ISLAMABAD: Occasional diarrhea is a common occurrence. Most people will experience an episode of diarrhea at least once or twice a year that will disappear in a couple of days.

Luckily, there are many foods to eat that may help a person reduce the symptoms of diarrhea. There are also some foods to avoid when dealing with a bout of diarrhea, and some additional home care tips to consider.

Anyone who is experiencing persistent diarrhea should see a doctor, as a person may become dehydrated over time.

What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a bowel movement that is more liquid than solid or has a loose texture. It is a common problem and may occur a couple of times each year. Diarrhea will usually last no more than 3 days.
Soft, bland foods, such as toast, will help to absorb excess water and ease the symptoms of diarrhea.

People with chronic digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn's disease, may experience diarrhea more regularly.

In addition to loose or runny stools, diarrhea is also associated with other digestive symptoms, including:
•    cramps
•    abdominal bloating and pain
•    a bubbly feeling in the intestines
•    an urgent need to have a bowel movement
•    nausea
•    vomiting
•    fever

A person's diet is crucial if they are experiencing diarrhea. Some foods might help relieve symptoms of diarrhea while eating other foods can make diarrhea worse.
Foods to eat

While recovering from diarrhea, a person should eat bland, simple foods that are easy to digest and will help absorb some water from the stool.

Bland foods
People with diarrhea should eat bland foods, as spicy or complex foods can irritate the bowels. Bland foods that may help with diarrhea include:

•    hot cereals, such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, or rice porridge
•    bananas
•    applesauce
•    plain white rice
•    bread or toast
•    boiled potatoes
•    unseasoned crackers
These foods may be especially helpful on the first day of dealing with diarrhea. Eating many small meals throughout the day can help keep the digestive system from becoming overworked.

Probiotic foods, such as yogurt and kefir, may help in some cases, but in others, probiotics may irritate the digestive system even more.

Probiotics aid digestion by improving the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. However, dairy products can irritate the digestive system, so a person may wish to try non-dairy sources of probiotics, such as miso or sauerkraut.