What to Eat and What to Avoid When You Have Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is a very common problem people face quite often. It could happen as a single problem or be associated with some other medical conditions related to the digestive system. Diarrhoea is when stools passed are loose or watery. It could be caused due to many reasons, the major being unhealthy eating habits that lead to water or food-borne diseases. The condition can also have other signs or symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, or pain in the stomach. Diarrhoea occurs frequently and people barely have any control over it.

Diarrhoea can affect several organs in the body but primarily affects the intestines and colon. The digestive system works to absorb nutrients from food and fluid and eliminate waste, but when diarrhoea occurs, the intestines and colon are unable to effectively absorb and process food and fluid, leading to frequent and loose stools. This can lead to dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes, which can affect other organs such as the kidneys, heart, and liver. In severe cases, diarrhoea can also lead to malnutrition and other complications, making it important to manage and treat promptly.

Foods to Eat during Diarrhoea

It is best to know what to eat and avoid during diarrhoea and so, here is a list of what foods are healthy and what can trigger loose stools.

Pro-biotics cut down the problems of diarrhoea

Poor lifestyle or unhealthy eating habits are major reasons that contribute to diarrhoea. Having heavy medications in your daily routine can kill the good healthy bacteria in the digestive system which aid in the process of digestion and absorption of food. The population of microbiota in the digestive tract when imbalanced leads to diarrhoea.

Probiotics are food that is enriched with the goodness of healthy bacteria and yeast that can fulfil the deficiency of the gut microflora. Probiotics can cut down the problems of diarrhoea by a day or two. Many probiotics are available in the stores. The most common probiotic consumed is yoghurt. Some of the bacterial strains that work as probiotics are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG(LGG), Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus casei.


A patient suffering from diarrhoea experiences watery stools. These contain a lot of salts such as potassium, sodium, bicarbonates and chloride. The loss of salts in the body leads to dehydration and a lower salt concentration than an adequate amount can cause symptoms like fatigue, muscle cramps or a tingling sensation. Electrolytic solutions commonly referred to as oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are a mixture of salts that are added to drinkable water. This helps to recover the body from any salt deficiency.

White Flour

Products made from all-purpose flour also known as white flour may also be consumed by a person experiencing diarrhoea. Flour binds with water and helps in the formation of solid stools.

Bland Food

Doctors recommend eating bland food during diarrhoea because spicy foods may act as irritants to the digestive system. The most famous meal doctors advise is the BRAT diet which stands for – Banana, Rice, Apples, and Toast.


Plain white rice is best for diarrhoea patients. It is low in fibre and starchy. This helps it to bind better in the intestine and helps produce bulkier stools.

Foods Not to Eat during Diarrhoea

And, there is also a pretty big list of foods that one is not supposed to eat if suffering from diarrhoea −

Dairy Products

Milk and dairy products except for yoghurt or probiotics should be avoided as much as possible by those having diarrhoea. People who are lactose intolerant experience diarrhoea because they cannot digest milk sugar known as lactose since their body lacks the enzyme lactase. Though some may not be intolerant to lactose, milk and dairy products trigger the digestive system.

Spicy Food

Spicy foods act as irritants to the digestive system. Different people have different levels of tolerance towards spice. Capsaicin is the main compound found in spicy food and it produces heat in the stomach and body which causes a painful burning sensation and leads to diarrhoea.


Sugars and artificial sweeteners are not suitable for some people and may act as laxatives. Intaking high amounts of sugar or sugar-laced foods influences the colon in the digestive system to release more salt ions and water. This causes loose and watery stools leading to diarrhoea.

Fried Food

Some people may not be tolerant of eating greasy food, so their body finds it difficult to digest it. When oily foods aren’t absorbed properly, they are transported to the intestines where they are broken down into smaller components known as fatty acids. This stimulates the intestine to produce fluid and a person experiences diarrhoea.


The human stomach consumes alcohol very quickly. Alcohol is absorbed very easily by the body cells and is absorbed in a faster rate when consumed on an empty stomach. Later the alcohol travels down to the intestines. Here, most of it is absorbed and the rest is passed in urine or stools. Since it tends to absorb very quickly, the intestinal linings cannot function well at a faster rate and this damages the lining. Hence, alcohol isn’t absorbed completely and is passed out directly along with the stools leading to diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is very common for alcoholic people.


Unhealthy habits are major contributors that lead to diarrhoea. Eating contaminated food, lack of cleanliness and drinking contaminated water are some common instances that lead to food-borne and water-borne diseases and diarrhoea is the most common experience. By creating a healthy lifestyle and safe eating habits, one can ensure the safety of their health.