Mar 15, 2011

BRAT diet

What is the BRAT diet?

The BRAT diet is a treatment historically prescribed for patients with gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea, dyspepsia, and/or gastroenteritis.
 If you have recently had an upset stomach or diarrhea, your doctor may suggest that you limit your diet to bland foods that won’t irritate your stomach. The BRAT diet is a bland-food diet that is often recommended for adults and children. BRAT stands for  :
These bland, low-fiber foods are easy to digest and may help with diarrhea, and most people who have a stomach illness can tolerate them pretty well. The BRAT diet has spawned other eating regimens that have a similar effect on upset stomach.
They include the BRATY diet, which stands for:
And the BRATT diet, which stands for:
Once your symptoms have subsided, you can start transitioning back to a normal diet, but you'll want to stick to a relatively bland diet for a couple of days. Avoid the following foods:
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Fried, greasy, or spicy foods
  • Rich desserts
  • Raw fruits and vegetables such as corn on the cob, onions, beets, raisins, figs, and cherries
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, pineapples, grapefruits) and juices
  • Alcohol and caffeinated drinks
The BRAT diet can help you recover from an upset stomach or diarrhea for the following reasons:
  • It includes “binding” foods. These are low-fiber foods that can help make your stools firmer.
  • It includes bananas, which are high in potassium and help replace nutrients your body has lost because of vomiting or diarrhea.

When should I avoid the BRAT diet?

Solid foods, like those in the BRAT diet, are not recommended for adults or children who are actively vomiting. Instead, stick to clear liquids at first and wait until you can eat solid foods without vomiting. If you have been vomiting or have diarrhea, drinking an electrolyte beverage (some brand names: Pedialyte, Rehydralyte) can help protect against dehydration. Use these products according to your doctor’s instructions.

How long should I follow the BRAT diet?

Both adults and children should follow the BRAT diet for only a short period of time because it does not provide all the elements of a healthy diet. Following the BRAT diet for too long can cause your body to become malnourished. This means you are not getting enough of many important nutrients. If your body is malnourished, it will be hard for you to get better.

You should be able to start eating a more regular diet, including fruits and vegetables, within about 24 to 48 hours after vomiting or having diarrhea.
Call the doctor if you or your child experiences:
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
  • A temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Reduced urine
  • Lightheadedness
  • No tears or sunken cheeks

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