Post-Diarrhea Diet When You're Feeling Better

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No one can live on the BRAT diet indefinitely. Whether you are just getting over a bad bout of gastroenteritis or suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D), at some point, you will need to expand your diet. Here are some safer options to turn to while you wait for your intestinal system to settle down.


If you are starting to feel better, you may be able to expand your morning meal beyond bananas, applesauce, and toast.

The following options will help you to start to increase your intake of a wider variety of nutrients. You don't have to restrict these choices to the morning; feel free to eat them whenever you feel that your system is ready for some food.

  • Crisped rice cereal (eaten dry)
  • Eggs (cooked with a minimum of butter or oil)
  • Oatmeal or other hot cooked cereal
  • Plain, low-fat yogurt
  • Rice cakes


As with the breakfast choices, you do not have to restrict these options to mid-day.

  • Canned tuna (packed in water, not oil)
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Crackers
  • Plain pasta or noodles
  • Sandwich with lean protein (chicken or turkey)
  • Vegetable soup


As your system starts to settle down and you feel that you are regaining some strength, you may be ready for something a little more substantial at dinner time:

  • Potatoes (baked, mashed, or steamed)
  • Lean meat (chicken, turkey, or steak)
  • Steamed vegetables


    Remember that as your body is recovering from a bad bout of diarrhea it is essential to hydrate. The quick passage of stool through the large intestine that is inherent in diarrhea results in only minimal amounts of water being drawn into the intestinal lining. This leaves you at severe risk for dehydration.

    Some good choices for keeping your body well-hydrated include:

    Special Resources for Chronic Diarrhea Sufferers

    If you suffer from IBS-D, diarrhea may be an almost daily occurrence. Under these circumstances, you might find yourself being at risk for nutritional deficits if you follow a severely restricted diet. Although the above suggestions may be all you can tolerate during extremely bad IBS attacks, you will need a longer-term plan to ensure that you are eating in a way that is optimal for your health. Here are two resources that offer a more permanent dietary solution:

    Low FODMAP Diet

    Researchers have been doing studies on the benefits of a low-FODMAP diet for IBS. The diet involves the identification and restriction of certain carbohydrate-containing foods, classified with the acronym FODMAP. The diet can be followed on a long-term basis, but it is recommended that this is done under the supervision of a licensed dietician to ensure that adequate nutrition is being taken in. 

    Eating for IBS

    The book, "Eating for IBS," by Heather Van Vorous, who has had IBS her whole life, is a useful resource for anyone diagnosed with IBS.

    She offers strategies that help IBS patients to no longer see food as an enemy that cannot be defeated. The book contains many IBS-friendly recipes, as well as suggestions for safe meal planning. Her sound plan for eating sensibly and safely with IBS offers a nice alternative to an overly restrictive diet for IBS-D.


    Viral Gastroenteritis | NIDDK. National Institutes of Health.