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Is Soup Good For Diarrhea?

Is Soup Good For Diarrhea? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question while doubled over the toilet you’ve come to the right place. I’m currently writing a lot of educational articles about soup to support my gluten free soup recipes.  As I’ve been looking for ideas on what to write about I see lots of people are googling questions like “Is soup good for diarrhea,” and “Is tomato soup good for diarrhea.”  

man sitting on toilet is soup good for diarrhea?

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I am a certified colon hydrotherapist, nutritionist and chef who specializes in recipe development for gut health. I have had 14 years of experience helping my clients deal with any range of bowel issues.  Chronic to occasional diarrhea was one of the most common complaints I help my clients with.  

Of course, no one wants to talk about diarrhea. It’s hard to talk about bowel movements for fear of embarrassment.  I personally think that we need to rip the lid off of this subject. It’s O.K. to talk about bowel management, poop, digestion and gas!  

Just like other taboo health issues like mental and sexual diseases are being “un-shamed” so should gut health!  We all do it! And if you don’t poop then you’re in serious trouble. 

What is Diarrhea?

Before we deep dive into what you should eat when you have diarrhea we should first understand what it is.  There are lots of misconceptions about diarrhea.  Even among the medical community.  Even registered diatitians don’t know much about mechanical bowel health. 

People think of diarrhea as the opposite of constipation.  If constipation is the inability to produce frequent bowel movements then diarrhea must be the exact opposite!  Too many bowel movements.  

What Causes Diarrhea? It’s Not What You Think!

This is not the case.  Diarrhea is chronic constipation.  We get diarrhea as a result of our body trying to get rid of deep blockages within the intestine.  Both constipation and diarrhea are caused by intestinal blockages.  

Intestinal blockages are generated by old stool that is stuck inside of the large intestine.  

What causes stool to get stuck in the large intestine?

The colon is a dehydrator. It sucks water out of waste to turn chyme into stool so the stool can be eliminated from the retum. 

The longer waste sits in the colon the drier it gets. If it gets too dry it becomes too hard for our body to push out via peristalsis. (Peristalsis is the muscle contraction that moves food through the intestine).

So in order to try to get rid of the dry waste the body pools extra water into the colon and then irritates the nervous system to create a strong muscle contraction. In the intestinal muscle. This is done in an attempt to remove the hard block. Usually the block doesn’t move but lots of newer loose stool and water are eliminated. 

So this is why diarrhea is reoccurring. If the blockage doesn’t get released the body will repeat the process of saturation and irritation.  Leading to dehydration in extreme cases. 

In cases where diarrhea is chronic you will have to eat before it passes.  If this is the case many people want to know if soup is good for Diarrhea. 

Is Soup Good for Diarrhea?

The long and the short of it is that it depends. 

Pros of Soup for Diarrhea

On the positive side, soup is good for diarrhea because it will help rehydrate the body.  Rehydration is important for two reasons. 

  1. To avoid physical dehydration from a loss of fluids due to loose stool. 
  2. To help soften the waste the body can’t get rid of through hydration. 
  3. Soups with fermented ingredients have good bacteria that will help rebalance the gut. 

Cons of Soup for Diarrhea

  1. Soup can have a high sodium content.  Sodium is naturally irritating to the intestine.  A salty soup will cause then body to have increased bowel movements and can further dehydrate you.
  1.   If your intestine is raw from the excessive passage of waste it can further irritate it.  This is specific to cases of chrones and colitis where ulceration of the intestine are common. 

Which Soups Are Good For Diarrhea?

Homemade soups are good for diarrhea because they have a lower sodium content then prepackaged soups. 

Specifically vegan low sodium soups are best since they are easy to digest.  Cold soups tend to be sweeter and need less sodium for flavor than hot soups.  So raw and cold soups are also great for diarrhea.  The live enzymes in raw soups like this cucumber gazpacho(link) will further help your body break down food. 

  1. Puréed vegetable soups
  2. Cold soups 
  3. Sweet soups
  4. Low sodium soups 
  5. Vegan soups 
  6. Soups with White Rice 

Which Soups Are Bad For Diarrhea?

  It’s preferable to eat vegetable based soups that are free from heavy ingredients or spices like:

  1. Lentils 
  2. Beans 
  3. Pasta 
  4. Chili 
  5. Spices
  6. Cow milk 

A spicy bowl of bean chili wouldn’t do you any good.  Lentils and beans are hard to digest and lead to gas.  Adding gas on top of the runs doesn’t sound like fun.  Spicy soups can irritate the intestinal lining further.  This is especially important to remember if you are suffering from a chrones or colitis flair up. 

Along the same lines pasta is hard to digest and can be hard to break down for someone with chronic diarrhea.  Although pasta can be a good choice if you are on the tail end of diarrhea and need something filling to eat. 

Homemade Soups Recipes that are Good For Diarrhea

  1. Ceviche
  2. Cucumber Gazpacho 
  3. Sweet Pea Soup 
  4. Mushroom Soup 

Is Tomato Soup Good for Diarrhea?

No, tomato soup is not a good choice for diarrhea for a few reasons. 

  1. Tomatoes are acidic and can irritate the intestinal lining.  Especially if someone has diarrhea already! 
  2. Tomato soup has tons of sodium in it. The average can of tomato soup has 450 mg of sodium per serving.  This much sodium is poisonous to the intestine and will likely lead to aggravated symptoms and more severe dehydration. 

Alternatives to Soup for Diarrhea

Sweeter liquids that are lower in sodium and higher in sugar are better for diarrhea.  These sweeter liquids should also be naturally non acidic.  So no citrus juices.  The best liquids include:

  1. Coconut water
  2. Banana smoothie 
  3. Coconut Milk 
  4. Oat Milk 
  5. Rice Milk 
  6. Natural Gatorade 
  7. Pedialyte 

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