Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Coping with diarrhea

The following are some tips for coping with diarrhea:

  • Drink lots of water during the day. Aside from water, try diluted fruit juices and broths. Drink warm or room-temperature liquids, never chilled
  • Drink liquids 30 minutes after meals, not during meals
  • Eat foods containing potassium (e.g., bananas, potatoes, diluted fruit juices, cooked vegetables)
  • Eat foods containing sodium (salt) (e.g., broths, saltines, pretzels)
  • Avoid drinking milk and eating foods that are made from milk until you feel better (these foods may make your symptoms worse)
  • Avoid high-fiber foods (e.g., whole grains, nuts, beans, raw vegetables, fruits with seeds/skins) until you feel better
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Try laying down 30 minutes after meals. Rest may slow down the digestive tract
  • Stop taking vitamin C temporarily
  • Water soluble fiber supplements such as pectin (e.g. Sure-jell) may help form a firmer stool. Try adding Sure-jell to hot cereals, soups or a banana smoothie with rice milk

NOTE: This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to making decisions about your treatment.