Diarrhea what to eat

5 Remedies That Can Help Settle Your Upset Stomach

No one likes an upset stomach. It can ruin your day or at least make you feel crummy. So, how do you fix it? We’re sharing five remedies to settle your upset stomach and take you from feeling bad to feeling great.

Eat Something Bland.

An upset stomach often occurs when you’re sick. While doctors no longer recommend exclusively eating bland food while you’re feeling ill, eating a few bland foods throughout the day might help ease your troubled tummy. Try lightly salted crackers, unbuttered popcorn, bananas or plain rice to help give your upset stomach time to recover. Remember, please consult your doctor if your symptoms become irregular or last longer than two days.

Take Some Pepto Bismol.

When an upset stomach is caused by eating or drinking too much or accompanies diarrhea, it’s Pepto Bismol to the rescue! Our favorite remedy is also a quick way to fix your tummy woes. Pepto Bismol soothes your discomfort with proteins that enhance the viscosity of the protective layer in the upper gastrointestinal tract to help you feel better.

Drink a Fizzy Beverage.

Many people have fond memories of sipping on a ginger ale or Sprite while home sick. Although there is no medical benefit to enjoying a fizzy beverage, it can often provide immediate (and temporary) relief of your upset stomach.

Go to the Bathroom.

If your stomach is feeling queasy, a simple and immediate solution is to go to the bathroom. Often, that’s all you need to do to feel some relief. If you find yourself visiting the bathroom more than usual, remember to stay hydrated and take some Pepto.

Wait It Out.

Sometimes, an upset stomach can settle itself — you just need to give it time. Distract yourself by watching your favorite show or diving into a good book. Soon, you’ll feel better and be ready to get back to your day. If not, try one of the remedies above for a quicker solution.

Thankfully, an upset stomach isn’t forever. Choose a remedy that makes sense for you and your circumstances, and chances are you’ll be back to normal in no time.

Exactly What to Eat When You Have Diarrhea, According to a Gastroenterologist

We all know that diarrhea can strike at the absolute worst of times—like on days when you have a big meeting at work, when you’re going on a date, or when you’re supposed to meet your friends at a concert.

Sure, diarrhea can be a sign of something more serious (if it lasts more than a few days or if you see blood in your stool, get that checked out ASAP). But most of the time, diarrhea isn’t a huge deal and is just a normal part of, you know, being a human being.

Still, when it does happen, you might find yourself wondering how you can stop your diarrhea as fast as possible. Turns out, your diet can either help relieve or worsen your diarrhea. Health spoke with an expert to find out what you should—and definitely shouldn’t—eat when you have diarrhea.

RELATED: 10 Things That Can Cause Diarrhea

What foods to eat when you have diarrhea

The BRAT diet might be beneficial if you’re having excessive diarrhea, Rabia De Latour, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, tells Health. BRAT stands for: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. It’s often recommended for little kids who are having a hard time keeping their food down.

These foods are easy on the stomach, and bananas in particular might be especially beneficial because they’re rich in potassium, which you might need more of if you’re having excessive diarrhea. (FYI: Potassium is an electrolyte, and electrolytes help regulate how your cells work to keep your body functioning normally). Not a fan of bananas? Potatoes, cooked broccoli, and cooked spinach also have tons of potassium.

You should also be thinking about what you’re drinking when you have diarrhea, Dr. De Latour says. It’s crucial to stay hydrated because excessive diarrhea causes your body to lose water rapidly.

Starchy foods are also a good option since they they’re typically easier to digest. They can also help put an end to your diarrhea by “bulking up” your poop and adding firmness to it, says Dr. De Latour.

RELATED: Stomach Problems? Here’s What Your Symptoms Could Mean

What not to eat when you have diarrhea

First of all, avoid anything that your stomach has had a hard time with in the past. “People should avoid eating anything that previously gave them GI distress,” Dr. De Latour says. That means if you have previously experienced cramping after drinking milk, “you should avoid lactose-containing products if you are having diarrhea.”

