Diarrhea is a common symptom of food poisoning, and it can also be caused by a virus or bacterial infection. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of diarrhea so that you can get treatment as soon as possible.
What Is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is the frequent passage of liquid or loose stools. It can be caused by many different things, including viruses like the norovirus (also known as Norwalk virus) or E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. It can also be a side effect of medications such as antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs.
Food Poisoning With Diarrhea
Food With Diarrhea
Whether your diarrhea is caused by allergies, food poisoning, a chronic condition like irritable bowel syndrome, or something else, diet and diarrhea are intricately linked.
Even if you have long-term conditions that affect the digestive system, the diet you eat can greatly affect your comfort levels.
When you’re experiencing an episode of diarrhea, there are certain foods that you can eat to help your digestive system get back on track. There are also certain foods that you should avoid.
0 seconds of 58 secondsVolume 0%
Foods to eat when you have diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, the foods that you eat and the foods that you avoid can be critical to helping you recover quicker. This is where BRAT foods come in.
BRAT stands for “bananas, rice, apples, toast.” These foods are bland, so they won’t aggravate the digestive system. They’re also binding, so they help firm up stool.
Other foods that are included in the BRAT diet include:
- cooked cereal, like Cream of Wheat or farina
- soda crackers
- applesauce and apple juice
Shop for Cream of Wheat online.
You also need to drink plenty of liquids so that you can stay hydrated and replace the fluids that you’re losing. Drink lots of water and suck on ice chips. Other liquids that you can try include:
- clear broths, like chicken broth or beef broth, with any grease removed
- electrolyte-enhanced water or coconut water with vitamins or electrolytes (try to avoid ones high in sugar)
- solutions like Pedialyte
- weak, decaffeinated tea
After you’ve started to recover, you can add in foods like scrambled eggs and cooked vegetables.
Foods to avoid when you have diarrhea
When you’re experiencing diarrhea or recovering from it, there are a large number of foods that you want to avoid. These foods can trigger the digestive system and exacerbate or prolong diarrhea.
Foods to avoid while experiencing diarrhea include:
- milk and dairy products (including milk-based protein drinks)
- fried, fatty, greasy foods
- spicy foods
- processed foods, especially those with additives
- pork and veal
- raw vegetables
- all citrus fruits
- other fruits, like pineapples, cherries, seeded berries, figs, currants, and grapes
- coffee, soda, and other caffeinated or carbonated drinks
- artificial sweeteners, including sorbitol
Treatments and remedies
Many cases of diarrhea are short-lived and respond well to home treatments such as a modified diet, heavy fluid intake, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. OTC treatments include anti-diarrheal medications like Pepto-Bismol, which can help stop or slow down diarrhea.
Shop for Pepto-Bismol online.
In some cases, diarrhea is caused by parasites or a bacterial infection, and it may need to be treated with antibiotics.
Taking probiotics as soon as possible after taking antibiotics can help prevent adverse reactions to antibiotics by introducing healthy bacteria back into the digestive system. This can also help prevent future cases of diarrhea.
Find probiotics online.
If the diarrhea is severe, you may need to be admitted to the hospital to receive intravenous fluids.
Trust your gut. Sign up for our IBD newsletter
Get weekly insights on ways to manage digestive conditions and boost your allover gut health.
Enter your emailSIGN UP NOWAlso sign up for our popular Heart Health newsletter
Your privacy is important to us
While many cases of diarrhea can be treated at home with OTC remedies, rest, and a temporarily restricted diet, if it lasts long enough you should consult your doctor. Call your doctor if your diarrhea lasts more than 2 days without improvement or if you get dehydrated.
If you get dehydrated or have other symptoms, you may need to go to the emergency room to get prompt treatment.
Other symptoms to watch for include black or bloody stools, severe abdominal pain, or a fever of 102°F (39°C) or higher. You can call your doctor and ask what you should do if you experience any of these symptoms.
If your child has diarrhea, call their pediatrician and ask whether you should take them to the emergency room if they:
- don’t improve after 24 hours
- haven’t had a wet diaper in three or more hours
- have a fever of 102°F (39°C) or higher
- have a dry mouth or tongue
- cry without tears
- have skin that doesn’t flatten if pinched and released
- have a sunken appearance to the abdomen, cheeks, or eyes
- have black or bloody stools
Your diet can both cause and treat diarrhea.
When you have diarrhea, get lots of rest, drink plenty of water, and start introducing BRAT foods after a few hours. After a day or two of bland, soft foods, you can start to add in foods like lean ground chicken and scrambled eggs.
Sticking to this diet can help you recover faster and feel better sooner, so you can get back to eating all the foods that you love as soon as possible.
can you eat eggs when you have diarrhea
Certain foods can make diarrhea worse. These foods include dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and ice cream.
Yes, in most individuals with diarrhea, eggs help slow down bowel movements and help the patient recover faster from diarrhea. Cooking them makes them easier to digest. So, a person can eat boiled eggs when they have diarrhea, provided they are not allergic to eggs. Now, if suffering from diarrhea due to a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and egg is the trigger food item, it may worsen the loose motions and cause the patient to get gassy. So, talk to the physician before eating eggs. Also, avoid having a fried egg due to its fat content (frying in oil, butter, etc.).
Cook the proteins also reduces the chances of Salmonella infection. Cooking the proteins makes them easier to digest and helps avoid the bloating and flatulence associated.
What foods to avoid when you have diarrhea
Certain foods can make diarrhea worse. These foods include
- Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and ice cream
- Alcoholic drinks
- Caffeine-containing products, such as coffee, black tea
- Fatty or oily foods
- Spicy foods
- Fruits with seeds, such as kiwi, strawberries
- Drinks and foods containing fructose
- Any eatable that contains sweeteners, such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol