When diarrhea has you running for the bathroom more than normal, life can be a real drag. The first step is to see your doctor to rule out any serious underlying condition. Next, you'll have to adjust your diet so that you avoid foods that can potentially worsen your condition. In addition, certain foods may help put an end to your misery.
Whole grains like oats, bran and barley may help treat your diarrhea because they are rich in fiber. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that fiber can be used to treat mild to moderate cases of diarrhea. One type of fiber, soluble fiber, attracts excess water in the intestines, which can help make your stool firmer. If your diet hasn't been high in fiber previously, don't increase your intake suddenly, as that can worsen your condition.
Fermented Milk and Yogurt
Yogurt contains good bacteria called probiotics, which promote digestive health. A study published in the "International Journal of Clinical Practice" in November 2000 looked at the effects of diarrhea in children who drank milk fermented with Lactobacillus casei cultures versus traditional yogurt without those cultures. Researchers found that diarrhea was significantly reduced in the group supplemented with 100 grams daily of the L. casei fermented milk. You can look for yogurt products in your local market that contain live and active cultures including L. casei.
Vegetable Juices and Broths
The University of Maryland Medical center recommends consuming vegetable juices, especially those made with carrot and celery, and clear broths or miso soup when experiencing loose stools. While these foods may not stop loose stools, they will help maintain fluid levels and electrolyte balance, which will prevent your condition from worsening and may promote a faster recovery.
There are some foods you should categorically avoid when experiencing diarrhea. Spicy foods and high-fat foods can make loose stools worse, regardless of cause. Depending on the cause of your diarrhea, milk products and high-fiber foods may also worsen your condition, which is why it's important to consult your doctor if your diarrhea doesn't resolve itself within a few days.
- Oncology Nutrition: Constipation, Diarrhea and Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Fiber
- International Journal of Clinical Practice: Multicentric Study Of The Effect Of Milk Fermented By Lactobacillus Casei On The Incidence Of Diarrhoea.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Diarrhea
- UW Health: Health Facts For You