Diarrhea can be an inconvenience because you don't feel like getting out and doing things. It can also be serious if you get too dehydrated, so it's important to get it under control. If you are dizzy or have had more than 4 loose bowel movements in 24 hours, please call your doctor – he may be able to suggest medication that will help.
These are things that you can do to feel better:
- Eat a low-residue, high-protein, and high-calorie diet (a sample diet follows). Don't eat foods that may be irritating or stimulating to your intestinal tract, such as raw fruits or vegetables, spicy or fried foods, or whole grain breads, cereals and pastas.
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals – try to eat every 2 to 3 hours.
- Drink plenty of clear liquids – at least 8 to 10 cups per day
- Don't drink beverages that are too hot or cold as they can make your diarrhea worse
- Don't drink milk or milk products, caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea or caffeinated sodas), alcohol or prune juice
- Don't drink any beverages with your meals – drink liquids 30 minutes to an hour after meals and between meals.
- Use alcohol-free, unscented baby wipes on your bottom to prevent irritation
- Keep a record of how many bowel movements you have each day to guard against dehydration. You might be dehydrated if your skin and mouth are dry, you have decreased urine volume, your eyes are sunken and you are very tired.
Low Residue – Low Fiber Diet
Low residue diets help to calm your intestinal tract, which may be bothering you because of your treatment. A low residue-low fiber diet is more easily digested. It will reduce the amount of food waste that travels through your intestines and may help to control stomach cramping and diarrhea.
While you are on a low residue-low fiber diet, here are some general tips:
- Do not eat foods made with seeds, nuts, dried or raw fruits
- Do not eat raw fruits or vegetables, and remove the skins before cooking
- Eat breads and cereals made from refined flours – no “whole-grain” or “whole-wheat” products
- No more than 2 cups of milk or milk products per day – including what you use in cooking
- Do not eat meats that are tough or have a lot of gristle
- Limit fats, and do not use nut or coconut oils