November 13, 2023
Many of our clients come to us with digestive health issues, which includes diarrhea. Not only is this a sign of something going on inside the intestinal tract, it’s super disruptive to every day life! If this is an issue you or someone you love is struggling with, let’s talk about some things you can do with food (hint: probiotics) and what foods to try avoiding (think: sensitivities) to help find relief and heal the gut.
Similar Podcast Episodes:
MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We are celebrating our 20th year of bringing you information about the benefits of eating real food. At the end of every show we say that eating real food is a simple but powerful message. As you know, eating real food is a simple message, but it is sometimes very difficult to do.
Some people, when they fall off the real food menu, end up with some uncomfortable digestive problems, such as acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas. Today, we want to focus on the uncomfortable intestinal problem of diarrhea. We will be discussing how certain foods can lead to diarrhea for many, but not all.
We also want to spend some time on one of the side effects of certain medications. Some very popular and costly weight loss drugs have been reported to cause people to have out of control diarrhea and gas. So as always, our message is that real food has no negative side effects. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and I'm in studio this morning with Britni Vincent. Good morning, Britni.
BRITNI: Good morning.
MELANIE: She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. So let's get started on the show.
BRITNI: Yeah. I think that many individuals have sensitive digestive systems and poor intestinal health for a variety of reasons, which we’re going to talk about today. And if you have poor intestinal health, it may manifest as diarrhea or constipation. Some people kind of go back and forth with both of them.
Some other symptoms that you may not necessarily think are connected to poor intestinal health are fatigue, brain fog, reoccurring bladder infections, reoccurring vaginal yeast infections, heartburn, anxiety, and depression. All of those symptoms can be linked back to poor intestinal health.
MELANIE: I'm so glad you brought those up.
BRITNI: Yeah, and so you don't have to have the obvious symptoms like diarrhea, gas, constipation, to have poor intestinal health. So I think that's why a lot of people just don't realize that it might be an issue for them.
MELANIE: Yeah, I think it's really good to note that, I mean, our intestines are really our powerhouse and our brain, our second brain. It affects every system in our body. And last week on Dishing Up Nutrition, we discussed foods to eat for good immune function. And I know we mentioned this last week, but I want to help you understand that your intestinal track is the center of your immune system. And when good bacteria is missing in your gut and you don't have probiotics or eat probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented foods, fermented pickles, you may be deficient in good protective bacteria.
And... Also have harmful bacteria such as yeast, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins that are allowed to build up. They kind of battle each other in there. So they, these accumulate and damage the intestinal wall and weaken your immune system. In our Nutrition for Weight Loss classes, we do, we explain how some probiotics help to keep your intestinal tract healthy, while certain medications, bacteria, or even foods, are known to damage that intestinal membrane, the lining of your intestines, leaving you open to those digestive issues.
BRITNI: And normally, we always have good and bad bacteria in our intestinal tract. It's the balance of the two that's really important. And of course, we want way more of those good guys than the bad guys. And I want to start talking about foods that contain those probiotics. And then we'll talk about some foods and... and other things that can damage your microbiome.
And I like to explain to clients that they have this little garden of probiotics in their stomach, small intestine, large intestine, which is also called the colon. And there are a hundred trillion bacterial cells in there.
BRITNI: Isn't that just wild to imagine
MELANIE: We are made of bacteria.
BRITNI: We are. Yeah, we are eating to feed that bacteria essentially.
MELANIE: How's your breakfast listeners?
BRTINI: Yeah. Yeah. So when you lack the probiotic, acidophilus, in the stomach, you may have heartburn. When you lack the probiotic, bifidobacteria, in the small intestinal tract, you may have trouble digesting or breaking down your food, which affects your ability to make B vitamins and also make your neurotransmitters.
MELANIE: So this may be why we're seeing so much anxiety and depression.
BRITNI: Yes. There's that huge connection, like you said earlier, Melanie, that it really, truly is our second brain. And those neurotransmitters, not only are they important for our mood. But also they affect our cravings, our energy. And when you do lack that probiotic, acidophilus, not only may you experience heartburn, but that could cause diarrhea or constipation if you lack that in, in the large intestinal tract.
