Healthy Ageing - Appetite for Life Manual
This general advice was accurate at the time of publication. For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Here are some ideas for helping to manage diarrhoea. If you have diarrhoea which does not settle within a few days, see your GP.
Drink plenty of fluid
When you have diarrhoea, you may lose a lot of fluid and can become dehydrated.
Drinking fluid will not make your diarrhoea worse.
- Take small, frequent sips of fluid.
- Include water, broths or soups, weak cordial or diluted fruit juice.
- You can get rehydration fluid from the chemist, or make your own (see recipe below).
Foods to avoid while your stomach is upset
Some foods can make you feel worse if you have diarrhoea. It may help to avoid these foods for a few days until you are feeling better:
- high fibre foods, like wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes and dried fruit
- coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and concentrated fruit juice
- fatty, spicy or very seasoned foods
- large amounts of milk or ice cream.
Getting back to your 'normal' way of eating
If you have had diarrhoea you may not feel like eating very much. Start with bland foods that are low in fibre such as:
- white bread
- plain cooked eggs
- canned or well-cooked fruit or vegetables.
Yoghurt that has live cultures (such as Vaalia®) can help prevent diarrhoea
See your GP straight away if you:
- have blood in your stools
- have a fever or vomiting as well as diarrhoea, or if you feel very unwell
- have less or no urination.
Rehydration fluid recipe
20g (six teaspoons) of glucose
2.5g (1/2 teaspoon) of sodium bicarbonate
3.5g (one teaspoon) of salt
Dissolve the glucose, sodium bicarbonate and salt into one litre of water, and drink throughout the day.
If you find the solution bitter, you can add a small amount of fruit juice or lemon/lime soft drink flavour.
Best stored in the refrigerator to keep cool.
If you have diarrhoea that does not settle within a few days, see your GP.