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
6-11 servings/day
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
Sweet potatoes
Fruit or nut breads
Fried potatoes
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
American cheese
Cottage cheese
Yogurt, ice cream or custard
Strongly flavored cheeses
Yogurt or ice cream with nuts
or seeds
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
Cream cheese
Vegetable oils
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,
cooked herbs
Any dessert containing nuts,
seeds, dried fruits, or coconut
Catsup, pickles, olives, mustard
Pepper, Jams, preserves
or marmalades, popcorn

Sample menu

  • ½ cup orange juice, strained without pulp
  • ½ cup Rice Krispies with 1 cup milk
  • 1 scrambled egg
  • 1 slice white toast with 2 tsp butter and 1 tbs grape jelly
  • Drink of choice
  • 1 cup chicken noodle soup
  • 3 oz hamburger with white bun, 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • ½ cup cooked green beans
  • 2 halves, canned peaches
  • Drink of choice
  • Baked chicken – 3 oz
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes or white rice
  • ½ cup cooked carrots
  • 1 roll or slice of bread with 1 tsp butter or margarine
  • ½ cup canned pears
  • Drink of choice
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • Graham crackers