Can you eat noodles when you have diarrhea?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “can you eat noodles when you have diarrhea?” and discuss the benefits of eating noodles during diarrhea episodes, what can be eaten in diarrhea and what types of foods to avoid.
Can you eat noodles when you have diarrhea?
Yes, you can eat noodles when you are experiencing diarrhea. Noodles contain resistant starch, which is a type of dietary fiber (1).
It has been shown that the ingestion of dietary fibers can improve the symptoms of diarrhea (1,2). In addition, due to the nutrients and the high caloric input, noodles can help recovering from the diarrheal episode (3).
What are the benefits of eating noodles when you have diarrhea?
The benefits of eating noodles when you have diarrhea are related to the presence of resistant starch in the noodles. Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber that cannot be digested by the normal gastric transit.
Rather, it is fermented in the colon to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate. These compounds have many beneficial effects in the colon as well as to human health and can help manage diarrhea, by reducing the stool volume (1).
In addition, the colonic fermentation of dietary fiber may help to improve gastrointestinal tolerance and decrease diarrhea. Dietary fiber seems to reduce diarrhea by protecting from harmful bacterial overgrowth in the intestine (2).
In this way, even if you eat whole wheat noodles, the effects are positive to manage diarrhea, although the ingestion of whole grains are related to increased laxation. The fibers present in whole wheat may also be beneficial, when not eaten in excess.
However, if you have any gastrointestinal disease, such as irritable bowel syndrome, it is advisable to seek medical assistance (2).
Another positive effect of consuming noodles when you have diarrhea is that noodles provide energy, which help recovering from malnutrition and diarrhea (3).
What are the risks of eating noodles when you have diarrhea?
The risks of eating noodles when you have diarrhea are possible if you have a gluten allergy or if you are gluten sensitive. Wheat allergy is an immune-mediated reaction to the proteins found in wheat products and individuals with such allergy should not eat wheat noodles (4).
While celiac and allergy to wheat protein are characterized by an allergic reaction to gluten or to the proteins in wheat, gluten sensitivity is not related to allergic reactions, although the diet free from gluten may improve the symptoms.
The symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are gastrointestinal, such as diarrhea, bloating and pain, while the symptoms of wheat allergy usually include swelling, itching, skin rashes, and difficulty breathing
What foods should you avoid with diarrhea?
During a diarrhea episode, it is recommended to avoid spicy foods and foods containing large amounts of fats. Avoid acidic drinks, such as tomato juice, citrus juices, and fizzy soft drinks (6).
Avoid foods that might irritate the digestive tract, such as fried or greasy foods, nuts, raw fruits or vegetables, foods containing a high amount of sugar, foods and drinks containing caffeine, such as chocolate and coffee, carbonated drinks and spices.
What foods should you eat for diarrhea?
For diarrhea, you should eat foods that are easily digested and contain liquids, such as chicken soup, chicken broth, caffeine-free soft drinks, and fruit juices (5). It is recommended to eat small amounts of food rather than in large quantities.
Foods that are helpful are low-fiber foods, e.g., rice, bananas, applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, low-fat cottage cheese, and dry toast. To recover the lost minerals, you should eat foods high in potassium (bananas, potatoes, apricots) which is an important mineral often lost through diarrhea.
How to treat diarrhea faster?
To treat diarrhea faster, you should ingest a large quantity of fluids. Standard oral rehydration solutions are used commonly to combat this situation. However, if the diarrhea persists, oral rehydration salts (fluids containing electrolytes) may be used.
The ingestion of vitamins and minerals is recommended, as they help recover from the losses caused during the diarrhea episode.
The ingestion of probiotics is also beneficial, as they improve the immune system and help recover the gut microbiota (1).The use of probiotics may have potential as an antidiarrheal agent.
Most of the time diarrhea does not need medical treatment but if your situation lasts for more than 3 days then the best way to treat your diarrhea is to go to your doctor so that he may discover the actual cause of diarrhea and it may be treated with antibiotics or from other methods.
In this brief guide, we answered the question, “can you eat noodles when you have diarrhea?” and discussed the benefits of eating noodles during diarrhea episodes, which types of foods can be eaten in diarrhea, and the types of foods to avoid diarrhea.
- Alam, Nure H., and Hasan Ashraf. Treatment of infectious diarrhea in children. Pediatric Drugs, 2003, 5, 151-165.
- Slavin, Joanne. Whole grains and digestive health. Cereal Chem, 2010, 87, 292-296.
- Graham, George G., and William C. MacLean Jr. Experience with a Mixture of Wheat-Noodles and Casein in the Initial Dietary Therapy of Infants and Young Children with Protein-Calorie Malnutrition or Acute Diarrhea. US Government.
- Pietzak, Michelle, and John A. Kerner Jr. Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and gluten sensitivity: when gluten free is not a fad. J parenter enter nutr, 2012, 36, 68S-75S.
- Managing Diarrhea. Michigan State University.