Does some food cause diarrhoea?

Our diet can be the cause of diarrhoea, but a food that is perfectly fine for one person, may cause diarrhoea in another. Also, your tolerance to foods can change over time. So you might have once loved to dig into a spicy dish with no problem, but now it seems the same spicy food is the cause of diarrhoea.

 The following foods can cause diarrhoea or make it worse:

  • Fried or fatty foods Creamy or fried foods can trigger diarrhoea if they pass through the digestive system without having been properly digested
  • Spicy foods Can cause loose stools for some people
  • Caffeine Caffeine is found in tea, coffee and chocolate
  • Concentrated fruits Such as dried figs, dates, raisins and prunes
  • High fibre vegetables Such as dried beans, corn and cabbage family vegetables
  • Dairy foods When you have diarrhoea, lactose found in dairy foods may be hard to digest
  • Fructose Fruits and juices contain fructose and it can be added to foods and drinks
  • Artificial sweeteners Such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol – these are found in sugar-free gum, lollies and some medications

Foods to eat when you have diarrhoea

Know the foods that trigger your diarrhoea so you can avoid them. If you do have diarrhoea, however, you may find the following low fibre foods help while you return to your normal eating routine:

  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Yoghurt (unless you are lactose intolerant)
  • Smooth peanut butter, a small amount at a time
  • White bread
  • Lean meats
  • Cottage cheese
  • Canned fruits in small quantities