Diarrhea is an inconvenient and unpleasant condition that happens to nearly everyone. This gastrointestinal problem causes loose, watery and possibly more frequent bowel movements.
While diarrhea is usually short-lived, the symptoms can last for a long duration and even worsen in some cases.
Everyday things like diet, medication and stress play a key role in how your body heals from any condition. With diarrhea, the food you eat plays a major role in either speeding up your recovery or worsening your condition.
Foods that cause diarrhea tend to contain high amounts of artificial ingredients, oils, spices or stimulants like caffeine.
Here are the top 10 foods to avoid when suffering from diarrhea.
The lactose in milk and other soft dairy products, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, ice cream and sour cream, is something your weak intestines cannot handle when you’re suffering from diarrhea. When you consume too much lactose, it goes into the large intestine, making your condition worse.
However, you can calm your digestive system by eating yogurt and hard cheeses because they have little to no lactose.
If you’re lactose intolerant, you can pretty much bet on the fact that eating foods containing lactose will give you diarrhea. Other symptoms of lactose intolerance include gas, cramps, bloating and bad breath. To prevent diarrhea due to lactose intolerance, avoid milk and milk-based products completely.
2. Hot Peppers
Another food that can aggravate diarrhea is hot peppers. The compound capsaicin in peppers is known to trigger diarrhea.
It irritates the stomach lining during digestion, which results in diarrhea as well as gas, bloating and a burning sensation in your stomach. Both the seeds and skin of hot peppers can be hard on your weak digestive system.
A 2007 study published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility found that chili ingestion produced more abdominal pain and burning in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome than in healthy volunteers.
You must ditch your regular coffee when suffering from diarrhea.
The caffeine in coffee contributes to loose stools. Also, caffeine has a diuretic effect that can worsen the dehydration caused by diarrhea.
A caffeine-free, herbal tea with ginger or peppermint is an excellent alternative beverage that will actually calm your bowel movements.
Not just coffee, you must put on hold on anything that contains caffeine, such as soda, until your tummy troubles go away or else it will irritate your digestive tract and speed up fluid and electrolyte loss.
When suffering from diarrhea or any other stomach issues, don’t drink any alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol is toxic to the stomach lining and it also changes liver metabolism. Drinking too much can cause indigestion, which can worsen your condition when battling diarrhea.
Also, it can prevent proper rehydration and trigger water loss, which can make your condition worse.
On top of that, alcohol sometimes interferes with medications being taken to treat diarrhea, Crohn’s disease or colitis.
In the list of foods that you should avoid when you have diarrhea, you cannot ignore legumes. Whether you eat soybeans, lima beans, or peas, these legumes move through to the small intestine and enter the large intestine undigested.
Undigested legumes is one of the main causes of flatulence as well as diarrhea.
Legumes are also high in lectins, a class of proteins that cause increased inflammation in your gut.
To prevent diarrhea, legumes can be eaten with soluble fiber. However, do not eat legumes if you are already suffering from diarrhea.
6. Sugar Substitutes
Another offender in this list of diarrhea-causing foods is artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol, which are commonly found in sugar-free gum, candy and medications.
These sweeteners are absorbed much more slowly than table sugar. They tend to reach the large intestine without being absorbed, which in turn causes diarrhea. Plus, bacteria in the stomach eat those sugars and produce more gas.
If you are prone to stomach disorders like diarrhea, always read the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them to avoid artificial sweeteners.