Another big “don’t” for when you’re having diarrhea: huge meals. Smaller, more frequent meals are easier to digest than larger, less frequent meals, Dr. De Latour says.

It’s good to note what you should avoid and what might be helpful when you’re having diarrhea. But keep in mind that, unfortunately, diarrhea usually just has to run its course most of the time. Dr. De Latour says, “It’s hard to stop it. It’s just going to time.”

RELATED: 20 Reasons Why Your Stomach Hurts

Diarrhea can be a side effect of chemotherapy. If you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours, or if you have pain and cramping, call your doctor. Changes in your diet can help. Drink plenty of fluids that contain key chemicals and minerals so you don’t become dehydrated. Beverages with potassium in them, such as fruit juice and sports drinks, are especially good. Your doctor can prescribe medication if your diarrhea is very bad. Learn more about the causes of diarrhea and medicines that can help.

When and how to eat if you have diarrhea:

  • Try a clear liquid diet — water, weak tea, apple juice, clear broth, frozen pops, or plain gelatin — as soon as diarrhea starts or you feel it’s going to start. Clear liquids keep the bowels from working too hard and help prevent irritation.
  • Eat small, frequent meals. Your body may find smaller amounts easier to digest.
  • After 2 days of diarrhea, start a liquid diet and add low-fiber foods as you can tolerate them. This will help lessen bowel irritation and will give you some nutrients.
  • Drink at least a cup of liquid after each bout of diarrhea so you don’t become dehydrated.

What to eat if you have diarrhea:

  • Eat foods that are high in pectin, such as applesauce, bananas, and yogurt. Pectin, a water-soluble fiber, helps reduce diarrhea.
  • Eat foods that have a lot of potassium, such as fruit juices, sports drinks, potatoes without the skin, and bananas. Potassium is often lost through diarrhea.
  • Eat foods that are high in sodium, such as soups, broths, sports drinks, crackers, and pretzels. Salt helps you retain water so you don’t become dehydrated.
  • Get enough protein. Try lean baked beef, pork, turkey, or chicken, or well-cooked eggs or tofu. This can help you avoid fatigue.
  • If you like certain fruits and vegetables, eat them cooked, not raw. Some raw fruits and vegetables can make diarrhea worse. Try soups made with cooked asparagus tips, beets, carrots, peeled zucchini, mushrooms, or celery; tomato puree; or a baked potato without the skin.
  • Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic, or carbonated beverages and very hot or cold foods. They may irritate your digestive tract.
  • Avoid using tobacco products. They may irritate your digestive tract.
  • Avoid high-fat, fried, greasy, and rich foods. They can promote diarrhea.
  • Avoid foods that cause gas, such as chewing gum and carbonated beverages. They can irritate your digestive tract.
  • Limit milk and milk products. They may be hard to digest and promote diarrhea.
  • Avoid nuts, raw fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, and bran products. They can be irritating to your digestive tract.

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Last modified on May 8, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Diarrhea is the never fun, and the last thing you want to do is eat something to make it worse. So here’s a list of the best foods to avoid when you have diarrhea, and the best foods to eat.

So next time you’re looking for some relief, remember these tips for a diarrhea-friendly diet.

Hydration Is Major Key

Bess Pearson

The more water lost in your stool, the less you have in your body, and the greater your risk for dehydration. Dehydration will only make you feel worse, so drink up.

Stick to water, and/or small amounts of an electrolyte-containing beverages (but be careful with the later—too much of a sugary beverage can make diarrhea worse. Coconut water and maple water are good options).

And although bubbles may sound soothing, carbonation can actually make diarrhea worse, so stick avoid fizzy drinks until you’re back up to speed.

Space Out Your Food

Tara Botwinick

When diarrhea is an issue, eating several smaller meals, rather than big ones, is a smart move.

By giving your body more time to digest, you’re more likely to be able to handle your digestive load, and avoid making diarrhea worse.

Your Go-To Poo Crew

Katherine Baker

There are a few foods you should remember are best bets to eat when you have diarrhea.