MELANIE: Yeah. Kind of critical. When and how to get these important probiotics: our very first source of bifidobacteria is the vaginal canal when we're born and breast milk. So some many, many of my clients, I'll ask them this question. Seems like an odd one, but that lets you know, how are you set up with life? Did you get the seed for that garden?
MELANIE: We also get probiotics from fermented foods, plain yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, and of course, from supplements.
BRITNI: And if you're eating a lot of fiber rich foods, you know, think vegetables, some nuts, seeds, things like that, you know, many fiber rich foods are going to be prebiotic. So they are going to feed this good bacteria. So that is, that is really important to also include into your diet.
MELANIE: And if we think about the, the standard American diet, the SAD diet, there's not a lot of fiber. Listeners, I challenge you to track your fiber. Do it for a week and see where you are. We recommend 30 to at minimum 30 grams a day; 40, 50 is ideal. And you have to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts to get that.
BRITNI: Yeah. You have to be very intentional. I mean, even for us, it has to be a goal to, to really hit that because it is, it is difficult. So let's talk about what reduces the good bacteria in our microbiome. So first on the list would be antibiotics. And, you know, a lot of people aren't even aware of their antibiotic use as a child, of course, because they may not remember, but this is thinking back to your entire lifetime.
BRITNI: How many antibiotics have you been on? And that really has a huge effect in your gut health. Secondly would be anti-inflammatory medications. So even those over-the-counter meds that people take for pain, muscle discomfort, I mean, I think a lot of people think of them as being harmless.
MELANIE: Yep. And that used to be; this is dating myself, but it used to be, you could not get anything but aspirin over the counter. These were prescription medications because of the impact on the body. And now we, you know, it's like ibuprofen, it's like vitamin I. People are popping it left and right when they have any discomfort and they don't realize that impact on the microbiome and the gut.
BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. There are foods also that are going to destroy that good bacteria, certainly fast food, you know, processed foods. You're going to get chemicals in the processed food, MSG, which by the way, is a neurotoxin: MSG is, and MSG has also been found to negatively impact your microbiome. And any of these processed foods: pizza, chips, pretzels, ice cream, those carbohydrates and the sugar are going to feed that bad bacteria.
MELANIE: Yeah. Good point. So it's not only about feeding the good bacteria. It's are we feeding the bad bacteria and the yeast?
BRITNI: Yeah. And that could be a source of cravings for some people too.
MELANIE: Good point. I find many of my clients are somewhat confused with how these probiotics help with intestinal health. Well, just a little overview. Let's do one. Well first pro means for. Biotic means life. So probiotics are for life. Antibiotic: anti means against, biotic means life. So an antibiotic is against life. So probiotics: they help the body absorb all the nutrients in food and supplements. They help eliminate or control the growth of candida albicans, which is yeast.
They decrease cancer risk. They lower cholesterol levels. That might be surprising I think. They boost immune function, which we talked about, and they balance the gut to decrease that those episodes of constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating, or even eliminate. It’s magic, right?
BRITNI: Yeah. They can be really magical.
MELANIE: Let's talk some more when we get back from break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we're sharing a mini class about intestinal health. If you're having issues with diarrhea, stay tuned because we have some answers for you. We'll be back.
BRITNI: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. As we go back into our discussion, I want to share some important facts about probiotic, bifidobacteria. Bifidobacteria is one of the most important bacteria for your overall health. Bifidobacteria helps to reduce sugar and bread cravings; also helps us digest our food, especially protein. And if you've never taken a probiotic before, a really good place to start is taking one to two Bifido Balance capsules before each meal.
MELANIE: I think they're, that's the gentlest strain to begin with.
BRITNI: Yes. Yeah.
MELANIE: I like it.
