What To Eat During Loose Motions: A Diet To Avoid Dehydration

When you have loose motions, the body needs as many nutrients as possible to stay in functioning condition, and recover from a loss fluids and nutrients. This is when eating the right kind of foods becomes really very important.

It is said that an average human being has diarrhea or an upset stomach at least twice a year. This included loose motion, stomach ache and in some cases even dehydration. During this period, the patient becomes weaker, has very little energy and needs as much rest as possible between the frequent visits to the washroom. In loose motion, the body becomes unable to absorb most of the water in the food and this water just gets expelled in the stool. This means the body has very little hydration. Hence, it is necessary for the patient to consume copious amounts of water. Without drinking enough water, the patient can soon become dehydrated which would just add to the complications. What the patient eats during this time should also be carefully monitored to ensure a speedy recovery. Foods rich in probiotics, apples, khichdi, oats are advisable for recovery. The diet of someone suffering from diarrhea should be low on spices, and only the most basic spices should be added. Hygiene is critical when preparing food for someone who is already battling a loose stool. Since dehydration is one of the most commonly occurring associated problems with diarrhea, it is important that small sips of water mixed with sugar and salt are consumed. Coconut water is also a very good way to make up for lost minerals in the body during diarrhea.

Some of the common causes of diarrhea are bacterial infection, eating poorly prepared food, intestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS), allergic reactions to certain types of foods, laxatives, medications, alcohol abuse, overactive thyroid, etc.

Foods to Eat in case of Loose Motions

Probiotics

Best Packaged Dahi To Review
Probiotics like Dahi can help soothe the stomach.

Probiotics can help soothe and cool down an upset stomach. The best and easiest source of probiotics is yogurt. It helps by releasing good bacteria into your gut which aid in digestion and easier bowel movements. People who don’t want to have dairy products can move towards none dairy probiotic foods like sauerkraut and miso.

Apples

An apple a day can also help keep the runs away. Apples are a good source of pectin which has a binding property. This helps in firming up the stool. The apples can be eaten as they are or can be consumed stewed.

 What To Eat During Loose Motions: A Diet To Avoid Dehydration
Pectin in apples helps reduce loose motion.

Bananas

health benefits of banana
The high potassium content in bananas helps in improving digestion.

Bananas are one of the most effective foods to eat during loose motions. Bananas are rich in Potassium which helps in getting your digestion back on track. The resistant starch present in bananas helps in the absorption of salt and water in the colon, resulting in firmer stool. 

Khichdi

 What To Eat During Loose Motions: A Diet To Avoid Dehydration
Khichdi is a simple and healthy meal that can be easily digested.

Moong dal khichdi can be your go-to meal whenever you’re down with diarrhea. It can strengthen your body while also giving it all the necessary nutrients. It can also be digested easily. The khichdi can also include white rice since it is easier to digest and can help make stool firm.

Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is great for digestion

Oatmeal is a very simple dish that anyone can make. It contains a fair amount of soluble fiber that helps the in the absorption of water in your gastrointestinal tract, adding firmness to the stool. This helps relieve loose motion. Oatmeal can also be made healthier by adding veggies instead of making it with milk.

Liquids

The body can become severely dehydrated during diarrhea since it’s capability to absorb water from food is greatly reduced. The minerals and electrolytes in the body are also severely depleted during this phase. This is why taking in enough liquids is very important during this period. Liquids here include-

  • water
  • electrolyte-enhanced water
  • coconut water
  • clear soup
  • fresh fruit juices
  • buttermilk

Potatoes

Starchy foods can help ease up loose motions. In this case, potatoes are the best choice since they are filled with starch. The potatoes can be consumed baked boiled or mashes along with very little salt and pepper. This will not only help you recover, but it also will provide the body with some much needed energy. It also provides the body with essential vitamin B6 and C.

Bland Foods

It is important for people suffering from diarrhea or loose motions to stick to consuming bland food items. This is just to avoid irritating the bowel even more than it already is. These foods would include-

  • Curd Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Plain rice

Foods to avoid During Loose Motions

Certain foods can irritate the digestive system further making the situation worse for you.