The BRAT diet is often reccomended to patients with diarrhea, and includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, all of which are easy-to-digest. It’s also important to consume nutritious foods to replace the nutrients your body is not absorbing due to your diarrhea (it kicks the food out of your intestines before it can absorb enough of the good stuff).

Katherine Baker Foods rich in potassium (like bananas and potatoes), and foods rich in sodium (ie, anything salty), can help you regain a solid electrolyte balance, which may be off due to diarrhea.

Other diarrhea-friendly foods include oatmeal, cream of wheat, plain breads and pasta, clear broths, jellos, tofu, baked or boiled lean meats and eggs.

If you can’t stay away from fruits n’ veggies (I feel you), today is a good day to peel them (the skin often contains difficult-to-digest fibers) and/or cook them well to ease their digestive burden.Caty Schnack

Easier-to-digest fruits and veggies include romaine lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, bananas, papaya, avocado, and melons.

Otherwise, cook ’em good to avoid making your diarrhea worse.

Things to Avoid: FODMAPs and More

Sasha Kran

Try to avoid high-fiber foods, and foods high in FODMAPs. FODMAPs are fermentable oli- di- mono-saccharides and polyols, aka a bunch of natural sugars that are hard for you to digest.

For many, high FODMAP foods = gas and diarrhea. So sticking to lower FODMAP foods when you have the runs may be smart move.Katherine Baker Basically gluten, lactose (in dairy), sugar alcohols (sweeteners that end in -ol), and many fruits, veggies, and beans, are on the list. For a helpful list of high/low FODMAP foods, check outthis resource from Stanfordor this one from Harvard.

Spicy foods and caffeine can trigger diarrhea, so skip the Sriracha and coffee for now.

Kelsey Emery

Oh, and by all-means, do not get turnt today. Alcohol, particularly beer, is notorious for causing diarrhea.

Fatty foods can also bring on the runs, so avoid anything deep fried or super-rich. Artificial sweeteners can also be an issue, so forgo on diet drinks, foods, gum, and candy until your stool has solidified a bit.

Kendra Valkema

With a few simple tricks and tips, you can eat through your diarrhea safely, and avoid making matters worse.

“We tend not to want people to have salt in general, but when you’re having significant diarrhea, you want to make sure you’re getting salt and enough sugar to keep out of the emergency room,” Dr. Kirby says.

Over-the-counter rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte® will do the job, Dr. Kirby says. Or, follow Mom’s advice and have some chicken soup with saltine crackers or pretzels.

Doctor Mom has been doing it for generations and it still works. In this case, Mother really does know best.

The BRAT diet

Here’s another bit of good advice from Mom for treating diarrhea – eat the BRAT diet: bananas, rice (white), applesauce and toast.

When your health is good, physicians usually recommend whole-grain, high-fiber foods. But high-fiber foods could spell trouble when you have diarrhea. The BRAT foods are low-fiber and can help to make your stools firmer. Bananas also are high in potassium and help to replace nutrients your body has lost because of diarrhea.

Dr. Kirby says you also can add oatmeal, boiled or baked potatoes (peeled), or baked chicken with the skin removed.

“These are simple foods that people often tolerate very well,” Dr. Kirby says.


Another way to help your gut recover from a diarrheal infection is to consume probiotics — a food or dietary supplement that contains live bacteria, which replaces or adds to the beneficial bacteria usually found in the gastrointestinal tract.

While it’s wise to avoid dairy products when you have diarrhea, Dr. Kirby says, there’s one notable exception — yogurt or kefir, a fermented milk drink, that contain probiotics. These can restore the beneficial bacteria that your body flushes out with diarrhea. Just make sure the yogurt or kefir are low in sugar, as higher levels of sugar can potentially worsen symptoms or diarrheal losses (that’s water and electrolytes) in some patients.

It’s time to call the doctor when diarrhea lasts longer than a few days, Dr. Kirby says. Also see your physician if you experience severe pain or your stool contains significant amounts of blood or pus.