BRITNI: So before break, you were talking about how probiotics help with intestinal health and we've been talking about diarrhea. But, you know, I was thinking we should talk about what does the ideal bowel movement look like? Because we usually aren't talking about this at the dinner table or with our friends.
MELANIE: And it's not something you generally feel comfortable asking.
BRITNI: No, no.
MELANIE: Take it away, Britni.
BRITNI: And I have had clients come to me and I ask these questions. And, and these questions have just become, you know, they're, it's like asking how your energy is. We ask about what's your bowel movement?
MELANIE: We don't even think about it. We are literally the poop police.
BRITNI: Yeah. So people just don't realize that they might, they are experiencing diarrhea or constipation because they just think it's normal. So we should be having a daily formed bowel movement. It should be easy to pass and you should feel like you've completely eliminated.
MELANIE: It should not float.
MELANIE: It should not break up and you should not see food in your stool.
BRITNI: And some people have two, maybe even three bowel movements a day. And as long as that is your norm, that is totally fine.
MELANIE: However, we've had clients and I'm thinking of, a young gentleman that came to me who was in his twenties who thought it was normal to have 10 watery stools a day because it had been happening his entire life.
BRITNI: Oh, that's awful.
MELANIE: And I said, no, that's not normal. And you know, he came to me because there was discomfort, life disruption, they were getting worse. Other things were happening. And he was very uncomfortable and switching a few things around, which is what we're talking about today, listeners, these specific things that we're telling you, he started within a week, he started having three looser stools, but not urgent watery diarrheas. And, and now he's having normal stools one or two a day.
BRITNI: And it's amazing. You changed his life.
MELANIE: Well, yeah, the knowledge and he implemented, you know, when we had, you have a client who takes the tools you give them and they implement it works and that's, you know, that's our joys is what we talk about.
BRITNI: Yeah. And, you know, Leah, another dietitian on at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, she did an “Ask a Nutritionist” podcast, and it's entitled, How to Take Probiotics and that's from September. So if you want an even deeper dive into the probiotics, I encourage you to listen to that as well. It really compliments what we're talking about today.
MELANIE: You can find that on our website at weightandwellness.com.
BRITNI: Or wherever you listen to your podcasts. So I want you now that we've described what your stool should look like, if you are experiencing ongoing diarrhea, ask yourself, when did it start? Did anything happen around that time? I, one of my first questions is usually, were you sick around that time? Did you go on an antibiotic? I often find that a round of antibiotic triggers possibly a sensitivity or triggers that diarrhea or sometimes constipation. So that would be something to think about.
MELANIE: Another one is, were you exposed to food poisoning?
BRITNI: Yes. Yes.
MELANIE: I have people that traveled abroad, came back, they got sick, and now they can't seem to straighten out the diarrhea.
BRITNI: Great point.
MELANIE: It's disrupting.
MELANIE: All of that is disrupting to the microbiome and the digestive system.
BRITNI: Yep. And, you know, thinking about other factors, if you take some medications, the side effect is diarrhea. So looking at that. Tap water can contain high levels of chlorine.
MELANIE: Think about what chlorine does. It's a bacteria destroyer.
BRITNI: Yeah. It's going to kill that good bacteria. If you were not breastfed or you were born a C section or if you take a medication to manage your acid reflux, all of those scenarios are going to have a negative impact on our digestive system, our microbiome, all that good bacteria.
MELANIE: And then once you have that unbalanced intestinal tract, it can result in a lot of symptoms. Like we mentioned, heartburn, sugar cravings of all things, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, colon cancer, brain fog, memory loss, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, weight gain, asthma, constipation, and of course, diarrhea, which is our topic today.
BRITNI: Listening to all this, if this resonates with you and you determine your intestinal tract is out of balance and you have some of these symptoms, what could you do from a nutritional perspective? You know, there's a lot that you can do. And what we recommend to start is getting rid of those inflammatory foods: sugar, processed carbohydrates, eliminating gluten grains…
BRITNI: …is a really big one. Eliminating refined oils like vegetable oils, soybean oil, corn, seed oils. So talk more about the gluten piece of this.
