What diet is suggested in the treatment of diarrhea?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020
  • Author: Stefano Guandalini, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast diet

  • A banana, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet was introduced in the United States in 1926 and has enjoyed vast popularity. However, no evidence shows that this diet is useful, and its poor protein content may be a contraindication; therefore, it is not recommended.

  • A strong body of evidence now suggests that resuming the prediarrhea diet is perfectly safe and must be encouraged, obviously respecting any (usually temporary) lack of appetite.

Lactose ingestion

  • Although rotavirus can cause secondary transient lactose intolerance, this finding is believed to be generally not clinically relevant; use lactose-containing formulas in all individuals with diarrhea.

  • In an incident of worsening of diarrhea proven to be secondary to a clinically important lactose malabsorption in infants positive for rotavirus, a very transient use of lactose-free formulas (5-6 d) can be considered.

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