Treating Diarrhea Effectively With Specific Foods
Diarrhea is a fairly common condition that occurs due to various reasons. Contaminated food and water may contain many types of bacteria that can give rise to diarrhea. Viral infections such as rotavirus, viral hepatitis and herpes simplex virus can also cause diarrhea. Some individuals cannot digest certain foods such as lactose or artificial sweeteners. Consumption of these foods is likely to result in diarrhea in these individuals.
Diarrhea may also be caused by parasites that inhabit the digestive system once they enter the body through water and food. Intake of certain antibiotics such as cancer drugs, antacids and blood pressure medication can also cause diarrhea as a side effect. Another cause of diarrhea is irritable bowel syndrome or other disorders of the bowels.
The diet plan for diarrhea must be aimed at replenishing calories and lost fluids.
Such a diet is generally a bland diet consisting of mild foods. This diet may not cause all the symptoms to subside and medication may also be necessary. However, this approach is helpful in enabling the individual to make a quick recovery.
Home treatment of diarrhea must primarily keep in mind that increased amounts of the right type of fluids must be administered to the individual.
These fluids will help to correct electrolyte imbalances and prevent further loss of fluid. This is necessary to prevent dehydration from occurring and leading to other complications.
Oral rehydration solutions may be administered to the individual.
One can also prepare such a solution at home by mixing a teaspoon of salt and eight teaspoons of sugar in a liter of boiled water. One liter of this solution must be consumed every couple of hours. Other plain liquids and fluid foods such as gruel and cereal are also beneficial.
A diet plan that has been traditionally used to treat diarrhea as well as gastroenteritis is the BRAT diet which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. This diet may be started a day after vomiting ceases. The foods propagated by the diet offer a blend of low fiber, bland foods which supply the body with energy without the risk of any irritation to the bowels.
Bananas are rich in potassium and this helps in regulating the fluid balance of the body. Boiled rice and toast offer carbohydrates that are low in fiber and hence easy on the bowels. Applesauce is known to have a cleansing effect on the digestive system.