Things To Eat When You Have Diarrhea And Vomiting – Although it’s not a fun topic to talk about, everyone suffers from stomach problems from time to time. One of the most common digestive problems is diarrhea, which is loose, watery stools often accompanied by frequent and urgent toilet needs.
A typical bout of diarrhea lasts only a few days and goes away on its own without treatment.
Things To Eat When You Have Diarrhea And Vomiting
“But severe diarrhea, diarrhea that lasts more than a few days, or prolonged diarrhea are all reasons to see a doctor, because it could indicate something more serious,” said Stephen Bixton, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of the center. Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond.
What To Eat And What To Avoid When You Have Diarrhea
It’s also important to remember that treating diarrhea in adults, especially medication, may be different than treating diarrhea in children, so always consult your pediatrician before giving your child any medication.
When you have diarrhea, your body loses large amounts of fluid and salt, making dehydration a major problem. Frequent loose and watery stools can cause fluid loss quickly.
When dealing with bouts of diarrhea, you should keep your diet light. It’s important to eat as much as possible, although you may find it best to drink only clear liquids for the first 24 hours. Then you can gradually add lighter foods to your diet. Some light foods include bananas, rice, applesauce and toast – also known as the BRAT diet.
Research shows that there isn’t much evidence to support the benefits of following this diet, but it probably won’t hurt. While bananas may be good for adults, they are not recommended for children who have vomited. Biscuits and mash – without butter – can provide a good option for adults and children.
What To Eat When You Have Diarrhea Diet Home Remedies
It is best to avoid greasy, fatty and fried foods, as these can aggravate your symptoms. You’ll want to stay away from any gas-producing foods and drinks that can cause stomach cramps along with diarrhea. These include beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, avocados and fizzy drinks.
If the diarrhea lasts more than a few days, you may need to review the food you eat, as certain foods can irritate your intestines and make the diarrhea worse. These include high-fiber foods such as bran, whole grains, and brown rice, as well as fatty and highly processed foods, dairy products (including yogurt), and highly sweetened foods. Foods sweetened with sorbitol can also worsen diarrhea, Bickston said.
Diarrhea that lasts more than two weeks should prompt you to see your doctor. They can check for infections, food intolerances, and more serious illnesses. You may be tested for food allergies or conditions such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Do not try to eliminate these foods from your diet on your own without talking to your doctor, as this may change your test results.
In most cases, over-the-counter medications can sometimes help prevent diarrhea—especially traveler’s diarrhea, which can occur after consuming contaminated food or water abroad. Over-the-counter medications include Imodium (loperamide) and Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate). “These drugs have the great advantage that they are practical for occasional use and do not require a doctor’s prescription,” Bixton said, adding that they should not be used for more than two days.
Foods That Help Fight Diarrhea
One thing to keep in mind is that if you take medications for traveler’s diarrhea, they may make you feel better quickly, but they may keep any bacteria, parasites, or viruses in your system for a long time. In most cases, diarrhea goes away on its own within a few days. If diarrhea persists, consult your doctor.
Some preliminary research suggests that probiotics, or live bacteria and yeast that occur naturally in the body, may be beneficial.
But the American Gastroenterological Association warns that more research is needed to better understand the true effect of probiotics on digestive symptoms and advises against consuming them.
In addition to riding the hormonal roller coaster and dealing with uncomfortable cramps, many women experience diarrhea during menstruation.
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While antibiotics fight infection, they also kill the good bacteria in your gut. When this happens, diarrhea can result. A white circle with a black border surrounds an upward-facing chevron. It means “Click here to return to the top of the page”.
Foods To Eat After Diarrhea
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This article was written by Jason R., a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. McKnight, MD, was clinically reviewed by MS.
Diet For Diarrhea, What Can I Eat?
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If you have diarrhea, be sure to eat light meals like soup and biscuits. Stephanie Starr/IEM/Getty Images
If you have diarrhea, food is probably the last thing on your mind. However, staying hydrated and getting adequate nutrition during diarrhea is important, says Deepti Mundkur, MD, a primary care physician with her own practice in San Diego. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dehydration is the biggest risk factor for diarrhea.
Certain foods can cause an upset stomach, so it’s important to avoid foods that are prone to upset stomachs. Cooked vegetables, low-fiber starches, lean chicken, biscuits, soups and eggs are recommended foods for people with diarrhea, Mundkur said.
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On the other hand, foods to avoid include spicy foods, sugary foods, dairy products, and foods high in fat. Foods that cause gas should also be avoided.
You may have heard of the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, which is a traditional remedy for diarrhea. This is not a diet that you should follow long term, but it may help in the short term.
Here are some foods you should eat when you have diarrhea to help ease symptoms and speed your recovery.
Fiber is an important nutrient for adding bulk to stool and maintaining regularity, but a low-fiber diet is recommended when you have diarrhea because it can ease digestion and reduce the frequency of bowel movements. Mundkur says cooking rice, noodles, wheat or oats can help, especially if you have watery stools.
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Raw vegetables can be difficult to digest and cause discomfort such as gas and bloating, so cooked vegetables are more likely to irritate your system when you have diarrhea. Mundkur recommends choosing cooked vegetables like green beans, potatoes and carrots.
Soups can help replenish fluid and nutrient levels, while crackers are helpful because they are often high in salt. Diarrhea can cause a significant loss of fluids and electrolytes (minerals such as sodium and potassium), so eating salty foods can help restore them.
Greasy foods are high in fat, which can make your diarrhea worse, so choose lean meats like skinless chicken or turkey. Mundkur advises roasting meat and eating it unseasoned, as spices and seasonings can burn out your system. You can season the meat with dried or fresh herbs like basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano or cilantro, says Mundkur.
Hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat if you have diarrhea. Choose preparations that do not contain a lot of butter, cheese, or seasonings, such as eggs poached with salt.
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The BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast was once prescribed to treat diarrhea, but the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders says it has long been insufficiently nutritious. However, these foods can be eaten when diarrhea occurs.
If you’ve lost your appetite, or have nausea or vomiting in addition to diarrhea, Mundkur says you can stick to liquids for a while until you can tolerate some food. Liquids are easier to digest and help prevent intestinal irritation.
These foods make diarrhea worse. Mundkur recommends consulting your doctor if you have chronic diarrhea (ie more than 1 month) about which foods may trigger the diarrhea.
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