Chronic diarrhea can be a consequence of a variety of issues -- from medical conditions encompassing the gastrointestinal system to severe stress compounded with a nervous stomach. Although taking medication to rectify such issues can cause long term consequences and interfere with the natural flora and fauna of the digestive tract, it is possible to alter your diet in such a way that certain foods can help control such bowel issues.
If you have a tendency towards diarrhea, look to your fiber consumption. While fiber is an important part of a balanced diet, kicking it up a notch is a common tool to help manage constipation. Thus, if you naturally include a lot in your daily meals, it is possible you may be exacerbating the issue. Opt for healthy foods with a lower fiber content. White potatoes are easy to digest and low on fiber. Just make sure to avoid the butter, as fatty foods may trigger diarrhea.
However, how your fiber intake is affecting your diarrhea depends largely upon what kind of fiber you are eating. Many people with chronic diarrhea find fiber is extremely helpful. Diarrhea is a result of too much water in the intestines. Soluble fiber can soak up that extra water, helping to firm up your stool. Oatmeal, yams, and spinach are all great sources of fiber. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, can make diarrhea worse.
Not eating can be a tempting alternative when you never know how your stomach is going to react. But this is far from a healthy alternative. Instead, reach for foods that will help your body’s digestion. While not every fruit is ideal for controlling diarrhea, there are quite a few that can be helpful -- particularly those with a hearty helping of potassium. Bananas, berries, and grape juice are all great for diarrhea. Bananas contain potassium, while blueberries have “tannins” which help with inflammation and reduce the amount of fluids that get secreted.
Including rice in your meals might be just the thing to help alleviate your chronic diarrhea. Like potatoes, white rice is easy to digest and has very little fiber (less than a gram per serving). More than that, it can actually help keep your stool together, making it firmer and gentler to pass. Try and eat several small meals, rather than one or two large meals throughout the day for best effect.
Chicken is a great way to get protein without sending your stomach into a revolt. Obviously, you want to avoid chicken that is fried, heartily spiced, drenched in fat, or otherwise a trigger for your gastrointestinal tract. But steamed chicken with mild seasonings is easy for your body to digest and full of nutrients, to make sure you replace what you lose.
If you have any form of lactose intolerance, you are definitely going to want to steer clear of the dairy section, yogurt included, if you’re trying to manage chronic diarrhea. However, if yogurt isn’t a trigger for you, it may help you out in that respect. Choose yogurts with live active cultures, as this includes acidophilus, a natural probiotic that’s good for the tummy. Steer clear of yogurts that are all sugar and no nutrition, as this can be detrimental to your purposes as well.