Diarrhea After Fasting – Prevention, Diet & Overview

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Shaheen Shah


Diarrhea After Fasting

  • Fasting is keeping oneself from eating and drinking for a certain period, ranging from 10 to 24 hours. However, the fasting duration might differ in different people depending on the purpose. Fasting is a common practice that most people around the globe accomplish for many reasons, whether religious, health consciousness, or weight loss.
  • Sometimes, some people experience diarrhea after or during fasting, which ruins the pleasurable feeling of the fasting body. Diarrhea is the condition of frequent bowel movements with loose, watery stool passing 1 Introduction | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .
Sometimes, some people experience diarrhea after or during fasting, which ruins the pleasurable feeling of the fasting body. Diarrhea is the condition of frequent bowel movements with loose, watery stool passing

The article will summarize the reasons for diarrhea after and during fasting and provide tips on handling it. Moreover, it will clarify some usual queries people want to know about diarrhea and fasting.

So, continue reading to get an in-depth understanding of diarrhea after fasting.


Reasons why People Fast

Many people fast to gain the following benefits-

  • Removal of toxic substances from the body
  • Decrease the body’s pain and swelling
  • Reduce body weight
  • Improve digestion 2Reasons why people fast | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

However, some people might get digestive issues, viz. diarrhea, while taking the fast for a day or so.


Why do I get Diarrhea after Fasting?

Diarrhea after fasting might be due to several reasons. Some of the common causes are listed below-

Wrong food choice to break the fast

  • The food one uses to break the fast might sometimes cause abdominal discomfort, leading to diarrhea after fasting. Eating a high-fat spicy meal immediately after fast might cause excessive bile secretion, eventually leading to diarrhea.
  • During fasting, the digestive system remains at rest; thus, eating something hard to digest suddenly puts much stress on the stomach. Moreover, improper digestion of foods causes the colon to produce surplus fluids and diarrhea 3Causes| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Eating too quick

  • Sometimes, people eat too quickly after keeping fast for a prolonged period due to excessive hunger, which causes abdominal distress and diarrhea.

Health supplement

  • Health supplements viz; magnesium and vitamin C shortly after fast-breaking might also upset the stomach

Eating high sugary food

  • Excess fructose or artificial sweeteners consumption might also cause abdominal distress and diarrhea.

Taking excessive coffee

  • Some people, although not all, might experience a laxative effect from excessive drinking of coffee.
  • The caffeine in coffee might stimulate the colon and cause diarrhea.


  • Certain antacids and antibiotics during fasting might cause diarrhea 4Reasons – Antibiotics | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Food poisoning

  • Eating contaminated food or not thoroughly cooked after breaking fast might also cause several days of diarrhea. Speak to the doctor immediately if you suspect diarrhea due to food poisoning 5Reasons – Food Poisoning | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health.


Home Remedies to Cure Diarrhea after Fasting

Consume low fiber diet

  • One can choose the BRAT diet containing Toast, rice, banana, and applesauce.
  • One can also have white rice during the episode as it contains high starch and minimal fiber.

Some examples of other foods that one can take during diarrhea are as follows-

  • Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Soups
  • Boiled chicken
  • Vegetable soups

Increase fluid intake

  • Take adequate amounts of water from time to time to rehydrate the body. One can also consume oral rehydration fluids to normalize the body’s electrolyte imbalance.
  • However, avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks during the diarrhea episode to avoid adverse consequences.

Probiotics for speedy recovery

Probiotics are food supplements that contain a combination of yeast and living bacteria necessary for overall gut health. Probiotics are also present in several foods.

Some examples of probiotic foods that one can consume during diarrhea are listed below-

  • Curd
  • Yogurt
  • Natto(fermented soybean)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Buttermilk( fermented dairy drink)
  • Sauerkraut(fermented cabbage)

Diarrhea causes depletion of the beneficial gut bacteria, so consuming probiotics might help regain digestive health.

Avoid laborious exercises

  • Performing minimal exercise during diarrhea is quite acceptable. But avoid overstretching the body with challenging activities as it would only add up to the body’s dehydration, making the situation worse. However, it is best to give time to the body to recover from the disease.

Eat small meals several times

  • Eating too heavily in one meal during the diarrhea period will only worsen the disease, so one must consume in small parts several times a day to maintain energy levels without stretching the stomach. Also, eating small meals enables one to recover from diarrheal diseases faster 6Home Remedy| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Things To Do

Things to do if You have Diarrhea After Fasting

  • Drink enough fluids to maintain the body’s hydration level
  • Analyze the food, drink, or medication to identify the cause to avoid it in later times
  • Take anti-diarrheal drugs viz; Loperamide, bismuth subsalicylate
  • If the diarrhea symptoms do not subside within a day, speak to your doctor for the best treatment 7Things To Do | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Symptoms of Diarrhea After Fasting that Require Medical Attention

Some of the symptoms of diarrhea after fasting that people must not ignore and must seek medical attention are as follows-

  • Diarrhea that does not improve within two days
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Blood in stool
  • Extreme weakness
  • Excess weight loss 8Symptoms Needing Attention| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Reasons for Diarrhea During Fasting

During fasting, people might get diarrhea due to excess production of salts and water in the digestive tract. It might be due to more caffeinated drinks, viz; coffee and tea.

