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Nutrition and Diet management for those suffering from diarrhoea.BY: Deena David | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-09-16
Diarrhoea can be defined as the frequent passage of stools with increased fluidity or volume as compared to the usual for a given individual.
It can be an acute episode that lasts for about 24 to 48 days. It can be chronic and last for more than a week or even two weeks. If the diarrhoea is acute, then it is for a short duration and can easily be rectified by taking in adequate amounts of fluids. If the diarrhoea is chronic, the problems can be compounded. This is because there can be fluid and electrolyte imbalances leading to rapid dehydration.
Difference between diarrhoea and dysentery
Diarrhoea is a condition where there are acute watery stools. In case the diarrhoea has visible blood and mucus, then the condition is termed as dysentery. Dysentery is more dangerous than only diarrhoea. Dysentery can also be associated with fever.
Nutritional considerations during diarrhoea
Loss of fluids should be replaced by a liberal intake in the diet to compensate for the loss of fluid in the stool. This intake of fluid will help to prevent dehydration. In acute diarrhoea especially the concern should be to replace the lost fluids and electrolytes.
Fluid management in children is done with replacement of the lost fluid. This is started when the diarrhoea starts, especially when there are watery stools. Oral rehydration solution is prepared and given as this can prevent the dehydration from occurring.
Dietary guidelines during diarrhoea:
1. Fiber should be reduced in the diet. This is because increased fiber in the diet can cause increased stools.
2. Small frequent meals should be encouraged instead of eating larger meals three times a day. This will help the digestive system to cope better.
3. Milk may not be tolerated sometimes. Under such circumstances, the milk in the diet can be substituted with curd or the milk can be diluted before being added to the diet of the person.
4. Strongly flavored foods including fried and fatty foods should be avoided. Food containing nuts and rich desserts should be avoided as this can cause increased diarrhoea.
5. Good sources of potassium should be included in the diet. These sources of potassium are fruits and fruit juices. Vegetable and dhal soups can also be added to the diet of the person.
6. The foods that are good for the person in case of acute diarrhoea are those with less fiber. These foods include milk, soups without vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, potato, biscuits, bread and refined cereals.
7. The foods that are high in fiber should be preferably avoided when an individual is suffering from diarrhoea. The foods that can contain high amounts of fiber are beans, peas, butter beans, black berries, raspberries, broccoli, apricots, apples, corn flakes, beetroot, wheat bran, prunes, pears, figs and almonds.
These are the various guidelines that have to be followed when a person is suffering from diarrhoea. Following these guidelines will help to prevent the severity of the diarrhoea from increasing. It will also help to prevent dehydration.
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