Nutrition for diarrhea: what can and cannot?
Nutrition for diarrhea is an important component of the patient's speedy recovery. The diet should be agreed with a doctor, especially in cases where the thinning and frequent stools were caused by serious illness. The goal of diet therapy for diarrhea is to reduce inflammation in the intestines, to normalize digestive processes due to the maximum sparing of the mucous membrane.
You should abandon hungry or water days, since with diarrhea, intestinal functions are not lost, and the body is able to digest food, but in smaller volumes. A complete refusal to eat slows down the recovery process, further undermining the body's defenses.
- The principles of nutrition for diarrhea
- What can you eat for diarrhea?
- What should not be eaten with diarrhea?
- Nutrition for children with diarrhea
The principles of nutrition for diarrhea
The daily menu for diarrhea is compiled depending on what exactly caused the development of this symptom.
However, there are general principles of nutrition that must be followed:
- The intestines must be unloaded. Therefore, you need to eat in small portions, but often, 5-6 times a day.
- The intestines should not be exposed to chemical or mechanical stress.
- It is necessary to remove from the diet foods that enhance gas formation, start fermentation processes.
- In the first days, the diet is cut to 20% (in severe diarrhea, up to 50%).
- The menu should include lactose-free dairy products, fermented milk drinks enriched with bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
- Products that stimulate increased bile secretion should be abandoned.
- Together with food, the daily requirement of the body for nutrients necessary for its vital activity should be covered. At the same time, the volume of fats and carbohydrates is cut, with an emphasis on protein products.
- Dehydration is the main danger of diarrhea, so you need to monitor the amount of fluids you drink per day.
- The food needs to be ground, steamed, boiled. Spices and herbs are not added to the dishes.
- At the time of diarrhea, you should stop eating raw vegetables and fruits, as they can aggravate the course of the disease.
- Food should be served warm, from +33 to +38 ° C.
- Salt is limited, but it cannot be completely abandoned.
What can you eat for diarrhea?
With diarrhea, a lot of fluid is lost. To avoid dehydration, it is necessary to replenish water reserves in the body. If the patient's diarrhea has a severe course, then he is recommended a sparing regimen with cutting the menu to 50-70% for 1-2 days, but drinking water at this time is imperative.
Fluids should be consumed immediately after another episode of diarrhea. It should be drunk in small sips. You need to drink about 300 ml of water at a time, because that is how much fluid a person loses on average during each act of bowel movement with diarrhea. You should consume 2-3 liters of clean water per day.
In addition to ordinary water, it is allowed to drink water with added salt, black and herbal tea, apple juice, low-fat broth, jelly and compote from bird cherry and blueberry, whey.
As for food, in the first 2 days it is necessary to give preference to rye flour croutons, rice porridge, bananas, mashed potatoes from boiled vegetables.
Special attention should be paid to the rice broth. This drink is effective for diarrhea as it helps to achieve the following goals:
- Protect the intestinal walls from irritation;
- Bring intestinal peristalsis back to normal;
- Absorb and remove excess fluid from the intestinal lumen;
- Reduce flatulence;
- Replenish the deficiency of nutrients.
To prepare a useful broth, you will need to bring 0.5 liters of water to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of rice to the pan, cook for 45 minutes. The finished broth is cooled and 50 ml is drunk every 2 hours.
As the patient feels better, the patient will be allowed to expand his diet with the following products:
Milk products. When cooking porridge or vegetable purees, you can add milk diluted with water in a 1 to 3 ratio.
Fermented milk products can be consumed in their pure form - this is yogurt, kefir, fermented baked milk, cottage cheese. They allow you to normalize the intestinal microflora, reduce gas formation and fermentation processes. In addition, fermented milk drinks are a valuable source of calcium and protein, which the body especially needs during illness. Kefir improves the absorption of calcium, fat, nitrogen in the intestines. This fermented milk drink has a bactericidal and antitoxic effect, which makes it possible to neutralize the pathogenic flora in case of diarrhea caused by infectious diseases.
