What To Do About Nutrition When You Have Diarrhea
Do stick with bland foods. One tried and true diet for diarrhea is the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Low in fiber, bland and starchy, these foods can help replace lost nutrients and firm your stools. According to the National Institute of Healths National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , you can also try boiled potatoes, crackers, or cooked carrots.
Do eat small meals. Too much food will stimulate your gastrointestinal tract to move even more, says Ganjhu, and possibly worsen the diarrhea. Eating five to six small meals, rather than three large ones, can give your intestines a chance to digest the food more easily.
Dont eat fried food. Prepare foods like beef, pork, chicken, fish, or turkey by baking or broiling, not frying, which can worsen diarrhea. Cooked eggs are okay, too, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Do eat when hunger strikes. Listen to your body and dont force yourself to eat, which can worsen symptoms. Trust your body to tell you when and how much it can tolerate, notes Ganjhu.
Dont eat fruits and vegetables that cause gas. Eating gassy food when you have diarrhea can increase intestinal gas and should be avoided. This includes fruits and vegetables, like prunes, berries, beans, peas, broccoli, corn, and green leafy vegetables, and sweet foods like cookies or cakes.
How Long Do A Stomach Virus Last For
Stomach flu is an infection in the intestines. It has an incubation period of 1 to 3 days, during which no symptoms occur. Once symptoms appear, they usually last for 1 to 2 days, although symptoms may linger for as long as 10 days. This can be especially true for older people.
Is Ginger Ale Good for stomach flu?
People with stomach flu can also consume ginger by taking ginger capsules, drinking ginger ale, or chewing a piece of ginger. Mint, such as peppermint, can also help to soothe an upset stomach and treat gas and bloating. It is most effective for an upset stomach when used as a tea.
How Can Diarrhea Be Prevented
Prevention of diarrhea depends on the underlying cause. If medications are causing a person to experience diarrhea, an alternative form or type of medication should be explored, especially when diarrhea is chronic. Some people who are malnourished or on bowel rest, may experience diarrhea for the first few days when starting to eat again because the bowel walls ability to function decreases when it is not used and resumes normal function slowly. Consult your physician to determine the underlying cause and treatment for your diarrhea, especially if there is any associated pain, blood, or distension.
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Best Food To Recover From Diarrhea
When patients attempt to recover from diarrhea, the first course of action is to switch to simple meals. For cases that arent serious or threatening, doctors recommend that food excessive in salt, fat, and oil are cut back.When medical professionals consider food thats beneficial for diarrhea, opinions vary regarding the incorporation of probiotics and other supplements into meals plans. A review published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology proposed that food with probiotics comprise a type of beneficial bacteria that may shorten the duration of diarrhoea.Todays post dives into a few common recommendations doctors make to patients trying to recover from diarrhea.
Flu Shots Prevent Stomach Flu
Myth. Seasonal flu or influenza virus can cause fever, body ache, and general misery, but it rarely causes diarrhea. Influenza is generally a disease of the airways and lungs. The sickness that some people call stomach flu can cause diarrhea, but that bug is different from influenza. Stomach flu is just a catch-all name for viral gastroenteritis, which is caused by many different germs.
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What Should You Eat After Having Diarrhea
The most important thing to do when suffering from diarrhea is drink lots of fluids or clear liquids. Your body has lost hydration and electrolytes are lost from the body, which can make you feel weak, fatigued, dizzy and cause leg cramps. Severe dehydration can lead to low blood pressure and even turn life-threatening if it leads to hypovolemic shock.
To replenish your body:
- Keep sipping an over-the-counter oral rehydration solution or electrolyte sports drink throughout the day.
- Aim to drink a cup of water after every loose bowel movement.
- Stick to clear liquids, like clear broths, vegetable soup and decaffeinated tea.
The BRAT diet
- Apple sauce
Bananas contain pectin that is beneficial for the digestive tract. Being a rich source of potassium, it also replenishes the body with potassium that is lost in diarrhea. One review article that analyzed several studies found that green banana pulp may reduce both diarrhea and constipation in children. Another study from 2016 found that consuming rice soups along with a rehydration solution was effective in reducing diarrhea in children.
To reap the maximum benefits of the BRAT diet, remember to maintain hydration by drinking lots of water and other fluids.
When To Call Your Doctor
If you have other concerns, dont hesitate to ask your doctor for advice and follow their instructions on what to eat and when after struggling with diarrhea.
If your diarrhea does not resolve within 48 hours, or you are feeling extremely weak with dry skin and sunken eyes, get medical help as soon as possible.