All of the suggestions listed in this article may not work for everyone, but if there is something you may not have tried in the past, you might want to experiment to see what is most helpful for you.

Managing Chronic Diarrhea with Diet

If you suffer from chronic diarrhea, you have probably been advised to try the BRAT diet. This stands for: Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast.
These food choices may help to prevent over-stimulation of the bowel, and slow down the frequency of bowel movements. However, the BRAT diet recommendations are boring, and hardly nutritionally adequate.
As a starting point, here are some extreme nutritional strategies that are not recommended:

  • Do not eliminate all fiber,
  • Do not limit your diet to only liquids,
  • Do not cut out all liquids (you can become dehydrated), and
  • Do not exclude foods with sodium and potassium. These are electrolytes, which can become depleted if you have diarrhea.

What to Expect

If you are trying to control the frequency of bowel movements, there are certain foods you may need to be cautious with. Sometimes it is the temperature of food, or portion eaten, that may increase the frequency of bowel movements.

If you have chronic diarrhea, it is a good idea to keep a food diary so that you can identify problem foods, difficult times of the day, and symptoms. The following foods may contribute to loose stools.

Foods that May Produce Loose Stools

  • Dried beans, corn, vegetables, and cabbage family vegetables are all high in fiber, which may worsen diarrhea
  • Fruits and juices contain fructose, which can worsen diarrhea
  • Caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee and tea can have a laxative effect
  • Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and liquor can worsen diarrhea
  • Fatty meats such as bacon, lunch meats, and heavily-marbled meats can worsen diarrhea
  • Fried foods, pastries, and chips are high in fat which can worsen diarrhea
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer, may exacerbate diarrhea
  • NutraSweet® may be a problem for some people
  • Large quantities of nuts or nut butters may worsen symptoms
  • Concentrated sweets can worsen symptoms
    • Dried fruits such as figs, dates, raisins, and prunes can have a laxative effect
    • Prune juice can exert a laxative effect
  • Sugar-free gums and mints contain the sugar alcohols sorbitol, mannitol, and/or xylitol, which can have a laxative effect
  • Real black licorice (not the candy) can have a laxative effect

In addition to food choices that may be bothersome, there are several supplements which may cause more frequent bowel movements, and worsen existing diarrhea.

Supplements that May Worsen Symptoms

  • 5-HTP
  • Acetyl L-carnitine
  • Activated charcoal
  • Bee pollen
  • Borage oil
  • Bovine colostrum
  • Cayenne
  • Chlorophyll
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Glucosamine
  • Guarana
  • Guar gum
  • Horse Chestnut seed
  • Kola Nut
  • Lactulose
  • Mate
  • Senna

Foods that May Help to Control Diarrhea

Increase fluids to prevent dehydration, but try to consume fluids between, not with, meals. (Liquids with a meal will speed up gastric emptying, potentially worsening diarrhea.)

Consume foods/beverages with sodium and potassium:

  • Broth (sodium)
  • Sports drinks (sodium and potassium)
  • Equalyte®, Pedialyte® (sodium and potassium)
  • Bananas (potassium) or banana flakes are a good way to boost potassium, and can be added to hot cereals
  • Nectars (potassium)
  • Boiled or mashed potatoes ( potassium)

Eat lower fiber foods:

  • Yogurt (unless you are lactose intolerant, in which case you may need to limit consumption)
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Cream of wheat
  • Grape juice
  • Smooth peanut butter, a small amount at a time
  • White bread
  • Lean meats
  • Cottage cheese
  • Canned fruits in small quantities
  • 1–2 Tbsp of vegetables at a time
  • Drink beverages at room temperature, not hot or cold

