Dealing with Diarrhea

Many things can cause diarrhea, including diet, medications, and medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. It is important to watch what you eat if you have diarrhea, since chronic diarrhea can cause serious dehydration. If you have diarrhea, drink at least eight to ten glasses of fluid every day. This will replace lost fluids. Water, juice (except prune juice), broth, ginger ale, sports drinks, Jell-O, and weak tea are all good sources of fluid.

If your diarrhea lasts more than two days, contact a physician. Although everyone responds differently to treatments for diarrhea, it may help to limit foods that contain caffeine such as coffee, strong tea, and cola beverages; avoid milk and milk products such as cheese, pudding, and ice cream, which can make diarrhea worse; reduce your intake of high-fat foods such as fried foods, fatty meats, high fat desserts, excess butter, margarine, higher fat milk products, and greasy snack foods; and curtail the amount of fiber you consume from fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, nuts, and seeds.

If eating too much produce has given you diarrhea, try removing the skins, seeds, and membranes from fruits and vegetables to make them easier to digest. You may also want to limit your intake of dried fruits, berries, rhubarb, legumes, lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, peas, corn, broccoli, spinach, and nuts, which exacerbate diarrhea in some people.

If you have gas or cramping, consider reducing your intake of the vegetables that increase the production of gas, including dried peas and beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and Brussels sprouts, as well as carbonated beverages, beer, and chewing gum.

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