I've had diarrhea for over a week and don't know what to eat. Could it be related to my IBS? What should I do?

I've been dealing with diarrhea (liquid stool) for over a week, I don't what causing it, if it's a bacteria or hormones changes, I don't know what to eat anymore. I was told by a doctor a few years ago that I had IBS, but not sure if that's what is causing it now. What should I eat and not eat, please tell me what to do? Any information that you can give me would be helpful, thank you.


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Diarrhea that lasts for a week is a concern and could be related to a number of causes and a thorough medical history would help determine the cause. Have you seen your doctor? What other symptoms have you had with the diarrhea, such as fever, chills, sweating, nausea, vomiting, pain? What does the diarrhea look like, what colour is it, and does it contain any blood, mucous, pus, or look oily? Have you changed your medication or taken new medication? Have you just returned from a trip to another country? Have you changed your diet recently? Could you have eaten something that was "bad"? These are some important questions your doctor will ask you. It may also be important to provide your doctor with stool samples that can be tested in the lab.

Diarrhea that lasts for such a long time comes with a risk of dehydration, so you should consider going to your local pharmacy and picking up some oral rehydration drinks or powders. Your pharmacist can help you find the right one, gastrolyte is a powder that you mix with water and is easily found in most pharmacies. Alternatively, you can go to your local convenience store and buy some gatorade, which has much more sugar than you need, but it is easily available.

In the meantime, your diet should be plain and simple and avoid all dairy products since these can aggravate diarrhea. The best things for you to eat are BRAT diet foods. This stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast (white bread). You can also include Tea (BRATT) and Yogurt (BRATTY) if you can tolerate the dairy.

What's important here is to determine what caused the acute diarrhea, but if you've always had digestive concerns or IBS and may have had chronic diarrhea (diarrhea on/off for weeks or months) it's important for you to talk with your family doctor or Naturopathic Doctor to get to the bottom of things to determine the cause and suggest a sound treatment protocol for you to follow long-term. If you can't get the nutrition your body needs from foods, your whole body will feel it's impact, so I hope you get some good answers soon enough.

All the best in health,

Amita Sachdev BScN, RN, ND
Naturopathic Doctor

Response by Amita Sachdev BScN, RN, ND


Before starting any new health program or before you begin taking any medication, natural medicine, or supplement, always check with your primary health care provider.

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