Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Foods to eat to stop diarrhea

Foods that help stop diarrhea are those high in starches due to the fact that it helps binds the stool such as infant rice cereal, plain noodles, dry toast, pasta, cooked white potato. Some juices also help such as blueberry juice or carrot juice. Yogurt or bio yogurt in particular, contains the "gut-friendly" bacteria Lactobacillus which proved to be effective in stopping diarrhea. Pediatricians may also recommend acidophilus supplements, which are available from most vitamin stores. However, the most common foods given to patients suffering from diarrhea are bananas, rice, applesauce and toast and do your best to avoid the following foods when you are dealing with diarrhea.
1. Fatty Foods
Foods with a high fat content can speed up intestinal contractions and cause a reaction to a system that is already sensitized. Therefore, try not to eat anything that is greasy, fried, creamy, or covered in gravy.
2. Dairy Products
Even if you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance, it might be a good idea to avoid dairy products for a while after suffering from a bout of diarrhea. Diarrhea can cause a lessening of the amount of the enzyme lactase. Lactase is needed in order for the body to digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. If this “milk sugar” goes undigested, it can result in further symptoms of gas, bloating, nausea and diarrhea. Here are some common lactose-containing foods:
• Butter
• Cheese
• Ice cream
• Milk
• Yogurt
3. Sugar-free Foods
Some artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect, as well as contribute to gas and bloating. So until you are feeling better, it is best to avoid:
• Diet soda
• Sugar-free candy
• Sugar-free gum
• Sugar substitute packets for coffee and tea
4. Gas-Producing Foods
Certain vegetables have a well-documented reputation for increasing intestinal gas which could contribute to further diarrhea:
• Beans
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Onions
• Peas
5. Alcohol, Caffeine and Carbonated Beverages
For healthy individuals, beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, and carbonation do not generally cause diarrhea. However, each has the potential to be a GI irritant, and thus are probably best avoided until your system returns to normal.
6. Unsafe Foods
Whether you have diarrhea or not, you should always make sure that you only eat food that has been safely washed, prepared and stored. Foods that are not safely prepared and stored put you at risk for a serious gastrointestinal illness. Always observe good food hygiene:
• Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing or eating any food.
• Thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables.
• Clean food preparation surfaces with hot soapy water before and after use.
• Cook all foods to an internal temperature of 160 F.
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers immediately after eating.