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Role of diet in diarrhea

Diarrhea is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by loose, watery stools occurring more frequently than usual. The frequency of the bowels is also increased. It can be caused by various factors, such as viral, bacterial or parasitic infections, certain medication side effects, lactose intolerance, dietary changes, or surgical side effects. However, for some individuals, recurrent or chronic diarrhea may be a sign of a specific condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D)

The severity and duration of diarrhea can vary widely, ranging from a short-lived episode to a chronic condition that persists for weeks or even months.

Let’s look at certain foods which can cause diarrhea –

1. Spicy Foods

Spicy Food is a big culprit when it comes to causing diarrhea. Spicy Foods contain capsaicin which activates a lot of receptors in our digestive system. They activate the receptors in small intestine and large intestine and tend to flush out food very fast

2. Raw Salad

Uncooked vegetables when consumed outside could cause diarrhea at times. Since the hygiene of these vegetables is always in question, it is advisable to stay away from them. Raw salad can cause bacterial infections in the body leading to diarrhea

3. Street Food

Street food in India is very famous but can also be unhygienic and thus should be consumed in moderation and with extreme care. The water used in the preparation of these can be contaminated which can also be a reason for diarrhea

4. Dairy Products

Individuals with Lactose intolerance can often suffer from diarrhea after consuming dairy products. Products like milk, cheese, and ice cream can cause discomfort. A better option is to switch to buttermilk

5. Fried foods

Foods with high oil and fat content also cause diarrhea. At times these fried foods are made in low quality oils which is again a big cause of diarrhea

Now let us look at the foods which should be consumed when facing diarrhea –

1. Bland Diet

Sticking to a bland diet is extremely important. Opt for easily digestible food like cooked grains (rice, oats), steamed veggies, curd rice. These food items can be

2. Stay Hydrated

Consume plenty of fluids to replace the lost water and electrolytes. During diarrhea a lot of dehydration 

3. Include Probiotics

Probiotics, found in yogurt or available as supplements, can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria and aid in the recovery of the digestive system.

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