Fried Foods

Oils and fats can further irritate an already weak digestive system. Food items high in fats and oils will only worsen the situation. It is advisable for people suffering with an upset stomach to consume more boiled or steamed veggies or lean meats.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods usually contain a substance known as Capsaicin which can easily irritate the digestive tract. It irritates the lining of the stomach and the intestines. This irritation leads to the speeding up of the entire digestion process giving the body no time to absorb the water from the food you eat. This way spicy food can even cause diarrhea, so eating spicy food while already having diarrhea is absolutely the worst idea.

Food Rich in Insoluble Fibers

Fiber keeps the digestive system running. In case of an upset stomach, it is better to be consuming foods that slow down the digestive process just a little bit so that the body gets enough time to absorb the nutrients and the water. Insoluble fiber foods, in particular, should be avoided. These include-

  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains
  • baked goods
  • grain cereals

Street Food

Indians love street food, but the way this food is made may be concerning to some. Unhygienic cooking conditions, contaminated water, and raw materials are all contributing factors to diarrhea or food poisoning. Even if the snack or street food item is made at home, you may want to avoid it due to the high levels of spice in them. As your system heals and recovers, it is best to give it food that does not irritate the system, or add to further complications.

Other food items that may not be beneficial for persons suffering due to loose motions include-

  • Processed or packaged foods
  • Onion
  • citrus fruits
  • dairy products
  • fatty meats
  • raw vegetables
  • garlic
  • carbonated or fizzy drinks
  • alcohol
  • coffee
  • sugary drinks, especially ones with artificial sweeteners

Popular Home Remedies for Diarrhea

It is always best to seek medical help in cases of prolonged diarrhea. But, most Indian mothers have come up with home remedies that have seemed to work in most cases. Some of these include-

Curd Rice

It is bland and it provides energy. Curd rice does not further irritate the bowels, allowing it enough time to heal and get back to fighting form.

Oma Kashaya

Ajwain or carrom seeds are dry roasted till its aroma is released. These seeds are then boiled along with water for about 15-25 minutes to make the ajwain drink. Drinking about 50-100 milliliters every hour has been able help reduce the symptoms in most cases.

Black Tea

Yet another popular home remedy, it is believed that strong black tea can help relieve diarrhea. While this is not a proven method, it is popularly used, nonetheless.

The following changes are seen in children and adults suffering from diarrhea following which a doctor’s help must be sought-

CHILDRENADULTS
Diarrhea for more than 24 hoursDiarrhea for more than 3 days
Bloody and black stoolsBloody or black stool
No wet diapers in over 3 hours (in case of infants)Little to no urination
Skin doesn’t retract when pinchedDark urine
Sunken cheeks and eyesExtreme weakness and fatigue
Extreme sleepinessExcessive thirst
Dry mouth and tongueDry skin, eyes, and mouth
No tears when cryingSevere abdominal pains
Fever of temperature over 102 FFever of temperature over 102 F

FAQ’s

  1. Can you eat eggs when you have diarrhea?

    You can eat eggs when you have diarrhea. However, try to eat only egg whites during this time. The egg should be well cooked, preferable boiled and not fried.

  2. Is it okay to eat peanut butter when you have diarrhea?

    Peanut butter has a lot of fat in it, so it is advisable to limit the consumption of peanut butter to maybe a teaspoon per meal.

  3. How long is too long for diarrhea?

    In children, diarrhea lasting for more than 24 hours should be checked upon by a trained medical professional. In adults, diarrhea lasting for more than 3 days should be followed up by a doctor. If the condition persists for more than 3-4 weeks, it could be indicative of an underlying gastrointestinal condition. This needs to be verified by a trained medical professional.

Many people believe diarrhea is just the body trying to flush out the toxins. This is not necessarily true. It is the immunity’s responsibility to fight toxins and unwanted intruders in the body. Diarrhea should always be taken seriously and a doctor must be consulted each time. The food items mentioned above are not a supplement to medication but are just helpers in the process of recovery.

Disclaimer

This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information before making any dietary changes.

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Comments

  1. Super article and so pertinent for our tummies !
    We moms used to call it a BRATY diet – bananas rice apple toast yogurt – for the babies ! But this article really puts things in better perspective. Thank you

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