If an individual is constantly going to the bathroom several times in an hour with loose stools that lasts for a few days, it simply indicates that he/she has diarrhea. It is important to note that diarrhea is an indication that something is irritating the gastrointestinal tract. Even though diarrhea is common, it is best to consult a doctor if the condition lasts for more than a day. Once a doctor is consulted, proper diagnosis can be made in order to prevent further complications especially dehydration. When it comes to diarrhea, healthcare professionals will always recommend the BRAT diet. This diet is used to help treat diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea can be considered as a symptom of another health issue. It is usually triggered by food intolerance, infections, intestinal diseases, parasites, functional bowel disorders as well as reactions to certain medications. If the individual has stomach flu, it is a viral infection that results to severe diarrhea lasting for 1-3 days but can be treated with rest and modifications to the diet. As for food poisoning, it can be caused by ingestion of foods or beverages that are contaminated by viruses, bacteria or parasites. If you want to learn how to properly manage food poisoning, click here.
The BRAT diet stands for banana, rice, applesauce and toast. These are the foods that must be eaten by an individual who is suffering from diarrhea. Always remember that the foods eaten by the individual while diarrhea is present can either shorten the condition or even worsen it.
The BRAT diet is composed of foods that are easily digested which makes the stools firm as well as preventing further irritation. The diet is used as long as the symptoms of the condition persist. Aside from the foods in this diet, the individual must be encouraged to increase the fluid intake in order to prevent dehydration. Once the symptoms diminish, the individual can start eating other foods and beverages that are allowed by the doctor.
Foods to avoid
There are some foods that can worsen or prolong diarrhea. These include dairy products, spicy and fried foods, veal, pork, sardines and salmon. Other foods to avoid include raw vegetables as well as citrus fruits as well as raisins, figs and cherries. Caffeinated beverages, alcohol as well as extremely cold or hot beverages must be avoided as well. It is best to consult with a doctor first before these foods are eaten.
Always bear in mind that diarrhea can eventually lead to diarrhea in which the body loses large amounts of water and salts. This can lead to serious health complications that would require medical care. If the individual develops the usual symptoms of dehydration such as lightheadedness, dry lips or extreme thirst, consult a doctor right away.