't more things barred given what I've heard here, and they said you won't get any problems in first 2 weeks - just eat normally. In 2 weeks, we'll get different advice, but giving it all up front confuses people. It may be that the next set of advice is personalsed depending how you are coping - I don't know yet.

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 16:44

Oddly I don't remember a specific ban on alcohol apart from cutting right back. I decided not to drink at all during the week (when I was having the treatment) but did have a glass or two of red wine at the weekends (my sessions were Monday to Friday). I mentioned this at one point and they said that was fine.

Given the flatulence I experienced, I sort of intuitively knew that a few pints would absolutely not help!

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 17:57


Our RT department gave me a booklet about the procedure and what to expect. In the back of the book was a list of foods and drinks to avoid. 

Thanks Chris

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 18:20

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Oddly I don't remember a specific ban on alcohol apart from cutting right back.

You might be right. As a non-drinker anyway, I may not have remembered that accurately, but there was a conversation in the waiting room today about how people were managing without drinking.

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 19:21

Drink peppermint tea that will help getting rid of gas before rt, it helped me , drink plenty of water . It will go quick how many fractions are you going to have ? 

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 22:42

I was given a booklet on diet. White bread, peel skin off fruit were two I remember.


Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 22:47
It is different for different men. The diet advice your OH should follow is dependant on the position and state of his bowel during his planning scans. Some men are told to have a high fibre diet, others are told to have a low fibre diet. The thing that seems almost universal is to avoid gassy food and drinks as gas is the enemy of radiotherapy teams. John was told absolutely no alcohol but others on here have been allowed alcohol at weekends.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 08 Jul 2019 at 23:46

For RT on prostate, everyone needs an empty bowl, but some people need a full bladder, and others an empty bladder, depending precisely which parts the beam is being directed to. I suspect it's all much less of an issue for the empty bladder folks - you can just go and dump everything out immediately beforehand, and bowl needs to stay empty for perhaps 10-15 mins max.

It's harder for the full bladder folks. The protocol is to dump everything out on arrival, and 45-60 minutes before they're ready for you on the machine, they ask you to drink a litre of water relatively quickly (within 10 mins I think they said, not slowly sipping it), and note the time you finish. They then wait at least 30 mins for it to make its way through to your bladder, and it may well be longer by the time the previous person has finished, and you go in with hopefully between 0.3 litres and a full bladder, and hope your bowls are still empty. Trouble is, it's probably an hour or more since you emptied your bowls, and it's quite difficult to tell if they're still completely empty when you have a full bladder. If they're not, it's pretty impossible to empty your bowls without emptying your bladder, although maybe it's something that can be practiced. Anyway, if you're in this situation, you get sent to dump everything out and wait some time for most of the water to work its way out (1 litre is typically 2 full bladder's worth, so 2-3 pees), and then you start going around the cycle again.

I had to do that on the planning session, but on the first real session today, it was OK, although I could feel my guts rumbling as I was about to go in and thought I might fail the empty bowl test again.

Posted 09 Jul 2019 at 19:28

Thanks guys, there’s just so much to take in and we want to do everything we can to prevent any more side effects than absolutely necessary!! 

Have to say that as the date gets closer the more I’m stressing!

My hubby just says he’s going to do everything he’s told to do and then take every day as it comes!! Getting into the habit now of drinking 2-2 1/2 litres of water every day !! 😺

Posted 10 Jul 2019 at 07:13
There’s really no need to stress. RT isn’t “difficult” from the patient’s point of view. It does take over your life in terms of travelling to and from the hospital and waiting around, but the time flies by. It’ll be fine - don’t worry!

Best wishes,


Posted 11 Jul 2019 at 19:49

Hi Chris,

I didn’t use any special diet whilst on my 23 sessions. I still drank alcohol, but I’m not an alcoholic 😳.

What I found the most helpful was being able to release a cupful of water when I had to wait too long. This way you don’t need to start again 🙄. I was able to do this without practice but I suppose it’s possible to practice beforehand.

We even had a nice birthday lunch just before one session and the nurse just said it was all ok but don’t do it again ☹️

It does seem daunting but it’s all over soon enough.

Fingers crossed for your OH that he doesn’t get any side effects. I was one if the lucky ones. Partly down to the excellent staff making sure they got me spot on position.

Good luck.


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