MELANIE: Yeah. Let's do. According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, she's the founder and director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and the author of Gluten Freedom, at least one in 133 people have celiac disease and 6 percent of people or 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from gluten sensitivity.
If you have either celiac disease. or the gluten sensitivity. Or, even grain products may bother you. The grain products that you want to avoid are going to be wheat, barley, rye, spelt and kamut, which are wheat hybrids, and oats. For some, even a very small amount of these grains can lead to diarrhea. I want to throw corn in there also, because it's a molecular mimicker of gluten. So give it a shot.
We're about ready for break. So we'll talk more about gluten when we come back. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Another important probiotic is acidophilus. The dominant probiotic for the stomach is acidophilus. Often the acid reflux, If you have it, I suggest taking Bifido Balance and before breakfast and Acidophilus before dinner or at bedtime. And Acidophilus helps to provide sufficient acid for better digestion. We'll be right back.
BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Acidophilus is an amazing probiotic. It is found in the stomach, in the large intestinal tract, vaginal tract, lining your bladder as well. It's very helpful in preventing and healing vaginal and urinary tract infections. I had reoccurring UTIs for about five years and acidophilus along with tweaking my food.
BRITNI: Yeah. Did the trick. I have not had an issue for, you know, a decade. So it's great stuff. You can also use it to help manage diarrhea. So I often suggest mixing a half to one teaspoon of acidophilus powder, which is called Dophilus Powder and one tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Mix that in water, drink it at bedtime. It can be very helpful for diarrhea. That flaxseed helps to bulk the stool. It is also a prebiotic, which we were talking about earlier.
MELANIE: Win win. You might want to start slow, a little slow on that, on that ground flax, but it's magic. And so before we went to break, we were talking about the connection with gluten, diarrhea, and celiac.
BRITNI: And, you know, you talked about which things to, which grains to avoid being gluten free. And the gluten story does not end with avoiding buns, crackers, pasta, cakes, and cookies. There's a lot of foods that have gluten containing ingredients that is enough to irritate your system and cause diarrhea. So we have a long list that we provide our clients, but to name a few, some of these can contain gluten: barbecue sauce, beer, breadcrumbs, some chocolate bars, croutons, ice cream cones, soy sauce, pretzels, stuffing mix. I mean, the list goes on.
MELANIE: The list goes on. Here's a little tip, which has been really helpful is when they passed a law that we had to have the top eight allergens on the label, what's beautiful is they have to list wheat as wheat, which is, I would say in our country, a good 90 percent of our, spit balling here, but a good 90 percent of our gluten comes from wheat.
So that's a huge place to start is if it says wheat on the label, it's not for you. Right? Any and all of these can cause out of control diarrhea for a number of people. And perhaps the first step to stop having diarrhea is to be a hundred percent gluten free and a simple menu is to just follow four to six ounces of meat, a cup of vegetables that grow above the earth, those low carb vegetables, and then throw in a half a cup of a root vegetable like sweet potato or squash, and then a little tablespoon of natural fat. And think about that all animals, all vegetables, all fruit, all nuts and seeds, all healthy fats are gluten free.
MELANIE: So if you're eating real food, you're almost a hundred percent gluten free unless you're throwing wheat berries and oats in the mix.
BRITNI: Yep. And I really want to emphasize the hundred percent because people think it's harmless to have a piece of bread once a week.
MELANIE: Those nibble and bits knock it down.
BRITNI: It is enough to throw off your system and so I challenge you if you are having these digestive symptoms, experiment, do an experiment with yourself for a month: 100 percent gluten free and you know, most people feel so much better they don't even test the waters after that, but if you just tell yourself it's a month, you can do that. Right? And then what I did personally when I went gluten free and what I recommend to my clients is think of all the foods you love that are naturally gluten free.
MELANIE: You know, focus, if you're always focusing on what you cannot have, you'll always be in deprivation brain.
