Having diarrhea is something everyone has been through at least a couple of times a year, and it can be an unpleasant experience, to say the least. You may have heard of anecdotal cures for diarrhea, and one of them is to consume yogurt. But is this true, and is yogurt good for diarrhea?
In this article, we’ll talk about diarrhea and what causes it. Next, we’ll talk about whether yogurt is beneficial when it comes to treating diarrhea.
What Causes Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a condition that causes your bowel movements to be loose and watery, as opposed to a normal, healthy bowel movement, which should be solid and of consistent size and shape. In addition, the urge to pass a bowel movement comes on unexpectedly and is more frequent.
When it happens suddenly, it’s usually the result of either food poisoning or bacterial or viral infection. Common bacterial parasites such as salmonella, giardia, or E. coli can cause severe diarrhea that can last a few days. However, if diarrhea is frequent and severe, it can suggest the presence of gastrointestinal disease or disorder.
Is Yogurt Good For Diarrhea?
Treating diarrhea is primarily to replenish fluids and electrolytes that have been lost through bowel movements. It’s common to receive the advice to eat yogurt to help soothe symptoms, and fortunately, there seems to be evidence that supports this.
Yogurt can contain probiotics or “friendly bacteria” that can help ease symptoms and treat diarrhea. Some types of yogurt have more than others, and their presence is a natural byproduct of the yogurt-making processes. More recently, some yogurt manufacturers have started including additional strains of friendly bacteria in their products. For example, the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, among others, effectively prevents diarrhea; studies also show that it may help accelerate recovery from diarrhea.
Choosing A Yogurt That Helps Diarrhea
All fermented milk products contain a natural amount of bacteria. However, some yogurt manufacturers specifically add live bacterial cultures to offer probiotic benefits. For the yogurt to provide benefits for gastrointestinal health, experts recommend that each serving contain at least 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of probiotics. These numbers are usually advertised on the product packaging.
Note, however, that if you’re very lactose intolerant, traditional dairy yogurt might not be an option for you. It could exacerbate diarrhea instead of treating it. In that case, you can find dairy-free, probiotic-rich yogurts that will suit your needs.
In this day and age, diarrhea is often no more than a minor inconvenience that lasts a day or two. And the good news is that you can indeed speed up recovery time and get back to normal by consuming yogurt. However, if you have diarrhea that lasts more than a few days and severely affects your quality of life, it’s a great idea to see a qualified gastroenterologist.
At the Gastroenterology Diagnostic Center, we have significant experience in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with our board-certified gastroenterologists, please give us a call at (281) 357-1977. We will be happy to help you enhance your quality of life and show you why we’re the best GI in Tomball.