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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden

Posted 25 Oct 12

I've been ill with a stomach bug, but I still can't eat!

I picked up a nasty tummy bug before I went on holiday but when I came out here, I was unable to keep anything inside me. The medics came after I discovered blood in the toilet, said it was a virus and gave me medication and the diarrhoea stopped. However I'm afraid to eat anything bar a couple of dry biscuits and a tiny piece of toast. I'm going home today, and I feel Ok in myself although very tired. What's the best thing for me to start to eat once I'm home, and for the next few days etc?

Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch - but, oh dear, this really isn't the most pleasant way to lose weight, is it?

Now I'm not medically trained, but as I understand it, even after the virus has gone, your digestive tract can remain so sensitive and inflamed for a few days that food which is in any way an irritant may cause you to have diarrhoea again. As this is the case, I'd suggest you try to stick to foods that are fairly bland for a few more days. This was once referred to as the "BRAT" diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast), which of course you don't have to stick to rigidly, but you get the idea of nothing too oily or spicy!

In a day or two, when you feel more comfortable, I'd then start introducing lean proteins like fish and chicken, along with some fruit and veg (but perhaps not onions and asparagus or things with pips and husks like tomatoes or sweetcorn just yet).

Gradually, over the next 5 to 7 days you should then get entirely back to normal. Just one other thing: it's possible to suffer with temporary lactose intolerance after a severe stomach upset, so don't go heavy on the dairy products just yet either.

I hope this helps and you feel better soon!


Best wishes,



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