Diarrhea can be an inconvenience because you don’t feel like getting out and doing things. It can also be serious if you get too dehydrated, so it’s important to get it under control. If you are dizzy or have had more than 4 loose bowel movements in 24 hours, please call your doctor – he may be able to suggest medication that will help.
These are things that you can do to feel better:
- Eat a low-residue, high-protein, and high-calorie diet (a sample diet follows). Don’t eat foods that may be irritating or stimulating to your intestinal tract, such as raw fruits or vegetables, spicy or fried foods, or whole grain breads, cereals and pastas.
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals – try to eat every 2 to 3 hours.
- Drink plenty of clear liquids – at least 8 to 10 cups per day
- Don’t drink beverages that are too hot or cold as they can make your diarrhea worse
- Don’t drink milk or milk products, caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea or caffeinated sodas), alcohol or prune juice
- Don’t drink any beverages with your meals – drink liquids 30 minutes to an hour after meals and between meals.
- Use alcohol-free, unscented baby wipes on your bottom to prevent irritation
- Keep a record of how many bowel movements you have each day to guard against dehydration. You might be dehydrated if your skin and mouth are dry, you have decreased urine volume, your eyes are sunken and you are very tired.
Low residue – low fiber diet
Low residue diets help to calm your intestinal tract, which may be bothering you because of your treatment. A low residue-low fiber diet is more easily digested. It will reduce the amount of food waste that travels through your intestines and may help to control stomach cramping and diarrhea.
While you are on a low residue-low fiber diet, here are some general tips:
- Do not eat foods made with seeds, nuts, dried or raw fruits
- Do not eat raw fruits or vegetables, and remove the skins before cooking
- Eat breads and cereals made from refined flours – no “whole-grain” or “whole-wheat” products
- No more than 2 cups of milk or milk products per day – including what you use in cooking
- Do not eat meats that are tough or have a lot of gristle
- Limit fats, and do not use nut or coconut oils
|Breads, cereals, etc.||Eat these||Don’t eat these|
Serving size = 1 cup of cooked
rice, pasta, etc or 1 slice of bread
|Cold cereals such as Rice
Krispies or corn flakes.
Cream of wheat, grits or farina.
White rice, pasta or potatoes
without skin. White bread,
biscuits, rolls, waffles
and pancakes. Plain crackers
or melba toast
Fruit or nut breads
Whole wheat or grain
breads, or cornbread.
Brown or wild rice
Whole grain or wheat cereals,
bran cereals or cereals with fruit,
nuts or coconut
|Milk & Dairy products||Eat these||Don’t eat these|
|No more than 2 cups/day
including food preparation
Serving size = 1 cup milk or
yogurt, 1 oz of American cheese,
or ½ cup cottage cheese
|Plain or flavored milk
Yogurt, ice cream or custard
|Strongly flavored cheeses
Yogurt or ice cream with nuts
|Meats, eggs & other proteins||Eat these||Don’t eat these|
|6 oz daily in 2 or 3 servings
Serving size = 1 egg or 2
tablespoons peanut butter
count as 1 oz of meat
|Very tender roast beef, chicken,
lamb, pork, salmon or tuna.
Organ meats such as liver Eggs.
Smooth peanut butter
|Tough or gristly meats
Dried beans or lentils
Fried meats or eggs
Pickled, smoked or
dried meats or fish.
Cold cuts, hot dogs or sausages
Chunky peanut butter
|Vegetables||Eat these||Don’t eat these|
|3 to 5 servings per day
Serving size = ½ cup
of cooked vegetables
|Well cooked carrots, beets,
asparagus, summer squash,
green beans, Pureed spinach,
Avocados, Tomato sauce
Strained vegetable juices
|Raw or steamed vegetables
Vegetables with seeds
Broccoli, corn, onions, cabbage,
beans, peas and winter squash
|Fats||Eat these||Don’t eat these|
|Butter or margarine
Cream and sour cream
|Nut or coconut oils|
|Snacks, sweets, beverages & condiments||Eat these||Don’t eat these|
|Puddings or custards
Gelatin (Jell-O) without fruit
Plain cakes or cookies
Ice cream or sherbet
Hard candies, Pretzels
Broth or soups made from
“eat these” ingredients
Sodas, tea and coffee
Sugar, honey, clear jellies
Salt, cinnamon, spices,
| Any dessert containing nuts,
seeds, dried fruits, or coconut
Catsup, pickles, olives, mustard
Pepper, Jams, preserves
or marmalades, popcorn