While it usually is not life-threatening, diarrhea (sometimes more politely called intestinal flu) is very uncomfortable, and everyone afflicted wants to cure it as quickly as possible. In many cases, this can be done by in changes to one’s diet.
Diarrhea is caused by various things to include some medications, treatments and infections. Often though, it is caused by food. This can be a food allergy, food infected with a bacteria (this is the cause in most food poisonings) or simply foods that upset the stomach.
Whatever the cause, once one has diarrhea, the following foods are prone to upset the stomach and should be avoided:
Fatty foods are some of the worst to eat since the speeded up intestinal contractions they cause further irritate an already sensitized system. Fried, greasy or creaming food should be avoided as much as possible.
Dairy products can cause problems for some people with diarrhea because they contain lactose. The symptoms of diarrhea often make this lactose hard to digest which in turn can make the symptoms worse. However, yogurt has positive effects that can outweigh the negative effects (to be examined later).
As well as contributing to gas and bloating, sugar-free foods often have a laxative effect that makes diarrhea worse.
Gas-producing foods, many of which are normally healthy, such as beans, broccoli, onions, peas and cauliflower also make diarrhea worse.
Alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages can also cause irritation and should be avoided.
While there are many foods to be avoided and it is generally not good to eat too much while suffering from diarrhea, one still needs to eat if the body is to recover. Here are foods that thought to be good for easing the symptoms:
Bananas are easy to digest and contain lots of potassium (which helps replace lost electrolytes) and inulin which aids in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. They also contain pectin which aids in the absorption of liquids and keeps the stool moving smoothly.
Applesauce is also rich in pectin. Since the apples have been cooked, they are much easier on the digestive system.
White rice and mashed potatoes, without butter, provide low in fiber starches that are easily digested.
While whole grain products are normally healthy, they are not good when one has diarrhea. Processed foods, which do not have the tough outer husks, are easier to digest and thus beneficial. These include foods like white toast and crackers (which have the added benefit of sodium).
While it is generally good to avoid dairy products, yogurt is an exception. It contains cultures that help establish a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Steamed white meat chicken is a good source for proteins and nutrients since it can be easily digested by the body while blueberries help reduce inflammation.
For a drink, tea, particularly peppermint and chamonmile tea have positive effects to include reducing intestinal gas and calming intestinal spasms.
Avoiding the wrong foods and eating the right ones in smaller quantities but at more frequent intervals, can relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and make recovery
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