MELANIE: So focus on the delicious foods you can have. I love that so much. You know, when I was, had to go gluten free years ago, 2007, I felt so much better and I went to a book club and the hostess was wonderful. She said, I made things gluten free for you. I was dairy free at the time, gluten and dairy free.
Anyway, I thought all of it was, and I, it was like a double blind study, right? I had this wonderful dessert that she made. The next day I felt like I had the flu. I had digestive issues. I had heartburn and a migraine. So when I called her, she goes, oh no, no, that wasn't gluten free, but it just reaffirmed for me this is not for you, Melanie.
BRITNI: Yep. Yep.
MELANIE: So I love that challenge. You know, and dairy is another food that some people are sensitive to that can lead to gas and diarrhea. The protein, casein, in dairy products may be the problem. Also lactose, which can be the, the milk sugar. Heavy cream and butter can contain very little protein. It's often tolerated. I know you and I don't tolerate that well.
MELANIE: Heavy cream. I can do butter, but 70 percent of the population lack that enzyme to break down casein and the protein in dairy products. I also can't do whey, but some people can do whey, but can't do casein. So that's a trial and error. It's good to have a professional to help you out. But milk and yogurt are more difficult to digest and can lead to loose stools and gas and I call it rot gut. I just don't feel good in my tummy.
BRITNI: Yeah. So 70 percent of the world's population is lactose intolerant and you can think of that as a spectrum, right? So you, I, I hear this from people, well, I don’t feel poorly when I eat cheese or yogurt but sometimes is an accumulative effect, especially if you have lactose intolerance. And if that's the case, then it's just much more difficult to, to pinpoint what's causing it. So you're never going to know for sure unless you completely eliminate something.
MELANIE: And then I love to do, I call it a day of dairy with my clients. Eliminate it, then have dairy at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your body is its best doctor. It’s going to tell you, did this work for you, did it not work for you? And then you get the option of choosing how you want to feel. Many times, like you said, these are masked symptoms, diarrhea, bloating, gas, but maybe joint pain, other things. So just removing, don't tell yourself it's forever, and then add it back on a challenge day. See how you feel.
MELANIE: I think that's a really good way to figure, figure your own body out. I suggest small but frequent meals and take Bifido Balance when you have diarrhea before breakfast and lunch and Acidophilus before dinner or bedtime and then sip on water throughout the day to keep you hydrated. You don't want to be dehydrated and that intestinal tract to function properly also has to be hydrated. So not a big guzzle, guzzle, guzzle, sipping on water all day, small frequent meals, no gluten, no dairy can really be helpful.
BRITNI: And this doesn't have to be complicated, you know, it can just be like you mentioned, maybe you throw in some meat in your, your slow cooker, you, you could throw your vegetables in there, some sweet potatoes, some squash, or maybe you make a sheet pan meal. And so just getting that, that meat, eggs or fish, some veggies, some sort of concentrated carbohydrate like the potatoes or squash and then that healthy fat, that's all it has to be. And it's delicious and simple to do.
MELANIE: And if you've got a real hard case like my client or where it is just, I have another client and she had to literally work next to the bathroom at home. And so we started with just root vegetables, lower fat meats stewed in a crock pot just to calm the gut down. And that really helped.
BRITNI: Yeah. I want to talk a little more about that importance of calming the gut down in the cooked vegetables.
And so it reminds me of a client. I just saw her for a follow up last week and she has a history of a lot of digestive symptoms, including diarrhea. And so she's been gluten and dairy free for a long time, and, but she's recently been eating a lot of large salads. Then her diarrhea came back. So our previous appointment we talked about, well, let's have you try going back to cooked vegetables and, and I bet that that will help. Sure enough, when I talked to her last week, her diarrhea was under control.
So you think about it, raw vegetables, it's a lot more work for your digestive system to break down. And if there's already irritation or inflammation going on, that can just exacerbate what's going on. So that healing process of doing cooked vegetables can be super, super helpful.
MELANIE: And you know, and it's not forever because our microbiome is teachable.
