What Are the Pearls and Pitfalls of the Dietary Management for Chronic Diarrhoea?

Nutrients. 2021 Apr 21;13(5):1393. doi: 10.3390/nu13051393.


Chronic diarrhoea affects up to 14% of adults, it impacts on quality of life and its cause can be variable. Patients with chronic diarrhoea are presented with a plethora of dietary recommendations, often sought from the internet or provided by those who are untrained or inexperienced. In this review, we summarise the possible causes of chronic diarrhoea that can be managed by diet, the symptom improvement and quality of life benefits but also the potential risks of such dietary treatments. Clinicians need to consider both the benefits and risks of dietary treatments before making dietary recommendations to manage chronic diarrhoea. The pivotal role that dietitians have in ensuring optimal symptom improvement without jeopardising nutritional and overall health is discussed.

Keywords: FODMAP; SIBO; bile acid diarrhoea; chronic diarrhoea; diet; dietitian; irritable bowel syndrome; lactose intolerance; sucrase-isomaltase deficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Diarrhea / diet therapy*
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Nutritionists
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care