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​Some General thoughts for patients with Diarrhea or Gassiness

One: Consider that some foods and drugs may make your diarrhea and/or gassiness (bloating or flatulence) worse. The effect should stop when you stop taking the food or drug. Below are some examples of foods or drugs that may cause this:

Lactose (milk sugar)

  1. Milk or whey containing liquid formula (weight reduction or nutritional supplements)

  2. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, soft cheeses

  3. Chocolate, cocoa, cordial liqueurs

For patients with lactose problems:

  • These symptoms may be due to lactose (milk sugar) intolerance
  • There are several laboratory tests that can be utilized to "prove" that a patient has lactose intolerance, including breath hydrogen testing
  • Some patients will test themselves by avoiding milk (lactose) products for 2-3 days and then drinking 2 glasses of skim milk on an empty stomach. If symptoms such as flatulence or even laxative effects occur within 2-4 hours, this may be due (at least in party) to the lactose.
  • As a treatment, some patients lessen their milk and dairy product intake. Some patients also try eating food with milk to lessen the symptoms. In addition, yogurt and other fermented products may be tolerated with fewer symptoms.
  • Lactose-hydrolyzed milk, such as Lactaid or Dairies, may be useful, especially on cereal since it is a little sweeter. Some patients may also use lactase pills orally just  before drinking of eating dairy products.

 Other "gassy" foods

Cabbage, coleslaw, baked beans. Some patients also note gassiness with broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Fruit sugar (fructose)

Fruit sugar s in grapes, honey, dates, nuts, figs, raisins, fruity drinks  (such as Fanta)

Some sugar-free gums

Those which contains sorbitol (such as CareFree, Extra or Velamints) may cause gassiness or diarrhea. Several patients on liquid weight reduction have begin to chew on gums and developed diarrhea.

Bran and wheat products

Most high fiber bread (whole wheat bread) and fat-free pretzels may temporarily increase gassiness in some patients.

Apple juice or pear juice

These juices contain fructose and sorbitol and can cause gas.

Liquid diets

Diets including Vivonex, Vital, Ensure, Susacal, Ultra Slim, etc, may cause diarrhea in some individuals.

Carbonated beverages

Soda, seltzer, beer, champagne​​

 Two: There are some foods and medications which can cause your diarrhea to be watery. Their effect should stop when you stop taking the food or drug.


Coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, cocoa and over the counter headache pills such as Excedrin and Vanquish


Greasy or fried foods, in some patients with malabsorption or with IBS, will increase diarrhea

Iced Beverages

Iced beverages can worsen diarrhea in about 10% of patients


Those antacids which contain milk of magnesia can act as a laxative. You should read the label and avoid those with milk magnesia.

Other Medications

  1. Antibiotics

  • Diarrhea: erythromycin, ampicillin, and others
  • Post-antibiotic colitis: clindamycin, lincomycin, cephalothin and others

     2.  Lactulose (in treatment of liver disease or as a laxative) and neomycin for liver disease

     3.  Any laxatives

    4.  Some elixir medications, such as aminophylline liquid (sometimes given via tube)

    5.  Some heart (cardiac) pills such as digitalis, quinidine, and ganglionic blockage drugs

    6.  Thyroid hormone

    7.  Promotility drugs (parasympathomimetic agents), bethanechol, cisapride

   8.  Gout medications, colchicine