Chronic diarrhea is a vexing problem. Occasional diarrhea is generally a symptom rather than an ongoing condition. It may be a signal that you ate something that caused an infection. In other instances, it could be a red flag for severe psychological stress. Chronic diarrhea needs to come to medical attention to make sure it is not a harbinger for something serious. Once you’ve ruled out a dangerous condition, could eating a special yogurt help calm the situation?
Coconut Cookies for Diarrhea:
Q. I had diarrhea for several years until I read in your column that coconut macaroons are helpful. Two macaroons every morning worked great for a while; then I needed three.
What About Special Yogurt?
When that wore off, I started taking Dannon Activia yogurt. The ad says if you eat it daily for two weeks and it doesn’t work, they will refund your money. They didn’t have to: it works for me just great.
Not only that, my husband has had a problem with constipation for as long as I’ve known him. He started taking it, and it has helped him, too.
The Value of Special Yogurt:
A. Scientists are learning more about the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. Adjusting this balance with probiotics found in special yogurt with live cultures can help ward off the unfriendly organisms such as Giardia that can cause diarrhea (Journal of Clinical Medicine, online Nov. 16, 2016).
There is also some evidence that probiotics can be helpful in managing constipation (Current Oncology Reports, Dec. 2015). The Activia refund has expired, but live-culture yogurt may still be worth a try. You will find other strategies for dealing with both diarrhea and constipation in our Guide to Digestive Disorders and Constipation.