Diarrhea is defined as 4 or more loose stools per day. It can be caused by chemotherapy, radiation to the abdomen, infections, or changes in diet. Below you will find ways to manage diarrhea with diet and medications.
- Avoid greasy, faty and spicy foods. Follow the BRAT diet
- Discontinue all laxatives and stool softeners
- Avoid very hot or very cold beverages
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages
- Avoid milk and dairy products as they can make diarrhea worse. Dairy my be resumed one week after diarrhea resolves.
- Drink a variety of fluids including water, sports drinks such as Gatorade and soup broth
- Force fluids to replace those lost
Start with the BRAT diet
- B – bananas
- R – rice
- A – applesauce
- T – toast
When those foods are being well tolerated, you may add other foods such as chicken (without the skin), scrambled eggs, crackers, white bread, pasta noodles, canned or cooked fruits without skins
- Imodium AD (over the counter) – 2 tablets at onset of diarrhea, then one every 2 hours until free of diarrhea for at least 12 hours. Up to 8 tables in a day.
* – if your diarrhea continues for more than 48 hours despite use of Imodium and the above diet restrictions, call your nurse or doctor.