Physicians and nurses have long encouraged patients with diarrhea to follow what is known as the BRAT diet. BRAT is an acronym for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast; all which frequently have the effect of “binding” loose and runny stools. In addition to these items, other foods may likewise help with diarrhea. Knowing the right foods to eat, in addition to the foods to avoid, will help manage the symptoms.
Foods to Eat to Stop Diarrhea
Rice is dull, quickly digested and also has a binding effect on the stool. Nevertheless, the fiber in brown and wild varieties of rice might really exacerbate diarrhea. The dietary objective during diarrhea is to eat foods that are bland and low in fiber, both of which are qualities of plain white rice.
Bananas might help ease diarrhea and associated symptoms. Bananas are a “binding” food, which indicates they help increase the form of the stool and help it to pass more slowly through the intestinal tracts. Bananas are also rich in potassium, a vital nutrient frequently depleted during bouts with diarrhea and vomiting.
The pectin included in applesauce helps bind the bowels, which could reduce diarrhea symptoms. Too, the natural sugar of applesauce helps to renew the energy lost during the disease. This food works well considering that it is mild and well-tolerated.
Toast can help to eliminate diarrhea by including bulk to the stool. Eaten plain, it is likewise a dull food that provides carbohydrates which might help with energy levels.
If diarrhea results from antibiotic use, probiotic yogurt may help reduce or avoid loose stools. Antibiotics reduce the number of useful bacteria and other bacteria in the intestinal tracts that help manage stools. Yogurt may help reestablish these bacteria, assisting to prevent this side effect. Dairy products may not sit well on all stomachs, so begin with a teaspoon or other small amount of yogurt to see if it is well tolerated prior to consuming a full serving.
Foods to Avoid
As essential as it is to understand what to eat when you have diarrhea, it is similarly important to understand what not to eat. Certain foods can take a trip through your intestines very quickly and aggravate your condition, or aggravate diarrhea in other ways.
Avoid these foods for diarrhea relief:
- Fatty foods. These include fried foods and foods that are oily or covered in gravy, which can make diarrhea even worse.
- Milk, butter, ice cream, and cheese. Even if your diarrhea isn’t really caused by lactose intolerance (problem processing the sugar lactose, discovered in dairy products), keep away from these foods during a bout with diarrhea. You might be momentarily sensitive to dairy products, even if you normally have no issue with them. Probiotic-rich yogurt may be the one exception to this rule.
- Alcohol and caffeine drinks. Actually, you should quit alcohol completely.
- Sorbitol and other sweetening agents. Some people find that sweetening agents have a laxative effect on their digestive system. If you have diarrhea, it’s best to avoid sugarless candy and gum, diet soft drinks, and sugar substitutes.
- Foods that cause excess gas. It’s important that you eat generous amounts of vegetables and fruits every day, states iytmed.com. Nevertheless, when diarrhea strikes, you wish to avoid choices that are most likely to increase digestive gas, such as cabbage, beans, broccoli, and cauliflower, till you’re feeling better.
- Foods that might be tainted. Keep away from foods that might have been mishandled, consisting of foods that have been out of the refrigerator for too long or poorly saved. Raw meat or fish can be bothersome, too. Follow the old expression, “when in doubt, throw it out,” and you may save yourself some stomach upset.
Other Diarrhea Strategies
One of the more serious complications of diarrhea is dehydration. When you have diarrhea for any length of time, take steps to avoid becoming dehydrated, Higgins says. “Look for liquids with sugar and salt,” he states. “Pedialyte or full-salt soups work well.”
To remain hydrated, you must consume enough liquid so that you make plenty of clear urine. “If your urine is not clear, or you are not making much urine, you are not drinking enough,” Higgins states.
In terms of diarrhea treatment, Higgins states, if you do not have an infection and are not seeing blood, you can take over the counter loperamide (such as Imodium, Kaopectate Caplet, and Maalox Anti-Diarrheal) to slow the bowel movements. This type of medication must only be taken for a day or more.
If diet and easy remedies do not work and if symptoms continue for more than a few days and include bleeding, gas, and bloating, you should see your doctor. Your doctor can identify whether your diarrhea is caused by a more serious condition, and can suggest treatment.