Tips On Controlling Diarrhea
Diarrhea affects almost all persons living with HIV disease. It can be very hard to control. Often, diarrhea interferes with your eating program; it seems that if you eat, you'll have diarrhea right after your meal!
These suggestions are offered to many persons living with HIV, but because HIV is so individual, some of the hints may not work for you but others will! Try all of them to find your own best results.
Things To Avoid
Avoid dairy products: milk, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, etc. Often, you can safely eat yogurt and/or cheese. You'll have to find out for yourself if these cause diarrhea in your body. You may also need to avoid cream soups and mixed foods like lasagna, enchiladas, pizza and "white" sauces. All of these contain dairy -- either milk or cream, or both. And they are high in fat.
Avoid high fiber foods: eat white bread, pasta and rice, and eat low-fiber cereals. Brown rice and whole grain bread, etc. are, of course, better nutritional choices, but high fiber in those "brown" foods can, and probably will, make diarrhea worse.
Avoid beans and other "gassy" foods like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Carbonated beverages can be gassy too.
Avoid fresh vegetables: Veggies are very nutritious, but they also have fiber, which can make diarrhea worse. However, you may be able to handle some veggies like zucchini & green beans. Also, sometimes you can tolerate canned vegetables - better than none at all - try for yourself.
Avoid most fruits: (there are some exceptions). Because fruits are so easily digested, they may seem to "go straight through you."
Avoid caffeine-containing beverages: coffee, tea & colas.
Avoid strong spices like hot sauce, pepper, and Tabasco, etc.
Some Foods May Help To Control Diarrhea
Eat bananas, mangoes, papayas and applesauce. Although some people may have trouble with some of these fruits, others will find that they provide some relief. These fruits usually help people with HIV-related diarrhea.
Drink Lots of Fluids
Drink rice water: make white rice by following label directions, but use an extra 1-1/2 cup of water. When the rice is cooked to the texture you want, drain off the extra water, chill (if you prefer), and then drink it. If you need a sweetener, use a small amount of sugar or honey.
Drink Peidalyte/Infalyte. This wonderful product is sold in the baby food section of grocery stores. It even acts against the BAD diarrhea of "crypto" infection!
How You Eat Is As Important As What You Eat!
Eat small meals, frequently. Eat slowly, & chew your food well. Avoid very hot & very cold foods, & rest after meals. Drink water and other fluids between meals. While eating, slowly sip your beverages.
(Copyright, 1992: Health & Fitness Associates, & Jennifer Jensen, MBA, MPH, RD. 901 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 310, SM, CA 90401 (310) 450-5581. All rights reserved.)
This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.