Opposed to constipation, diarrhea is, “a condition in which feces are discharged from the bowels frequently and in a liquidized form."(1) Usually, diarrhea is frequent and painful with watery, loose bowel movements.
What causes diarrhea?
- Some causes of diarrhea include bacteria from contaminated food and water (food poisoning),
- Viruses that cause illnesses like the flu,
- Parasites in food,
- Some antibiotics,
- Digestive problems,
- Diseases that affect the stomach, small intestine, or colon like Chrohn’s Disease,
- And problems with functions of the colon by diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
There are a few different ways you can identify your digestive problem. Though there may not be a cause to find if diarrhea lasts just two days.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
Some symptoms of diarrhea if it persists for longer include cramps or pain in the abdomen—the area between the chest and hips, an urgent need to use the bathroom, and loss of bowel control.
Diarrhea can become an annoying ordeal and could become a deadly issue if gone unchecked. There are seven types of diarrhea include acute, chronic, secretory, osmotic, pseudo, paradoxical, and exudative diarrhea.
By reading this article you will broaden your knowledge and possibly save your booty on future pain by the discomforting digestive disorder.
There are many things you can eat that can help relieve your diarrhea, but there are certain foods that can also make your digestive issues worse.
Below are a few foods that should be avoided as much as possible when dealing with diarrhea.
Foods to Avoid When Treating Diarrhea
1. Avoid Greasy and Fried Foods
Greasy, fried, and spicy are all food genres that should be removed from your diet when dealing with diarrhea. Though nutritionists have stated that it is healthiest to remove foods such as these completely from your diet for better overall health results.
These foods are usually high in fat, sodium, and are highly processed. Eating too much of these can cause your condition to worsen. Since greasy, fried, and spicy foods are full of complex sugars and it is actually harder for your digestive system to break these down.
2. Avoid Dairy Products
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) recommend staying clear from drinking milk-based products if you are lactose intolerant because it may aggravate diarrhea.
Lactose-free products are a healthy alternative that won’t be painful in the long run.
Some dairy products recommended by the AND are buttermilk, evaporated, skim, and low-fat milk, soy or almond milk, Yogurt with live active cultures in it like probiotics, powdered milk, and low-fat, part-skim, and aged cheese.
Most of these products are full of probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that helps the digestive system in its daily routine and battle against diarrhea.(2)
Avoid drinking whole, half-and-half milk, cream, sour cream, and whole milk ice cream. You can still get a healthy amount of calcium in other healthier products.
3. Avoid Foods That Cause Dehydration
High protein diets are known to cause dehydration, an example of this would be found in red meat like steak at a restaurant.
Eating fried foods while drinking alcohol at the bar also can lead to dehydration and create that nasty hangover in the morning. Aside from dehydration this cause also causes a strain on your digestive system and relay why you feel crappy in the morning after spending a night in the club.
If you have diarrhea you want to try to keep as hydrated as possible. With sudden vomiting, and loose stool your fluid levels can drop as well as your body weight creating a scary and dangerous scenario for the distant future.
4. Avoid Foods That Cause Intestinal Gas and Digestive Problems
No matter how helpful fiber can be, it can also become your downfall when dealing with diarrhea.
Foods rich in fiber can also cause excessive gas and make you bloat. Some of these include Brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, beets, and cabbage.
Digestive problems can affiliate with intestinal gas with certain foods you consume. Some of these include dairy products, beans, spicy foods, acidic foods like tomatoes, fatty, and fried foods, and artificial sweeteners.
5. Avoid Carbonated Beverages
When going through acute diarrhea you want to limit your beverages to mainly water, because constant bowel movements in a liquidized form can cause major dehydration.
Bubbly beverages such as Coke and Pepsi are known to cause dehydration almost as much as alcohol.
Carbonated beverages are filled with sugar, caffeine, empty calories, and deplete the body of its water.
6. Avoid Eating Big Meals
When your stomach is on the fritz it is actually harder for it to digest, especially when dealing with diarrhea.
When we eat out we are more than likely order twice the amount of food that we would eat at home. Whether you ordered a soda while you wait for the entrée or appetizer all these courses lead to your stomach stretching.(3)
And with more food comes more hassle for your digestive system. These big meals can actually take you longer to digest and might in turn cause your diarrhea to take longer to resolve.
7. Avoid Intake of Excessive Vitamins
High doses of vitamins can cause adverse effects.