MELANIE: So if you start out with cooked vegetables, this is not your portion forever, but you, if you start incorporating raw once you're healed, it needs to be small doses and then the microbiome and the enzymes begin to adapt, but going in with that big volume salad, probably not the best way to start out because the microbiome has not adapted to eating those raw vegetables. So we have to start slowly. Give your body a little break, a little, a little lesson learning, right? Like kindergarten.
BRITNI: And so I think that, you know, I've noticed in the past few years, there are more individuals that are experiencing digestive symptoms and your intestinal tract needs a variety of probiotics, anti-inflammatory foods and concentrated nutrients from both food sources and, you know, there's some key nutrients that can be helpful to supplement with.
Omega 3’s are really helpful. And then taking a vitamin D3 plus K2 supplement. Those are two that I recommend for all of my clients, and that can also help with the healing process too, because the healing process, it takes some time.
MELANIE: And adequate nutrition.
MELANIE: And nutrient status. Well, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'd like to explain again what acidophilus is and who should use it. Acidophilus capsules or Dophilus Powder are pure strains of lactobacillus acidophilus and target areas that line the stomach, bladder, and vaginal tract. Who would benefit? Well, anyone who struggles with acid reflux, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections. And those who get frequent colds and flus. It's easy to take and so effective. Start slow and build up with it when you, when you start, we'll be right back.
BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. You know, we have been talking about bifido and acidophilus. Those are two very important probiotics. Many of our clients take 1-3 capsules of Bifido Balance before meals and they find it reduces sugar and bread cravings. And it can work magic for, for those individuals with the cravings. Because that’s what we've been talking about, that bad bacteria feeds on sugar and carbohydrates.
BRITNI: So we want to up the good bacteria and the bifido also helps to break down our food, our protein into amino acids, which then are converted to our neurotransmitters. So before break, we, we were talking about some key nutrients that can help and the holidays are coming up.
BRITNI: Well, we already had Halloween, but it makes me think about the connection of anxiety and diarrhea.
MELANIE: Oh, I'm glad you brought that up.
BRITNI: And I, for some people, it becomes this vicious cycle. So I saw a client and she had, she has colitis and at the time she was having diarrhea multiple times a day and she would get anxious to leave her house. She, her daughter lived out of state. She would not travel to see her daughter because she was too scared. She was too anxious about it. And what we found is the food, she definitely had food sensitivities that we figured out: dairy, gluten. She needed to start on those cooked veggies, like we talked about.
And, but we also found that the anxiety and stress would sometimes trigger that diarrhea as well. So that's something to be mindful of and aware of. And I know in that situation of having diarrhea all the time, you get worried. Well, when is it going to happen? You know, where's the nearest bathroom? All of those things go through, go through your head.
MELANIE: Which in itself is trauma. Trauma and stress and anxiety affect the microbiome.
MELANIE: And I, I've seen the same thing.
BRITNI: Yep. I know it's maybe not the most convenient time of year to tackle this, but, it will help you to get through the holidays so much better and you'll get relief.
MELANIE: Instead of with anxiety and worry.
MELANIE: You have to ask yourself cost benefit analysis, right? It that piece of pie as important to be to you than it is to have two or three days without diarrhea?
MELANIE: You know, it's cost benefit analysis and there are, this is what we do is we provide, instead of saying you cannot have, we say, how about this instead of that? Because there are options.
BRITNI: So many options.
MELANIE: So many options. And we're not talking about a bunch of processed gluten free foods, but if you go to our website at weightandwellness.com, all of our recipes are gluten free. Not all are dairy free, but we have options how to swap, swap out most of things with options for, to make it dairy free.
But if that tells you anything about how strong we feel about the disruption of gluten on the microbiome, we don't even create recipes that have gluten. So think about going to weightandwellness.com. Look for the recipes. You can also look at our bios and see if you want to make an appointment because you're struggling. We have lots of articles. We have other podcasts that you can listen to. There's a wealth of information on that website that's free.
BRITNI: Yeah, there really is. And it's overwhelming and it's really hard to tackle this by yourself. So we, we are here to support you, if you decide to make an appointment.
