Diarrhea is of two types:

(a) Acute

(b) Chronic diarrhea.

(a) Acute diarrhea.


It is caused by eating unhygienic, infected, and stale food. Its duration lasts for 1-3 days. It is characterised by loose, watery stools, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and weak­ness in the body. Water electrolyte balance is disturbed because of excessive loss of water from the body and may lead to dehydration.

(b) Chronic diarrhea. It lasts for much longer period. It is caused by the pinto of some irritant or stale food. Nutrition! Deficiencies may develop in chronic diarrhea Water electrolyte balance is also disturbs. There is loss of water-soluble vitamins duel excessive loss of water from the body1 may lead to vitamin deficiencies.

Nutritional requirements of a diarrhea patient

Maintaining nutritional status is a problem in diarrhea. Considerable loss energy, liquids, minerals, serum, protein, a is caused by it. Hence, all these things play vital role in diet therapy of this disease.



Considerable loss of energy demands sufficient intake of calories. To meet the calorie requirements, easily getable carbohydrate rich foods like fruits juices, suji kheer, boiled rice, etc., should be given to the patient.


Proteins are lost in considerable amount in diarrhea. Unavailable of sufficient amount of proteins in the first leads to disintegration of tissue proteins and then usage of blood protein which causes acute deficiency of proteins in bodies. Hence, sufficient amount of portal are required by the diarrhea patient foods should be given to a patient with the improvement in o condition like boiled eggs, toned milk.



Fats and fat rich foods are restricting to the diarrhea patient because the testiness are incapable of absorbing the Butter and light fats like cream can I given to the patient after the improvement in his condition.


Deficiency of water soluble vitamins in the body is caused by the lot of water in diarrhea (like Vitamin complex and C). Hence, fruit juices mu be added in the diet of the patient.



Loss of sodium and potassium leads to their deficiency diseases loss of appetite, vomiting, restlessness loss of flexibility in the muscles I alimentary canal, etc. Their deficiency is made up by giving fruit juices to the patient after adding salt.


Lot of water is excreted out in diarrhea. Hence, it is very important to make up for this deficiency. Patients should be given liquids in the form of mineral water, juices, soups, lemon wa­ter, barley water, etc. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) should be given to pre­vent dehydration.


Meal planning

In diarrhea, total rest should be given to the digestive system of the patient. He should avoid intake of solid foods for 12-36 hours. Full liquid diet should be given to him to prevent dehydration, like salt added water, glucose water, strained fruit, juices, lemon water, whey water, barley water, etc.

After improvement in the patient’s condition, semi-liquid diet without fiber should be given to him, e.g., tea, coffee, fruit juice, milk, jelly, lassie without fat, thin custard, strained vegetable soups, dal water, etc.

After considerable improvement in his condition, soft foods should be given to the him like boiled rice, half boiled egg, custard, boiled vegetables, fibreless fruits, foods made up of skimmed milk, khichdi, porridge, etc.


Patient should be served normal diet with the improvement in his condition.

Points to be considered

• Small amount of food should be given to patient at regular intervals. In the begin­ning, food should be served at an interval of one and a half to two hours.

• Avoid use of extremely hot and cold foods.

• Food should be simple and without spices.

• Fibrous foods should be avoided in diet.

• Fried foods should be avoided in diet.

• More liquids should be given. Samples of meal planning for a patient of diarrhea are given on page 265 and 266.

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