Nutrition and Diarrhea

Who I am
Robert Maurer

Author and references


Diarrhea is a very common intestinal disorder.
It is more often considered a symptom than a disease, even if in itself it is capable of causing significant consequences for health.
Diarrhea is the loss of consistency of the stool, which becomes soft and watery. It is often accompanied by incontinence, bloating, flatulence, cramps and abdominal tension.
It can cause inflammation of the hemorrhoids and anorectal fissures.
There are different types of diarrhea (osmotic, secretory, malabsorption, etc.), which are triggered by very different causes (irritable bowel, infections, chronic diseases, diet, emotionality, etc.).
Based on the frequency, diarrhea can be classified into recurrent, acute and chronic.
Diet always plays a very important role in the prevention, onset and therapy of this malaise.
In this article, the foods and nutrients that can aid in the prevention and remission of the disorder will be treated in general.

Recommended Foods

Water and rehydration

In the presence of diarrhea, it is very important to prevent or correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances through adequate nutrition.
For the first 12-24 hours, in mild forms, a liquid diet is sufficient, which ensures the body the right water supply, for a total of 1,5-2,5 liters, essentially supplied by water at room temperature (avoid alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks, including fruit juices; tea is allowed, on the other hand, as long as it is diluted or better still decaffeinated).
In pediatric patients it is recommended to use specific preparations for oral rehydration therapy, enriched with mineral salts (chlorine, sodium and potassium) and available in common pharmacies.
While it may seem like a good idea, adults should avoid resorting to saline sports drinks marketed in the supermarket.
These, in fact, are generally hyperosmolar and particularly rich in sugar, so they tend to worsen diarrhea.

Dry and Easy Digestion Foods

After the first day, the diet can be enriched with foods that are easily digestible and low in waste (fiber), as long as they are unrelated to the categories seen in the previous article.
At first it is necessary to consume small and well distributed meals throughout the day; the various foods will be eaten slowly and chewed carefully.
Preference will be given to dry foods, such as biscuits and crackers, rice, pasta and toast; these foods can be accompanied by pureed apples, carrots or bananas; the protein sources, initially limited in quantity, must be low in fat and easily digestible (for example bresaola or lean steamed fish).

Yogurt and Probiotics

Although yogurt is often not recommended for the non-negligible content of lactose, commercial varieties without sugar and with live lactic ferments are particularly useful for restoring intestinal microbial flora disturbed by diarrhea.
Any integration with probiotics, such as enterogermin, must be previously discussed with your doctor.

Soluble Fiber and Bratty Diet

Although the diet for diarrhea must be low in fiber (no whole grains, fruit and vegetables), apples and carrots are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber which, thanks to its absorbent properties, is able to increase the consistency of the stool.
Bananas, on the other hand, are rich in resistant starch which, similar to pectin, is fermented by the intestinal bacterial flora and produces short-chain fatty acids which are very important for the good health of the intestinal mucosa.

Some of the foods listed in this article are part of a diarrhea diet called "BRAT on the BRATTY diet"stands for bananas (bananas), rice (rice), applesauce (apple puree), toast, tea and yogurt.
Although there is scientific evidence on the antidiarrheal properties of some foods or their components, the usefulness of this particular type of diet remains debated.

Recipe Against Diarrhea

Risotto with potatoes, lemon and parmesan against diarrhea

Take advantage of the beneficial properties of food to prepare tasty but at the same time balanced and functional recipes.
In the video, our personal cooker Alice shows in detail how to prepare a delicious dish - risotto with potatoes, lemon and parmesan - which can be particularly useful for fighting occasional diarrhea.

Rice with potatoes, lemon and parmesan - functional recipe against diarrhea and intestinal flu

Problems with playing the video? Reload the video from youtube.

  • Go to the Video Page
  • Go to the Video Recipes Section
  • Watch the video on youtube

Other articles on 'Nutrition and Diarrhea'

  1. Diet and diarrhea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Diarrhea: causes and treatment
  4. Dysentery
  5. Traveler's Diarrhea
  6. Chronic diarrhea
  7. Chronic Diarrhea: Types, Symptoms and Complications
  8. Chronic diarrhea: Diagnosis, Treatment, Diet
  9. Diarrhea and Antibiotics
  10. Probotics and Diarrhea
  11. Drugs That Cause Diarrhea
  12. Diarrhea - Drugs for the treatment of Diarrhea
  13. Herbal Teas Against Diarrhea
Audio Video Nutrition and Diarrhea
add a comment of Nutrition and Diarrhea
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.