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Nutrition For Nausea Vomiting Or Diarrhea
Nutrition for nausea, vomiting or diarrhea consists of foods that are bland and gentle on the stomach. If you have nausea or vomiting, it may be hard to hold down food. Some foods may even make your symptoms worse. If you are experiencing diarrhea, the diet suggested below may help solidify your stools.
You may have heard of the BRAT diet which stands for Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. The BRAT diet was often recommended for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but is no longer because of how restrictive it is. Below are lists of foods to focus on and avoid when experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, but there are many more foods that can be included.
Symptoms To Watch For And When To Seek Help
As Ive mentioned throughout this article, severe dehydration is what doctors are most concerned about when it comes to stomach flu and food poisoning. Therefore, if youre unable to hold down any fluids, its recommended to see a doctor. Here are some other potential warning signs to watch for. These may indicate the need for medical attention:
- If youre pale or light-headed
- If theres blood in your stool or diarrhea
- If diarrhea lasts for more than a week
- If youre having severe abdominal pain
- If youre over 65, pregnant, or have diabetes
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are considered a high-risk case, its time to speak to your doctor. During your visit, the doctor will probably ask for your medical history, do a physical exam, and take stool and blood tests. These will all help provide a diagnosis and determine if additional treatment is needed.
One additional red flag to know about is if youve recently been hospitalized or have used antibiotics in the last 3-6 months. If so, and you experience any of the concerning symptoms, you could have a C. diff bacterial infection.
This infection can develop after taking antibiotics and can cause severe abdominal pain, profuse diarrhea, fever, nausea, among other severe symptoms. Therefore, its worth talking to your doctor if any of these symptoms or indicators sound familiar.
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What You Should Eat During And After Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a powerful line of defense against bacterial infections.
However, they can sometimes cause side effects, such as diarrhea and liver damage.
Some foods can reduce these side effects, while others may make them worse.
This article explains what you should and shouldnt eat during and after antibiotics.
Role Of The Brat Diet
If have experienced chronic diarrhea, you have probably been advised to try the BRAT diet. This stands for: Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast.
These foods slow down the intestines and decrease how often you have bowel movements. The BRAT Diet is not very nutritious and should not be used for a long period of time.
As a starting point, here are some extreme diet changes that are not recommended:
- Do not avoid all fiber,
- Do not limit your diet to only liquids,
- Do not cut out all liquids , and
- Do not exclude foods with sodium and potassium. These are important electrolytes that can become low when you have diarrhea.
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Ways To Treat Diarrhea
Look for liquids with sugar and salt Pedialyte or full-salt soups work well,” he says. “If your urine is not clear, or you are not making much urine, you are not drinking enough.”
In terms of diarrhea treatment, Higgins says, if you dont have an infection and are not seeing blood, you can take over-the-counter loperamide to slow your bowel movements. But this kind of medication should only be taken for a day or two.
If diet and simple remedies aren’t working, and if symptoms persist for more than a few days and include bleeding, gas, and bloating, you should see a doctor. Your doctor can determine whether the diarrhea is caused by a more serious condition, and can recommend treatment.
Additional reporting by María Villaseñor.
What To Eat And What To Avoid When You Have Diarrhea
Some foods can make diarrhea worse, and others can keep you nourished while you’re getting better. Learn what to eat and drink to get through a bout of diarrhea.
Occasional diarrhea is nothing to worry about. The causes of diarrhea can range from a stomach flu to a specific meal or ingredient you ate that didnt sit well. Because certain foods can worsen symptoms, it’s good to know the foods you should eat when you have diarrhea and what you should avoid.
You want to eat plain, simple foods, especially in the first 24 hours, says Peter Higgins, MD, PhD, the director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
It is best to eat thicker, bland foods, including oatmeal, bananas, plain rice, and applesauce, he says.
Other bland foods that are easy to stomach include:
- Boiled potatoes
- Plain crackers, such as saltines
- Baked chicken without any skin or fat
A review published in November 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology suggested that foods with probiotics often called good bacteria may shorten the duration of a bout of diarrhea. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, probiotics work by releasing “chemicals which break down the damaging toxins produced by unhealthy bacteria causing illnesses such as diarrhea.”
Probiotics have become very popular and are found in a number of foods, including:
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Should You Eat Fiber After You’ve Had Diarrhea
You may have heard you should avoid fiber when you have diarrhea. This is not necessarily true.