Supplements that May Help

  • Psyllium
  • Blackberry root bark (used as a tea)
  • Probiotics
  • Pectin

Although psyllium is often used as a bulking agent for those with constipation, it can be effective in slowing down your bowel movements so that you are not going to the bathroom quite so often. Blackberry root bark contains tannins, which can also help to slow the transit time of stool through the intestinal tract.
Other supplements that may be of benefit include probiotics and pectin. Probiotics may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea. They are most readily found in yogurt that contains Live Active Cultures such as lactobacillus acidophilus. Look for the term LAC on the label of yogurts in the dairy case – frozen yogurt does not contain LAC. If you are on antibiotics, you need to consume dairy products 2 to 3 hours apart from your medications.
Pectin is a form of fiber found in fruits and certain vegetables, and also sold in a powdered form in grocery stores in the aisle with pudding and gelatin. These are typically added to fruit to make preserves. To help with diarrhea, try mixing 1 tablespoon of the powder with ¼ cup of lemon water 20–30 minutes before a meal. Some of these powders are sweeter than others, so if you need to sweeten the mixture to get it down, it is fine to add a little sugar. The type of fiber in pectin may help to slow the emptying of the gut to decrease the urgency.
In addition to food choices, the number of meals is also important. Do try to eat smaller, more frequent meals through the day instead of large meals. Also, do try to rest after meals. Relaxing after eating can slow peristalsis, the rate at which food passes through the gut. Make it a point to sit for 20 to 30 minutes after a meal, or try to rearrange meal times so that you don’t need to get up and dash out as soon as your plate is empty.

The Bottom Line

To prevent complications that can result from frequent bowel movements, do try to do the following:

  • Identify which foods and fluids are bothersome to you
  • Drink enough fluids apart from meal times
  • Make sure you include foods with sodium and potassium daily
  • Eat less, more often
  • Sit after you eat

Remember, generalized dietary advice does not work for everyone. The influence of diet is unique to each individual. If you have questions about your symptoms and circumstances, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to help you identify dietary and/or other factors that might be impacting your symptoms.

Causes of diarrhea: foods and drinks

Foods & drinks

Everyone is different. What might trigger diarrhea for one person could be fine for another. With this in mind, here are some foods and drinks that may cause diarrhea:

  • Alcohol. Drinking alcohol can cause diarrhea in some people. This can happen with occasional or long-term use.
  • Fatty foods. These foods can worsen diarrhea, so it may be a good idea to avoid fatty foods such as meats with a high fat content.
  • Fiber-rich foods. Some foods high in fiber – like bran and fruits – can be hard to digest and cause diarrhea. Do not eliminate all fiber from your diet, but you might consider eating lower fiber foods such as rice, noodles, or white bread.
  • Excess fruits or vegetables. For some people, eating large amounts of certain fruits such as prunes, figs, dates and raisins can trigger diarrhea.
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, cream and other dairy products are known to cause diarrhea for some, especially for those with lactose intolerance. If you are lactose intolerant, consider LACTAID products or non-dairy alternatives.
  • Coffee and tea. Caffeine has been identified as a diarrhea trigger for many sufferers. Try to limit how much caffeine you drink.
  • Sweeteners. Certain sweeteners like sorbitol, xylitol, manitol and fructose – which you’ll find in some drinks and sweets – have been linked with causing diarrhea. Keep an eye out for these ingredients on the packaging.

How to spot your problem foods

If you have diarrhea, it might be caused by eating certain foods. You can try to identify your trigger foods by keeping a daily food diary – including when and how you eat it – so you’re able to connect this knowledge to your diarrhea symptoms.

Read our tips on how to manage your diet and eating habits

Why treat your diarrhea?

IMODIUM products contain an active ingredient called Loperamide, which works to help relieve diarrhea and restore the digestive system to its normal balance. Your diarrhea symptoms may resolve more quickly with IMODIUM products than they will by letting the diarrhea run its course. If symptoms persist for more than two days or get worse, consult your healthcare professional.

Tips for Managing Diarrhea

5 foods that help fight diarrhea – and 5 foods to stay away from

Chances are at some point in your life you’ve experienced diarrhea.

Just how common is it? Well, according to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation’s latest statistics, over-the-counter retail sales for diarrhea medications and remedies were $50 million in 2008 – nearly double what it was in 2003.

