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Foods For Diarrhea: What To Eat And What To Avoid

07/25/2014 04:07 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 03:59 EDT

It's the most uncomfortable thing that can happen at a party, and the bane of every traveller's journey: diarrhea.

With food poisoning common during the summer and not to mention food intolerance that can cause stomach problems, it's not only important to protect yourself, but also to know what to eat and what to avoid when you're suffering from diarrhea.

Diarrhea, which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as "loose, watery stools that occur more frequently than usual," has many causes.

"It can be bacteria from contaminated water or food, viruses such as the Norwalk virus, food intolerances such as lactose intolerance, some medicines such as antibiotics, or a disease like Crohn's, colitis or celiac," says Andrea Holwegner, a registered dietitian and director of Calgary's Health Stand Nutrition.

And while diarrhea is an annoyance, it can also become a more serious problem for certain populations.

"Infants and older adults are especially sensitive to diarrhea since they can dehydrate very quickly and this can be dangerous when not treated," says Holwegner.

Diarrhea should clear up on its own after a few days with adequate fluids and electrolytes, but anything more than three days warrants a visit to the doctor's office, advises Holwegner. And while there are over-the-counter medications, it's a good idea to talk to a medical pro before taking them.

Food, on the other hand, can play a huge role in your recovery. Check out the foods you want, and don't want, to eat while getting over the runs:

Foods For Diarrhea