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What is the BRAT diet?
The BRAT diet is based upon the fact that these foods are easy to digest and are well tolerated by most people. The BRAT diet is not a weight loss regimen and is not intended to be used over the long term. It is low in protein, fat, and fiber so it is not ideal from a nutritional standpoint for long term use. The low-fiber nature of the diet can help make loose stools firmer, and the bananas provide a needed source of potassium.
What are modifications of the BRAT diet?
Popular modifications of the BRAT diet are sometimes recommended. These modified versions of the BRAT diet include the BRATY diet, which adds yogurt to the list of foods, and the BRATT diet, which adds tea.
When is the BRAT diet recommended?
The BRAT diet may be recommended for recovery from gastroenteritis or other causes of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach upset. It also helps some women who are suffering from morning sickness during pregnancy.
The BRAT diet was formerly recommended for children recovering from stomach upset, but the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that children resume a normal diet within 24 hours of becoming sick. The BRAT diet is not considered to contain enough nutrients for optimal recovery.
Of course, while following the BRAT diet or when recovering from any illness, it is important to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Supplementing water intake with a sports drink or an electrolyte drink such as Pedialyte can help replace lost electrolytes as well as fluids.
While recovering from a gastrointestinal illness and transitioning back to a normal diet, it's also recommended to avoid fatty and greasy foods, raw fruits and vegetables, alcohol, dairy products, and citrus fruits.
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Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th edition.
United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Top The BRAT Diet Related Articles
Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week. Constipation usually is caused by the slow movement of stool through the colon. There are many causes of constipation including medications, poor bowel habits, low fiber diets, laxative abuse, and hormonal disorders, and diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon.
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged vigorous exercise, and some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- constipation, and
- bad breath.
Treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
DiarrheaDiarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
ElectrolytesElectrolytes are substances that become ions in solution and acquire the capacity to conduct electricity. The balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for normal function of our cells and our organs. Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. The functions and normal range values for these electrolytes are important, and if an electrolyte is at an extreme low or high, it can be fatal.
Food PoisoningFood poisoning is common, but can also be life threatening. The symptoms for food poisoning are fever, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Food poisoning has many causes, for example, chemicals (from toxic fish or plants) and bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella). Treatment of food poisoning depends upon the cause.
Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu)Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is a term referred used to describe a variety of gastrointestinal problems. The most common signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States is Norovirus. Other causes of gastroenteritis include Rotavirus, Astrovirus, Adenovirus, and Sapovirus. There are bacterial causes of gastroenteritis such as Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter Aeromonas, E. coli, Clostridium, Vibrio, Campylobacter, and Yersinia spp. Parasites that cause gastroenteritis include Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Entamoeba. Treatment for gastroenteritis is generally home remedies such as keeping hydrated to prevent dehydration. At times, hospitalization may be necessary if dehydration occurs.
Intestinal Gas (Belching, Bloating, Flatulence)Gas (intestinal gas) means different things to different people. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by belching, burping, or farting (flatulence). Bloating or abdominal distension is a subjective feeling that the stomach is larger or fuller than normal. Belching or burping occurs when gas is expelled from the stomach out through the mouth. Flatulence or farting occurs when intestinal gas is passed from the anus. Causes of belching or burping include drinking too rapidly, anxiety, carbonated drinks, habit, and swallowing air. Learn about causes of intestinal gas, foods that cause gas and bloating, treatments that reduce excessive gas and soothe gas pain, and much more.
Is E coli ContagiousE. coli is an infection found worldwide. There are several subtypes of the E. coli species. E. coli spreads from person to person via contaminated food or water. Symptoms and signs of E. coli infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes fever. Antibiotics treat E. coli infection.
liraglutide injection (Saxenda)
Saxenda (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) is an injectable drug prescribed to help some overweight or obese adults with weight-related medical problems lose weight and keep it off. Saxenda also is prescribed for use in long term weight management in adults with a high BMI and at least one weight related medical condition (for example, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes).
Side effects of Saxenda include:
- Intestinal gas
- Dry mouth
Drug interactions; dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers.
Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.