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How You Can Avoid Diarrhea Caused By Food

Updated on February 20, 2011

How You Can Avoid Diarrhea Caused By Food

Diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic, is frequent bouts of loose, watery bowel movements that can be caused by medications, illness or food. This conditions generally lasts only a few days however, if it is caused by an untreated illness or food, it can continue for an indefinite period. Certain types of food can cause diarrhea or make it worse. This is why it is important to identify and avoid these foods, to allow your digestive system to heal. Speak with your doctor if you are experiencing persistent diarrhea or have other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever or blood in your stool.


Avoid foods that contain lactose, a type of sugar found in milk. Lactose can also be added to foods that don't appear to contain milk, until you read the nutritional label. Many people don't have adequate amounts of the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for your body to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. Instead of being digested, the lactose stays in your stomach, causing bloating, gas and diarrhea.

High Fiber Foods

Don't consume foods that are high in dietary fiber and tend to cause excess gas. These foods include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Once your diarrhea subsides, you should then begin to introduce soft foods that contain only small amounts of fiber such as mashed banana or well-cooked carrots. In addition, drink water instead of carbonated beverages, which can cause stomach irritation that can cause diarrhea.

High Fat Foods

Skip foods that contain a lot of fat including fried foods, heavy sauces and anything cooked in oil or butter. For some people, eating foods that are too rich can lead to diarrhea. This includes foods that naturally contain high amounts of fat like nuts and red meat. Choose low or non-fat versions of these foods, by preparing them using your own recipes or purchasing at the store. If you're eating at a restaurant, ask for the sauce or gravy on the side, so you can use a small amount for flavor.

Artificial Sweeteners

Check nutrition labels for artificial sweeteners which can cause diarrhea in some people. These sweeteners are generally found in diet foods or foods labeled "sugar free" but can also be found in other prepackaged foods. The easiest way to identify these sweeteners is by looking for the suffix "ose" on the nutritional label. Maltose and Sucralose are examples of artificial sweeteners that can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause diarrhea. Individuals vary in how much of these sweeteners they can tolerate without symptoms but if you are prone to diarrhea, it's safer to avoid eating them.


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    • AngelaKaelin profile image

      AngelaKaelin 6 years ago from New York

      Good article! Watch those salad bars, too! Sometimes the food has been mis-handled along the way. That can make you really sick! Voting you up, like always!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Great hub, and helpful information. God Bless You.