Diarrhea is unpleasant, to say the least, but it’s a digestive problem that can be helped by tweaking your diet.

READ MORE: 5 tasty foods that help fight inflammation

“First, it’s important to address the underlying cause of the loose bowel movements,” Andrea D’Ambrosio, registered dietitian with Dietetic Directions and spokesperson with Dietitians of Canada, says. “For example, some people are sensitive to certain types of foods like lactose or gluten and may experience loose bowels from consumption. However, others experience ‘acute’ or short-term diarrhea when taking certain medications or undergoing cancer treatment, surgery or even a very anxiety-producing situation.”

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So if relief from diarrhea is what you’re looking for, D’Ambrosio offers up a list of five foods that can help with diarrhea management, as well as five foods to steer clear of.

Foods that help

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an example of a food containing soluble fibre and may be helpful in managing diarrhea, D’Ambrosio says.

“Soluble fibre is a type of fibre that works by attracting water and turns it into a gel during digestion,” she explains. “This slows the digestion process and can help adding bulk to bowel movements.”

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2. Psyllium husks

Another type of soluble fibre, psyllium husks can also help with diarrhea.

“It is imperative to increase water with soluble fibre to ensure that you don’t alternate to constipation since the fibre needs water to absorb to move through the digestive tract,” D’Ambrosio explains.

3. White rice

White rice is a common food that is generally well tolerated for those with diarrhea.

“The reason is because it is low fibre, which helps in not promoting bowel movements,” she says. “This allows the bowels to form instead of promoting them to move.”

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READ MORE: 7 foods that will keep your bones healthy

For example, brown rice would be higher in insoluble fibre, D’Ambrosio points out, which helps food pass more quickly through the stomach.

4. Bananas

One serving of banana is actually half a banana, D’Ambrosio explains, and they are a good source of soluble fibre.

“However, it is important to address the underlying cause of the diarrhea,” she says. “For example, if an individual has fructose malabsorption, consuming a whole banana or an over-ripe banana could worsen diarrhea.”

Bananas are also a great source of potassium, she says, which is an electrolyte that needs to get replaced when you’re dealing with loose bowel movements.

5. Broth-based soups

These types of soups are helpful for replenishing the losses of salt and potassium from loose bowels, D’Ambrosio says.

“They are generally well-tolerated by the body and can help in maintaining electrolyte balance which can shift with changes in hydration and output of liquid.”

Foods that may not help

1. Fatty or greasy foods

For some people, greasy foods worsen diarrhea, D’Ambrosio says.

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Avoid fried foods, or foods high in fat like bacon, sausage, pizza and pastries which may worsen symptoms.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine acts as a bowel stimulant and may aggravate diarrhea in some, she says.

3. Milk

If someone has underlying lactose intolerance, they will need to determine how much they are able to tolerate without symptoms, D’Ambrosio says.

“For many with lactose intolerance, yogurt and cheese are easier to tolerate because they have lower amount of lactose.”

4. Sorbitol or sugar-free foods

“If an individual has sugar-free candies or gums or certain ‘diet products,’ the sorbitol or xylitol ingredients can act as laxatives and can worsen diarrhea,” according to D’Ambrosio.

5. Bran

If you have diarrhea, you will want to minimize the amount of insoluble fibre, which adds bulk to the stools and promotes movement, D’Ambrosio says.

When to see your doctor

“It is important to note these foods will not cause diarrhea for every individual,” D’Ambrosio warns. “Which is why it’s important to address with your doctor how often you have been experiencing loose bows and when it occurs.”

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It’s especially important to address with your doctor if the diarrhea is happening on a regular basis, she adds.

“It is important to discover the underlying cause for your diarrhea and to know that each individual may have different triggers and foods that help.”

