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Banana for Diarrhea: An Effective Treatment at Home?

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jun 17, 2021

Banana for Diarrhea: An Effective Treatment at Home?

Potty humor can be appreciated by both children and adults from time to time. However, for anyone who has ever struggled with a bout of diarrhea, it is definitely no laughing matter. This is especially true if the one suffering from diarrhea is a child. Fortunately, most cases of mild diarrhea will resolve without a trip to the emergency room. There are many simple solutions but how effective is a banana for diarrhea?

banana for diarrhea

Effects of Diarrhea on the Body

Firstly, diarrhea is when someone has runny stools at least three times a day. It can be acute (1-2 days), persistent (2-4 weeks), or chronic (4 or more weeks).

There are many reasons why diarrhea occurs. Sometimes it’s due to an infection or eating something that has gone bad. However, diarrhea can also be a side effect of certain medications and gastrointestinal diseases.

Acute diarrhea typically resolves on its own without the need for medications. For persistent and chronic diarrhea, it is important to talk to a doctor to determine the underlying cause. This is especially important if you are also experiencing a fever or see blood in your stools.

In all cases of diarrhea, the major concerns are dehydration and electrolyte loss. Fluids lost through watery stools are more than just water. Electrolytes are essential for maintaining the body’s acid-base balance as well as regulate muscle and nerve function. When too many electrolytes are lost, you can feel weak or have trouble moving.

Banana for Diarrhea: Does it Help?

Now, water and oral rehydration solutions are usually given to undo the negative effects of diarrhea. These do not necessarily treat the cause of diarrhea if it’s viral or bacterial, but these do prevent severe dehydration. In addition to water and electrolytes, digested food contents and vitamins are lost with each trip to the toilet.

Banana for diarrhea is helpful because it contains sugar, fiber, and plenty of potassium– all of which are needed. Potassium in bananas relieves muscle weakness and cramping. If bananas are not available, there are other food options that are high in potassium.

Some food includes:

  • Broccoli
  • Beef
  • Beans and peas
  • Melon
  • Oranges
  • Potatoes and kamote
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt

Additionally, sports drinks and multivitamins contain potassium and other minerals. However, sports drinks are not appropriate for diarrhea or dehydration because of their refined sugar content.

6 Possible Causes of Diarrhea and How to Manage Them

About the BRAT diet

Additionally, if you are experiencing diarrhea with nausea and vomiting, using the BRAT diet might help. The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toasted bread. This temporary diet is appropriate for people who are having trouble eating and digesting food and need bland, easy-to-eat food.

It is important to note that this diet is not complete because it is almost entirely carbohydrates. Protein and fat are other essential macronutrients that should be included in all diets.

Aside from the BRAT diet, eating food such as soup can help stimulate the appetite and restore hydration.

Local dishes such as arroz caldo, bulalo, sinigang, and congee are good options. However, avoid heavily processed and overly salty food such as instant noodles or canned food. Processed food may be harder to digest and lead to worsening diarrhea or vomiting. Although salt is necessary for proper rehydration, too much can make dehydration worse.

Key Takeaways

In summary, banana for diarrhea treatment is a tasty, convenient, and nutritious option. Banana alone cannot cure diarrhea but when combined with water, electrolytes, and a healthy diet, it can help you recover faster.

Talk to your doctor if diarrhea gets worse or lasts longer than three days, especially if you experience fever or bleeding.

Learn more about Diarrhea here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Jun 17, 2021

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