Can You Drink Milk When You Have Diarrhea? This is the answer

It's best to avoid drinking milk when you have diarrhea because your body will likely have trouble digesting lactose-rich foods like milk, making diarrhea worse. However, you can still consume dairy products such as yogurt, which contain probiotics and are lower in lactose.

The intake of food and drink consumed during diarrhea can significantly affect health conditions. There are some foods that relieve stomach pain and diarrhea, some actually make it worse. So can you drink milk when you have diarrhea? To find out the answer, let's look at the full article below.

Can I drink milk when I have diarrhea?

It's best to avoid drinking milk when you have diarrhea because your body will likely have trouble digesting lactose-rich foods like milk. When lactose is not digested properly, the body needs to produce more of the enzyme lactase to digest it. The increase in the enzyme lactase can cause the intestines to become irritated and the stool to become more watery.

If the diarrhea is caused by a virus, your digestive tract may be sensitive to dairy products even if you don't have a history of lactose intolerance. This condition can even last up to 6 weeks after diarrhea heals.

Indeed, not all people with diarrhea who drink milk must experience the severity of the condition. Sometimes, the risk also depends on the amount of milk consumed. If not too much, there may not be a significant impact felt.

However, in some cases, milk can actually be a source of diarrhea. This can happen in unpasteurized milk, allowing bacteria to grow in it.

Therefore, avoid drinking unpasteurized milk especially when having diarrhea, to avoid further contamination. Especially for pregnant and lactating women, only milk that has been pasteurized is allowed to avoid the risk of contamination.

Dairy products that can be drunk when diarrhea

In contrast to dairy products in general, yogurt can still be drunk during diarrhea. Besides containing less lactose, yogurt is also a fermented milk drink that contains probiotics.

Probiotics or often also referred to as "good" bacteria have been shown to have a good impact on digestion. A review published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, revealed that foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt, can shorten the duration of diarrhea.

This is because probiotics work in the body by releasing chemical compounds that can break down destructive toxins produced by bad bacteria that cause disease, such as diarrhea.

If you still want to drink milk when you have diarrhea, it is advisable to take lactase enzyme tablets beforehand to make digestion easier. But if you have lactose intolerance, you should avoid consuming milk or its derivative products because in this condition the body cannot fully digest lactose.

Abstinence of diarrhea other than milk

In addition to milk, there are some diarrhea taboos that you need to avoid so that digestive conditions don't get worse and healing can occur faster, such as:

1. Fatty food

Eating fatty foods when you have diarrhea can cause your intestines to contract more quickly. This can make diarrhea worse. Therefore, you should avoid fatty foods while having diarrhea, including foods containing cream, fast food, fatty meats, oily and fried foods.

2. Artificial sweetener

Some types of artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes can have a laxative effect, increase gas and cause bloating. This is a condition that makes diarrhea worse.

Therefore, you should avoid foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners such as diet soda or sugar substitute sweeteners which are often used for coffee and tea even though they are claimed to be healthier.

3. Gas-producing foods

Certain types of foods such as certain vegetables and fruits can cause an increase in gas in the body. The amount of gas in the digestive tract can also make diarrhea worse.

Therefore, until digestion improves again, you should avoid foods that contain gas such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, pears, prunes, peaches, and dried fruits.

4. Drinks that can irritate digestion

There are certain types of drinks that may not cause diarrhea, but can irritate the digestive system. Some of them are alcoholic drinks, contain caffeine and carbonated drinks. You should avoid consuming these drinks until digestive conditions improve.

5. Foods containing FODMAPs

If you often experience diarrhea due to having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), then you should avoid foods high in FODMAPs. This is a type of carbohydrate found in many foods. A study shows that foods containing FODMAPs can trigger IBS symptoms, one of which is diarrhea.

Some types of high-FODMAP foods include:

  • Most dairy products
  • Wheat, rye (rye), barley and couscous
  • Apple, mango, peach and cherry
  • Honey, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup
  • Garlic, onions and peas
  • Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios
Therefore, for people who have sensitive digestion, it is often recommended to follow the FODMAP diet.

That's the reason you shouldn't drink milk when you have diarrhea. You should contact your doctor immediately if diarrhea in children does not improve within 2 days or 5 days for adults.

Diarrhea conditions also need to be checked by a doctor if the stool has a strong smell, the color of the stool is different, diarrhea is accompanied by nausea or vomiting, bloody or slimy stools, severe abdominal pain or diarrhea accompanied by a high fever that does not go away.

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