Cereals in the form of porridges: rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, yachka, millet. Porridge is best cooked in water, or with the addition of a small amount of milk. It is allowed to salt porridge, but you cannot season it with butter.
Meat: chicken, turkey, low fat beef and veal, rabbit. The meat is boiled or steamed. The meat should be served pureed.
Chicken eggs are also permitted during the abatement of the disease. Do not eat more than 1 egg per day. They are either boiled or made into a steam omelet.
As for bakery products, you can eat croutons. If they are not available, then you can simply dry regular bread in the oven. Fresh baked goods with diarrhea cannot be included in the menu.
Pasta. It is permissible to eat pasta in small quantities.
You can cook fish: steamed or boiled. Preference should be given to low-fat varieties of fish, including: pollock, hake, carp, pike perch, cod.
Vegetables. Raw vegetables and fruits are not consumed. They are boiled, or mousses, mashed potatoes, jelly, compotes are prepared on their basis. It is allowed to include potatoes, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, pumpkin, bananas, apples, quince in the menu. Vegetables and fruits are introduced gradually, after 2-3 from the onset of diarrhea. You can cook vegetable soups, casseroles and soufflés.
Berries from which decoctions and jelly should be prepared: dogwood, black currant, bird cherry, blueberry, blackthorn. All of them have a firming effect, which allows you to quickly get rid of diarrhea.
To avoid pressure on the stomach and intestines, the portions should be kept small. During diarrhea, dishes must be salted, this will normalize the sodium balance in the body.
What should not be eaten with diarrhea?
Fatty and fried foods for diarrhea are strictly prohibited. These products will lead to increased frequency of bowel movements, make the stool more liquid. Dishes that cause gas production, such as cabbage and legumes, should be avoided. They irritate the digestive tract and start fermentation processes.
The following drinks are not allowed during diarrhea:
- Any alcohol;
- Coffee and coffee drinks;
- Green tea;
- Carbonated drinks;
- Sweet drinks
- All juices except apple juice;
- Unboiled water;
- All cold and hot drinks.
The following products can harm the digestive tract with diarrhea:
- Fatty meats, meat offal (brains, liver, kidneys).
- Canned, pickled, smoked and fatty fish.
- Butter and vegetable oils.
- Fatty cream, fatty sour cream, whole milk. These foods increase fermentation and intestinal motility, leading to increased watery diarrhea and bloating.
- Fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, as well as mustard, horseradish, turnips, cabbage, beets, rutabagas, mushrooms.
- Sour berries and fruits.
- Legumes: peas, beans.
- Fresh pastries, bakery products, including black bread.
Nutrition for children with diarrhea
You should consult your doctor about what to feed your baby during diarrhea. If the baby is breastfed, then it is not recommended to transfer him to the mixture. This will only make the diarrhea worse. Mother's milk contains bacteria that are necessary for the normal functioning of the baby's intestines. On days when the baby has diarrhea, breastfeeding should be done more often.
If the child is artificially fed, then the mixture may not be changed. However, in this case, you should additionally give him bifidobacteria.
The tactics of feeding an infant are determined on an individual basis. The frequency of feeding and the amount of food depends on the age of the baby, the severity of the diarrhea, the frequency of regurgitation. General recommendation is 10 split feeds. The baby should be applied to the breast every 2 hours, at which time he should receive 50 ml of milk.
Children over 1.5 years old should be offered pureed food, you can cook slimy soups, compotes with blueberries for the child. No new foods are introduced in the menu of a child with diarrhea.
Properly organized nutrition from the first days of the disease is one of the conditions for its smooth course and quick relief from diarrhea. An inadequately composed menu, long-term food restrictions and inaccuracies in the diet will contribute to a deterioration in the patient's well-being, regardless of his age. It is important to strive for adequate physiological nutrition, taking into account the severity of the diarrhea and the reasons that caused it.
Author of the article: Alekseeva Maria Yurievna | Therapist
Education: From 2010 to 2016 Practitioner of the therapeutic hospital of the central medical-sanitary unit No. 21, city of elektrostal. Since 2016 she has been working in the diagnostic center No. 3.