What to eat and what to avoid when you have diarrhea?

What to eat and what to avoid when you have diarrhea?

Last Reviewed : 12/30/2020
What to eat and what to avoid when you have diarrhea?

Diarrhea has become a popular name around the world today. The reason is simply that the disease has lived with us from time immemorial. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are roughly 1.7 to 5 billion reported cases of diarrhea every year. Similarly, the WHO report says that the disease is the leading cause of malnutrition in children. Aside from children, the adult population is not left out of the calculus. No doubt, everyone is susceptible to the disease. That said, there are foods you can eat to prevent the ailment. Conversely, some foods that exacerbate the illness. Do those sound Greek to you? If yes, don’t sweat it. In this guide, you will get to see them.



About Diarrhea

Well, diarrhea occurs due to a variety of conditions like food poisoning, infections, allergies, and some chronic conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Diet and diarrhea are interlinked and greatly influence each other. Well, certain diets cause diarrhea and may even aggravate it. On the other hand, some diets help not only to provide energy but are also critical in treating and preventing diarrhea.


Foods to Eat

Diarrhea patients should be given straightforward and bland diets for easy digestion and the absorption of water from stools. A diet that should be included during diarrhea are discussed as follows:

  • BRAT diet: This includes Banana, Rice, Apple, and Toast. It is a bland diet that does not aggravate but slows down the gut. Also, it is rich in binding agents which help in forming a firm stool
  • Water: Drink plenty of water to replenish the stores and prevent dehydration. Try to take three to four liters of water daily and one more glass after passing each stool
  • Electrolyte-enhanced water: Also recommended are electrolyte-enhanced water like coconut water, soup broths, sports drinks, and electrolyte water. Diarrhea causes loss of electrolytes, vitamins, and other essential minerals along with water. So it is critical you replenish their stores. If not restored, it might lead to electrolyte imbalance and vitamin deficiencies. No doubt, these deficiencies have serious consequences
  • Cooked cereal: Cooked cereal and apple sauce or juice provides us with energy
  • Probiotics: Incorporate probiotics into your diet to help in replenishing the gut bacteria, which was lost during diarrhea. Gut bacteria are essential for digestion and supplies the body with many vitamins
  • Dairy products: Though dairy products should be avoided if someone has diarrhea, yogurt is helpful in cooling down the stimulated gastrointestinal tract



Foods to Avoid

There is a long list of foods that should be avoided as they trigger the gastrointestinal tract to exacerbate and prolong the duration of diarrhea. Some of these food items that should be avoided are below:

  • Milk and dairy products, except yogurts
  • Fried, fatty, and greasy foods
  • Any spices that can trigger the gut should be avoided it in your diet
  • Processed foods, most notably those with additive sugars and preservatives
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee, soda, or any caffeinated or carbonated drinks
  • Raw vegetables, onion, corn, and citrus fruits.


Last Words

Diarrhea often occurs for a shorter duration that resolves spontaneously or responds well to home treatments by modifying the diet, increasing fluid intake, and, if need be, some over-the-counter antidiarrheal drugs. If it does not resolve and you experience any dehydration symptoms, visit your healthcare provider. More importantly, sometimes, diarrhea may be associated with symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, bloody stools, and urge to defecate. In that case, it indicates some serious illness that requires immediate attention. Either way, you should consult a professional healthcare provider.

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