If left untreated, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and possibly malnutrition, D’Ambrosio says.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Nutrition Tips for Managing Diarrhea

Diarrhea has many causes that include radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, infections, or certain medications. Bouts of diarrhea can be brief or persist for long periods of time. Diarrhea occurs when foods and liquids pass through your body too quickly. This prevents the proper absorption of enough nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water. It is important to manage diarrhea to prevent dehydration and malnutrition. Follow these tips to manage diarrhea:

Contact your healthcare team for advice managing diarrhea.

  • If you have sudden diarrhea, have diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or are experiencing pain, cramping, or blood in your stools, call your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Take medications or supplements only if they are recommended by your healthcare team.
  • Always ask your healthcare team first before taking anti-diarrhea medications.
  • Always talk to your healthcare team or a dietitian before taking any supplements.

Stay hydrated to replace fluid losses.

  • Be sure to drink plenty of clear liquids (water, ginger ale, sports drinks, or electrolyte replacement drinks) for 12 to 24 hours after a sudden bout of diarrhea.
  • Make a homemade electrolyte replacement drink by mixing the following ingredients: ¼ teaspoons salt, 8 teaspoons sugar, 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, and 4 cups water.
  • Let carbonated drinks lose their fizz before you drink them.
  • Drinking clear liquids helps the bowels rest and replaces lost fluids.
  • Healthy people need a minimum of 8 cups of liquid per day. You may require more to replace fluids lost with diarrhea.

Eat 5 or 6 small meals per day instead of 3 larger meals.

  • Eating smaller meals may put less stress on your bowels and will make it easier for your body to digest food.

Choose foods and drinks carefully.

  • Very cold foods and very hot foods can make diarrhea worse.
  • If your diarrhea gets worse after eating a certain food, stop eating that food until you recover.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that can make your diarrhea worse. High- fiber foods, raw fruits and vegetables, full-fat dairy products, foods and drinks that contain caffeine, and spicy or high-fat foods can make diarrhea worse.
  • Choose foods that help manage diarrhea, like white rice, puffed rice cereal or other low-fiber grains, soft fruits like bananas and applesauce, cooked soft vegetables, and low-fat meats and dairy products.

Avoid foods and drinks that can make your diarrhea worse. Choose foods that help manage diarrhea.

Use this chart to know which foods to choose and avoid.

Food Group



Grains High fiber, whole grain foods (bran, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasts, whole grain cereals, whole grain crackers, and brown rice) Enriched grains that contain less than 2 grams of fiber per serving (white rice, cream of wheat, puffed rice cereal or corn flakes, white bread or toast, white pastas, and white crackers)
Fruits Raw fruits with skinsDried fruit

Juices with pulp, prune juice, apple juice

Canned fruit in heavy syrup

Soft fruits without skins (ripe bananas, melons, applesauce)Pulp-free 100% fruit juice

Soft canned fruit it its own juice

Vegetables Raw vegetablesVegetables with skins and seeds

Gas-forming vegetables (corn, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, and peas)

Well-cooked, soft vegetables without seeds or skins Mashed potatoes without skin

Strained vegetable juice


Dairy Full-fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, sour cream, ice cream, and cheese) Low fat and/or lactose-free dairy products (buttermilk, skim and low- fat milk, lactose-free milk, soy milk, yogurt with live active cultures, and low fat (2%) aged cheese)
Proteins Spicy and high fat meats (fried meats or fried fish, bologna, salami, bacon, and hot dogs)Nuts, seeds, and chunky nut butters Low fat meatsCooked tender meats



Soy foods

Smooth peanut butter

Beverages Caffeinated or sugary drinks (coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, alcohol, and drinks that contain sugar alcohols like xylitol or sorbitol) Caffeine-free drinks (water, decaf coffee, decaf tea, sports drinks, and electrolyte replacement drinks)
Other Fried, greasy foodsSweets and desserts

Spicy foods (pepper, strong spices, hot sauce)

Foods and drinks made with sugar alcohols (Sugar alcohols include xylitol and sorbitol and are found in many sugar-free products like candies, gums, and snack bars. Read ingredient lists to look for sugar alcohols.)

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