Digestive disorders

How to eat when suffering from diarrhoea

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to eat when suffering from diarrhoea
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Whether something did not agree with you or because of bacteria such as gastroenteritis or e-coli, or simply because we have a condition that can affect our bowel movements as in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea is always a delicate and annoying condition. Normally we avoid eating so to not feel worse, but we forget that our body needs nutrients to sustain its energy and so it is important to eat. If you feel doubts about what you can or can not eat, we at OneHowTo.com explain how to eat when suffering from diarrhoea.

If you have yellow diarrhoea, read our article on this specific condition.

Steps to follow:


While we have diarrhoea our body does not digest food properly, we have a weakened bacterial flora, an increased acidity in our digestive system and dehydration. But it is important that once between 6 and 24 hours have elapsed since the diarrhoea started we slowly introduce some food.

If you have diarrhoea you should eat in small amounts several times a day, always chewing slowly on preferably soft foods. In this way your stomach will process them with greater ease.


A classic dish to eat when you have diarrhoea is watery white rice, only seasoned with a little salt. This food is very light for your stomach but will bring energy, helping you recover much sooner. If you want you can add a little grated carrot and even a clove of garlic to the rice.

How to eat when suffering from diarrhoea - Step 2

You can also prepare light chicken broth with very thin noodles, but take into account that:

  • You must not add any dehydrated seasoning
  • You should include in the soup light vegetables like some carrot or potato
  • At least for the first few hours it is not advisable to eat chicken, eat only the broth made with a few vegetable

Once the diarrhoea has decreased in intensity, you can try eating boiled white rice with some cooked chicken, all prepared lightly. Grilled chicken is also a good alternative.

During diarrhoea, especially in the early hours, it is essential to stay hydrated as through the stool the body loses fluids and mineral salts. Water and sports drinks are recommended in these cases and these should be drunk in frequent small sips.

How to eat when suffering from diarrhoea - Step 4

Once you have started to recover a little from the diarrhoea, you can add lighter foods to your diet like boiled noodles, boiled chicken, boiled fish, a little toasted bread, yoghurt or steamed potatoes. Wait until you are completely recovered to consume meat, sauces, dressings, vegetable and fruit fibre.


It is important that while you have diarrhoea you avoid eating:

  • Vegetables and fruits rich in fibre as they increase the volume of the stool and may increase diarrhoea
  • Spicy foods with dressings and sauces, you should eat as naturally as possible
  • Fried or heavy meals, as your stomach can not properly process these
  • Milk because of its fat and lactose are not recommended when you have diarrhoea
  • Citrus and caffeine drinks as they stimulate reflux

If your diarrhoea is too frequent and is accompanied by other symptoms such as severe stomach pain, vomiting or fever you should consult a doctor. When after 24 hours of persistent diarrhoea there is no apparent improvement it is also necessary to visit a specialist. Also, pregnant women and young children should seek immediate medical attention after one day of severe diarrhea.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to eat when suffering from diarrhoea, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How to eat when suffering from diarrhoea