When you have diarrhea, important nutrients such as calories, protein, vitamins, water, sodium, and potassium are lost. This loss can be serious if you are already ill or trying to recover from an illness. Your doctor must know the cause of diarrhea to treat it correctly. Try the following solutions for two days. If after that time you are still having diarrhea, call your doctor. Liquids and nutrients are lost quickly, and treatment must begin before prolonged diarrhea causes harm. Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or infrequent, usually more than 48 hours apart.
Constipation can be caused by medicines and by not drinking or eating enough liquids or food, and inactivity. Weakness in the muscles of your mouth might make it difficult for you to chew and manage solid foods.
A delay in the swallowing process in either your throat or pharynx the digestive tube between the esophagus and mouth might also make it difficult for you to swallow without coughing or choking. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Nutrition Problems and Their Solutions Illness, medicines, or surgery can affect appetite, leading to either weight gain or weight loss. Here are some possible solutions for several nutritional problems.
Decreased appetite Lack of appetite, or decreased hunger, is one of the most troublesome nutrition problems you can experience.
Solutions: Eat smaller meals and snacks more frequently. Eating six or seven or eight times a day might be more easily tolerated than eating the same amount of food in three meals.
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Talk to your doctor. Sometimes, poor appetite is due to depression, which can be treated. Your appetite is likely to improve after depression is treated. Avoid non-nutritious beverages such as black coffee and tea. Try to eat more protein and fat, and less simple sugars. Walk or participate in light activity to stimulate your appetite. Meal guidelines Drink beverages after a meal instead of before or during a meal so you do not feel as full. Plan meals to include your favorite foods. Try eating the high-calorie foods in your meal first. Use your imagination to increase the variety of food you're eating.
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Snack guidelines Don't waste your energy eating foods that provide little or no nutritional value such as potato chips, candy bars, colas, and other snack foods. Choose high-protein and high-calorie snacks. Dining guidelines Make food preparation an easy task. Choose foods that are easy to prepare and eat. Make eating a pleasurable experience, not a chore. Liven up your meals by using colorful place settings. Play background music during meals. Eat with others. Invite a guest to share your meal or go out to dinner.
Use colorful garnishes such as parsley and red or yellow peppers to make food look more appealing and appetizing. Weight loss If your doctor tells you that you have lost too much weight, or if you are having difficulty maintaining a healthy weight, here are some tips: Drink milk or try one of the "high-calorie recipes" listed below instead of drinking low-calorie beverages.
Ask your doctor or dietitian about nutritional supplements. These supplements help you increase your calories and get the right amount of nutrients every day. Note : Do not use supplements in place of your meals.
Avoid low-fat or low-calorie products unless you have been given other dietary guidelines. Use whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.
Use the "Calorie Boosters" listed below to add calories to your favorite foods. Mix well. Makes one serving; calories per serving. Super Shake 1 cup whole milk 1 cup ice cream scoops 1 package Carnation Instant Breakfast Directions: Put all ingredients into a blender. Add pudding mix and mix well. Calorie Boosters Egg yolk or whole egg Before cooking, add egg yolk or whole egg to foods such as meat loaf, rice pudding, or macaroni and cheese. To prevent illness, avoid the use of uncooked eggs.
Non-fat powdered milk or undiluted evaporated milk Add to beverages including milk or to these foods: Creamed soups, yogurt Scrambled eggs, casseroles Pudding mashed potatoes Custard gravies Hot cereal sauces Cream cheese or shredded, melted, sliced, cubed or grated cheese Add to sandwiches, snacks, casseroles, crackers, eggs, soups, toast, pasta, potatoes, rice, or vegetables, or serve as a snack.
Vegetable oils, mayonnaise, butter, margarine or sour cream Add margarine or mayonnaise to sandwiches. Peanut butter creamy or crunchy Spread on bread, crackers, apples, bananas, or celery. Nut "dust" Grind any type of nuts in a blender or food processor.
Add to puddings, gravy, mashed potatoes, casseroles, salads, yogurt cereals. Miscellaneous foods Limit to one serving per day. Add: Sugar, jelly, jam, preserves Honey Corn syrup Maple syrup To: Hot cereal Fruit Sweet potatoes Winter squash, cold cereal, fruit salad Heartburn Heartburn can occur for many reasons, including overeating, eating certain foods, taking medicines, or as a result of surgery.
Solutions: Avoid foods that have caused heartburn before. Some foods commonly associated with heartburn are highly seasoned foods, greasy or fried foods, chocolate, alcohol, and beverages that contain caffeine coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
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Eat five or six smaller meals a day instead of three large meals. Decreasing the amount of food in your stomach eases digestion and reduces the chances of heartburn. Remain standing or sitting for at least two hours after eating. If you lie down, keep your upper body raised at a degree angle. Eat your last meal several hours before going to bed.
Take an antacid one hour after meals to relieve heartburn. You can also try taking antacids before going to bed. If you take antacids frequently, tell your doctor or dietitian. Changes in how food tastes How food tastes often determines what you like to eat. Solutions: Brush your teeth after meals and snacks. Good oral hygiene helps control bad taste. Ask your doctor or dietitian if using a mouthwash would help.
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Cold or room-temperature food might taste better. Eat alternatives to red meat. Try turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, or dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese. Use marinades to add flavor to poultry, red meat, or fish. Fruit juice, teriyaki sauce, Italian dressing, beer, or wine will also add flavor. Add spices, such as herbs, onions, bacon bits, or almonds to flavor plain foods. Use strong seasonings to improve the flavor of meats and vegetables.
Rosemary, oregano, basil, tarragon, or mint are good options. Eat snacks that leave a refreshing, pleasing aftertaste: fresh fruit, chewing gum, hard candy, or cinnamon, or mint-flavored foods or beverages. Sore mouth or throat A sore mouth or throat can make eating difficult. Solutions: Eat bland, mild-flavored foods. Spicy or salty foods can irritate soreness.
Eat lukewarm or cold foods. Hot food can irritate soreness. Puree foods before you eat them. Most cooked foods can be pureed in a blender or food processor. Avoid carbonated beverages or drink them only after they have gone flat. Carbonation can irritate soreness. Drink soups or other liquids from a straw or a cup instead of a spoon to keep foods away from sore spots in your mouth.
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