There are two forms of diarrhea. The first is short term diarrhea and the second is a prolonged, and persistent diarrhea which may require medical attention. Most people will experience short term diarrhea more than once during their lifetime and is normally nothing to worry about. However, if you get diarrhea for longer than a couple of weeks.
Prolonged or long term diarrhea may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome, which can usually be controlled by a change in diet. In more serious cases, if you have diarrhea for a long while it be a sign of Crohn’s disease which will require your having to make a change in your lifestyle habits.
Diarrhea is defined as passing watery or loose stools. It can be brought on by a virus or bacteria (norovirus or rotavirus) which you have eaten in some bad or contaminated food, or it can be brought on by stress (as with IBS cases). But even if you have diarrhea for just a day or two, it is very unpleasant and you will usually end up in bed for that period.
So What Should You Eat to Stop Diarrhea?
The best diet for diarrhea is usually to refrain from eating at the first sign of diarrhea. But you SHOULD drink as much fluid as you can, to help your body re-hydrate. When you get the runs, your body dehydrates quickly so you must replace lost fluids.
When you do feel like eating again, it is agreed by medical experts that you should stick to ‘stodgy’ types of foods like dry toast. You should eat small meals until you are in good health again. I normally eat small amounts of boiled white rice and some pieces of chicken breast, with no skin on them. I find this helps to line my stomach to stop me feeling hungry and is also gentle on the digestive system.
If your child has diarrhea, it is even more important to keep them hydrated. And do not let them eat solid or heavy foods until their hydration is normal again or until they are quite happy to drink watery drinks again. Don’t worry if your child refuses food at this time, as this is quite normal.
Once they are drinking again, their appetite will normally return. If it does not, or if you are not happy with the amount of fluids they are drinking, you should consult your doctor.