Too much of anything can be bad. If you consume over 2,000 milligrams or, 33 times of DV, of vitamin C per day, can cause diarrhea or an upset stomach.
Most people don’t necessarily need multivitamins if they consume a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals.
Foods that Help Treat Diarrhea: Home Remedies for Diarrhea
1. Eat Foods Rich in Potassium
Too much potassium can actually cause intestinal problems and digestive issues.
A balance of the BRAT diet can help in aiding and preventing diarrhea in adults and small children. Since bananas are easier to pass through the digestive system.
A banana is rich in potassium and is a natural remedy when it comes to heartburn and acid indigestion.
2. Drink Healthy Fluids
Beverages such as water, broth, juice low in carbs and sugar, and Gatorade.
Though you want to stay clear of high fructose corn syrup, and sugar as much as possible. Drinking 10 8-ounce beverages high in potassium, electrolytes, and sodium will aid in replacing the nutrients that you lose with each trip to the restroom.(4)
It can be hard to maintain these levels when you are constantly expelling fluids, but staying hydrated with the recommended dose of 10 glasses of an 8 oz glass of water throughout the day can provide the right amount of fluids to keep hydrated and happy through this ordeal.
3. Eat Small Meals throughout the Day
Eating smaller meals throughout the day is actually recommended when your feeling healthy and clam.
Small meals with a snack every three to four hours will give your stomach time to digest, and with the limited amount of food it actually makes digesting easier.
Eating 3 to 4 small snacks and meals throughout the day are healthy and better for the stomach to pass food through the intestines and digestive system.
4. Eating Foods Rich in Fiber
There are many products that are rich in fiber. Some include grains and vegetables. When choosing grain foods rich in fiber you want to check the nutritional facts to make sure you are consuming less than 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Some grains you can choose from when dealing with diarrhea include bread, bagels, rolls, crackers, white or refined flour pasta, white rice, cream of wheat, and products made without added fiber.
When choosing your vegetables high in fiber such as broccoli and cauliflower you want to try to refrain from eating anything raw unless it is bananas, lettuce, or melons.
Some foods recommended by the AND to eat while treating diarrhea are fruit juice without pulp, ripe bananas, melons, canned soft fruits, well-cooked vegetables without skins or seeds, strained vegetable juice, and potatoes without the skin.
Though the skin of vegetables are the healthiest you want to avoid these because they may upset the stomach even more because they cause bloating and excessive gas.
Because of the fiber content you want to reduce these foods from your diet: broccoli, beets, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
5. Foods Rich in Antioxidants
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you do not use antioxidant supplements until there has been further clinical trials and testing with treating diarrhea.
The National Academy of Sciences in April 2000, reported that vitamin C, E, selenium, and carotenoids should come from the foods we eat instead of dietary supplements.(5)
With the data available currently it was found that high doses of antioxidants actually lead to health problems like diarrhea.
Some foods rich in antioxidants include cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, and Russet potatoes (but make sure the skin is removed).
6. Get Your Magnesium Levels Checked
Sometimes when you have nausea and abdominal cramping it is best to have your magnesium levels checked by your doctor.
High doses of magnesium from dietary supplements or medications can end up causing or resulting in diarrhea.
Some types of magnesium most commonly associated with causing diarrhea include magnesium carbonate, chloride, gluconate, and oxide.(6)
Avoiding fish high in magnesium such as salmon, and tuna, as well as uncooked red meats and fish, can aid in preventing diarrhea from occurring.
7. Eat Foods Rich in Zinc
The University of Toronto found that zinc is associated with reducing the duration and severity of diarrheal episodes and the likelihood of subsequent infections over the course of 2-3 months.(7)
Some common types of zinc salts used in family households are zinc sulfate, zinc acetate, and zinc gluconate.
These are generally accepted by both children and caregivers. Supplementing zinc benefits both children and adults with diarrhea because it is vital to the micronutrients essential for hydration, immune function, and transportation of electrolytes.
When traveling it is best to be aware of the foods you eat, because even though you don’t have diarrhea when you get there it might occur since your stomach is not used to that type of foods.(8)
Dealing with diarrhea can be rough, painful, and discomforting when you are spending your whole day resting on the potty.
But it doesn’t have to be. With these many types of foods, you can avoid worsening your condition and treating it with the foods discussed above.
What do you try in diarrhea? Did you ever try anything above? Please share your experience.