MELANIE: Yeah. And so before we, we finish, I do want to just recap a little bit of some of the things that we talked about. So if you are struggling with diarrhea, one of the things that you want to do is first and foremost, remove the irritants: gluten, dairy products, maybe corn, oats as well, and grains.
BRITNI: And you could do that one at a time. You know, some people it's like, oh my goodness, I don't know if I could do them both at the same time.
MELANIE: Start with gluten.
BRITNI: I would start with gluten. Yep. Do that for a month. See how you feel then. And then if you're still having symptoms, tackle the dairy part.
MELANIE: Tackle the dairy.
MELANIE: And then remove stimulants also. We didn't really touch on this, but to think about caffeine and alcohol, those are going to cause diarrhea. So decaffeinate slowly. It dehydrates the lining of the colon because caffeine is a diuretic. Alcohol is just an irritant hands down. So you want to remove those stimulants.
BRITNI: Keep the diet simple at first, you know, think of root vegetables, leaner cuts of meat cooked in broth.
MELANIE: Those are, that's a really simple way to start, right? You can make a soup. Eat on that soup, have some eggs for breakfast, you know, some, maybe even some cooked vegetables that are a little lower in fiber to give the gut rest for now. So we rest and then we start incorporating more, but first just get on top of the diarrhea.
BRITNI: And stick with, you know, including those healthy fats, putting a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil on those vegetables would be really great. And the fat is also healing for our intestinal tract.
MELANIE: And it hydrates again. So we're hydrating. And then add in those helpful probiotics such as Bifido Balance, Acidophilus. Sometimes even, there's a strain called Saccharomyces Boulardii, which I will use specifically with diarrhea clients. But you want to put in those healthy probiotics to benefit the gut. And again, we're saying start very slowly. Don't run out and buy a big dog, 50 billion probiotic from the grocery store and that's just too much. And you're going to feel like your guts are blowing up. That's the clinical term. But, it, you know, we have, that's why we like to start with Bifido and Acidophilus because they're gentler single strain probiotics.
BRITNI: And then trying as much as you can to reduce that stress. I know that's easier said than done, but just think about what's in your control. Of course, what you're putting in your mouth is completely in your control.
MELANIE: And how much you lay down, what time you lay down to get sleep.
BRITNI: Yep. Sleep.
MELANIE: Going for a walk.
BRITNI: Reading a book; whatever you specifically find to be relaxing and de-stressing; trying to incorporate that, you know, even if it's five minutes a day.
MELANIE: I have clients who are, they have stressful jobs and I tell them every time you go to the bathroom, before you get up, you put your hand on your belly, close your eyes, three deep breaths because that's the only quiet place you may have at work. But every time you go to the bathroom, three deep breaths, eyes closed. And it's been shown in research to lower your cortisol.
BRITNI: Love that.
MELANIE: So simple.
BRITNI: And then also we haven't talked about this, but watch for supplements that can cause diarrhea like too much vitamin C. And certain types of magnesium such as oxide and magnesium citrate.
MELANIE: They can be in your supplements that you're unaware of.
MELANIE: And they're creating more of a problem because they draw fluid into the colon.
MELANIE: Which is not what we want. Vitamin C this time of year: yeah, great. But if you're getting too much and you're already prone to diarrhea, It can also be a laxative. So we want to be careful with that.
MELANIE: So I want to flip around and talk about my client who sat next to the bathroom to work from home. She had to travel. She is doing great. She travels now with her job. She has no fear when she goes on vacation. She's doing great, but she let me be the boss of her. And she did what I told her to do because it works. In this situation, when you are struggling to this degree, you can't play. You got to commit to the process. And then now she eats delicious food and she's not only eating, you know, broth, root vegetables, leaner cuts of meat. She's, she's eating a variety of foods, but she'll never go back to gluten and dairy.
BRITNI: That's amazing.
MELANIE: She's very careful. So, I think it's important that we also talk about other types of food that you can eat when we at our next radio show, because it's so important. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing.