An effective way to start the medical nutrition therapy is to incorporate Oral Rehydration Therapy. This therapy is designed in such a way that it restores the mineral and electrolyte balance while allowing food intake.
Some soluble (hydrophilic=water absorbing) fibers can help in binding the loose stools. Commonly available soluble fiber sources are applesauce, guava fruit, banana and carrot.
When the patient’s condition stabilizes, certain foods like starches (rice, potato, plain cereals mashed bananas, arrow root biscuits, properly cooked rice, boiled and mashed potatoes, curds etc) can be started followed by protein rich food products.
The concept is to first start with carbohydrate and then gradually progress to protein rich foods (which are difficult to digest in the early phase of diarrhea). Whereas, fats need to be taken in normal amounts throughout.
In osmotic diarrhea (in which complex sugars and saline derivatives are poorly absorbed) intake of sugars and sugar alcohols is to be restricted.
Following table can help you in the selection of food products in diarrhea (recovering state)
|Foods permitted||Foods excluded|
|Bread or chapattis of wheat, rice, corn.||Whole pulses|
|Breakfast cereals like corn flakes, puffed rice, sago||Salads|
|Boiled and mashed rice||Spices, condiments|
|Fresh fruit juice||Nuts and dried fruits|
|Sugar, honey (contra-indicatory in osmotic diarrhea)||Sweets|