Usually, people don’t get diarrhea while fasting. Instead, they get it after breaking the fast because of the bowel’s reduced ability to function appropriately after not being used for a while.

Some other usual causes of diarrhea are listed below-

  • Non –nutritious diet
  • Mineral deficiency
  • Lactose intolerance (the body’s inability to digest lactose)
  • Allergic to food/medication
  • Infection
  • Colon inflammation 9Reasons for Diarrhea During Fasting | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Diet for individuals who end fast due to diarrhea

One breaking the fast due to diarrheal symptoms might start with the following bland foods to give time to the stomach to heal.

  • Banana
  • Applesauce
  • Rice
  • Toast

However, consume small meals at a time and avoid junk foods and vegetables that produce gas, viz, broccoli, cabbage, and beans.

See A Doctor

Symptoms Needing Medical Attention for Diarrhea during Fasting

Individuals who have digestive issues before or during fasting can consult with a healthcare professional to get instant treatment for the disease.

Although not fatal, diarrhea is a distressing condition.

Immediately speak to the health professional if one experiences any of the following symptoms-

  • Painful bowel movement
  • Puffiness around the bowel
  • Blood in stool
  • Lightheadedness 1 Introduction | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Can you get Diarrhea from not Eating Enough?

Can you get Diarrhea from Not Eating Enough?

  • Yes, individuals can get diarrhea from an extended undernourishment diet. Inadequate food intake causes the weakening of our digestive system. Over time, the intestinal cells cannot take the nutrients or work correctly. Consequently, people might get the diarrheal disease.
  • Research studies have indicated that malnourished individuals have inflammation in the digestive tract, reduced levels of beneficial bacteria, improper working of intestinal cells, and diarrhea.

Other factors that might indicate that an individual is not eating enough are as follows-

  • Constipation (a problem in clearing bowels)
  • Extreme weakness
  • Increased irritability
  • Decreased weight

 So be mindful of your symptoms of not eating enough and consult a doctor to sort it out to prevent diarrhea in the long run 10Not Eating Enough| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Should I eat if I have diarrhea?

People need to eat during times of diarrhea to maintain the body’s energy level.

The food that one should eat must be bland with minimal fiber so that it does not irritate the gut. Here is a list of common foods one should eat or avoid during diarrhea.

Foods that one can eat during diarrhea

  • Boiled potatoes
  • White rice
  • Banana
  • Bread toast
  • Soda crackers
  • Low-sugar apple juice
  • Poultry broth
  • Oral rehydration fluids 11Food To Eat| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Foods that one should Avoid during Diarrhea

  • Fried foods
  • Spicy meals
  • Milk
  • Dairy products
  • Citrus fruits
  • Raw vegetables
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Soda drinks
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Pork
  • Sardines 12Food To Avoid| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health.

Reset Bowels

Does Fasting Reset the Bowels?

  • Irregular (intermittent) fasting keeps the digestive system from continuously digesting and absorbing nutrients. During fasting, the digestive system gets enough time to heal inflammations, reduce stomach gas, and decrease irregularity in bowel frequency. Fasting also enhances the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, thereby declining the notorious ones.
  • Our body has an electrical activity called the migrating motor complex (MMC) that cleans the unwanted materials from the gut.
  • With constant eating, the MMC needs help to complete the cycle of cleaning the unwanted materials. However, with fasting, the MMC can work correctly to eliminate harmful bacteria and waste materials from the body, thereby contributing to overall health 13Fasting Reset Bowel| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Is fasting good for the bowels?

Yes, fasting is good for the bowels as it enhances the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut without food. Beneficial bacteria play an essential role in the following ways-

  • It maintains the healthy intestinal lining by allowing only nutrients to enter and forbidding the entry of microorganisms.
  • It reduces constipation symptoms.
  • It improves bowel regularity.

Stomach Damage

Does Fasting Damage the Stomach?

  • During fasting, insufficient food in the stomach causes a decline in the stomach acids needed for destroying bacteria and digesting food. However, getting food smells or even thinking of food meals during fasting time can stimulate the stomach to produce enhanced stomach acid, which might irritate the stomach lining and cause heartburn. Eating carbonated or caffeinated drinks during eating times might also worsen the condition of the stomach lining. So, people with gastritis (stomach lining inflammation) must ask the physician if fasting is appropriate 14Fasting Cause Heartburn | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health.


Diarrhea After Fasting – Key Takeaways

  • Diarrhea is a frequent illness that most people have at different times.
  • If one notices diarrhea during and after fasting, one should discontinue the fasting for some days until the symptoms disappear entirely. Eating low-fat meals and readily digestible foods can prevent diarrhea after fasting.
  • Individuals with severe symptoms of diarrhea, viz; blood in stools, fever, lightheadedness, must consult the health provider without delay to avert complications.
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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