There are two different types of fiber:
- Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water. It ferments readily in the colon. This type of fiber can be prebiotic. This means it acts as food for healthy bacteria in the stomach. It also delays the speed at which stools pass through and exit the body.
- Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in the body. Instead, it absorbs water as it passes through the digestive tract. This softens and loosens stools.
When recovering from diarrhea, focus on foods with soluble fiber, like oatmeal. This will help the good bacteria in your intestines recover while building more solid stools.
How Soon Can I Eat And Drink After Vomiting And/or Diarrhea
Other than drinking to stay hydrated, there are no hard and fast rules about when and what to eat after food poisoning or stomach bug symptoms have subsided. Its more about what you can tolerate. Every patient reacts differently to foodor to the idea of eating again. Its natural to temporarily lose your appetite when experiencing the stomach flu or food poisoning. Whenever your appetite does return, you can go back to eating, even if you still have diarrhea. Most medical experts do not recommend fasting or following a restricted diet when you have diarrhea. This is to help your body restore its energy and to regain its lost fluids, nutrients and electrolytes. Your gage will be how well you tolerate food.
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When To See Your Doctor
While many cases of diarrhea can be treated at home with OTC remedies, rest, and a temporarily restricted diet, if it lasts long enough you should consult your doctor. Call your doctor if your diarrhea lasts more than 2 days without improvement or if you get dehydrated.
If you get dehydrated or have other symptoms, you may need to go to the emergency room to get prompt treatment.
Other symptoms to watch for include black or bloody stools, severe abdominal pain, or a fever of 102°F or higher. You can call your doctor and ask what you should do if you experience any of these symptoms.
If your child has diarrhea, call their pediatrician and ask whether you should take them to the emergency room if they:
- dont improve after 24 hours
- havent had a wet diaper in three or more hours
- have a fever of 102°F or higher
- have a dry mouth or tongue
- cry without tears
- have skin that doesnt flatten if pinched and released
- have a sunken appearance to the abdomen, cheeks, or eyes
Foods To Eat When You Have Diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, the foods that you eat and the foods that you avoid can be critical to helping you recover quicker. This is where BRAT foods come in.
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, apples, toast. These foods are bland, so they wont aggravate the digestive system. Theyre also binding, so they help firm up stool.
Other foods that are included in the BRAT diet include:
- cooked cereal, like Cream of Wheat or farina
- soda crackers
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When To Seek Medical Treatment For Diarrhea:
- Yellow urine
- Less urine than usual
If your diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, Mundkur says you may experience severe diarrhea, fever, and bloody stools however, antibiotics can help treat the infection if its bacterial.
On the other hand, persistent blood in your stools could also be an indication of something more serious. Sometimes colon cancer can cause diarrhea and blood in the stool, so it is important to talk to your primary care physician about whether you need a colonoscopy, says Mundkur.
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What Other Guidelines Should I Follow
- Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquids than usual to prevent dehydration. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to drink an oral rehydration solution . An ORS helps replace fluids and electrolytes that you lose when you have diarrhea.
- Eat small meals or snacks every 3 to 4 hours instead of large meals. Continue eating even if you still have diarrhea. Your diarrhea will continue for a few days but should gradually go away.
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Which Foods And Liquids May I Eat And Drink
Most people can tolerate the foods and liquids listed below. If any of them make your symptoms worse, stop eating or drinking them until you feel better. If you are lactose intolerant, avoid milk products.
- Skim or low-fat milk or evaporated milk
- Soy milk or buttermilk
- Low-fat, part-skim, and aged cheese
- Yogurt, low-fat ice cream, or sherbert
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What Not To Drink After Diarrhea Stops
It is essential to keep track of fluids to avoid as well just after your diarrhea stops.
Avoid these fluids, and youll be okay to recover faster:
If you keep track of these essentials just after youve overcome diarrhea, we believe you will recover faster than you would if you kept consuming everything thats not healthy for you at this stage.
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Signs That Patients Require Further Medical Attention
If patients are still suffering from diarrhea following the recommended changes to their diet, it is recommended that they seek medical attention promptly to exclude other causes. If diarrhea lasts longer than three days, results in dehydration or presents other serious symptoms, patients will need further treatment and medication.Other symptoms include black or bloody stools, severe abdominal pain, and high fever. In the scenario where a child is experiencing this condition, parents of the patient need to be mindful of the following signs:
- Hasnt had a wet diaper in a couple of hours
- High fever
- A dry mouth or tongue
- Sunken appearance
- Skin that doesnt flatten if pinched or squeezed
- Black or bloody stools