Consuming Yogurt When Having Diarrhea: Is It Okay?

Yogurt is characterized by its probiotic, vitamin and mineral content. Despite being a dairy product, it seems beneficial in the case of diarrhea. Keep rwading to find out why!
Consuming Yogurt When Having Diarrhea: Is It Okay?
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

A lot of people, especially those with frequent digestive problems, wonder if consuming yogurt when having diarrhea is a good idea. Diarrhea is usually a sign of alteration of the intestinal microbiota. At the same time, it’s associated with stress or a specific infection.

In any case, diet plays an important role in dealing with this problem. It even prevents other complications from rising to the surface, although sometimes it’s necessary to supplement it with drugs.

Regarding the consumption of yogurt, several pieces of evidence suggest that it’s a beneficial food as long as it doesn’t contain added sugars. In all honesty, yogurt is a nutritious and probiotic food that favors the balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. What else is there to know about it? Keep reading to find out!

Yogurt is a source of probiotics

One of the main characteristics of yogurt is that it has important bacteria content (Lactobacillus, to be more specific). These microorganisms are capable of settling in the digestive tract, which helps to decrease the risk of developing metabolic illnesses.

According to research published in the Nutrients magazine, consuming probiotic bacteria on a regular basis helps to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes, as well as some types of cardiovascular diseases.

There are a few methods available to ensure a constant supply of bacteria beneficial to the intestine. The first is, of course, probiotic supplementation. In these cases, it’s best to choose a single-strain product with an abundant content of bacteria that can guarantee that these reach the areas of the intestine that they must settle in.

Also, it’s possible to introduce these microorganisms into the digestive system through the regular consumption of fermented products, such as yogurt and kefir.

Two glasses of natural yogurt.

Consuming yogurt when having diarrhea

As previously mentioned, diarrhea is a gastrointestinal disorder that can have multiple causes. Most of them have to do with an imbalance in the intestinal microflora. For this reason, ensuring a regular supply of beneficial bacteria could help amend this process.

Furthermore, a study carried out in children showed that probiotic consumption is capable of preventing and treating diarrhea caused by the intake of antibiotics. This research used supplementation to obtain said results. However, it’s also possible to administer yogurt on a regular basis to prevent the appearance of intestinal pathologies.

In general, it’s quite common for health professionals to recommend yogurt intake to a patient who’s undergoing antibiotic treatment. This advice has a clear objective: to increase the protection of the microbiota against the wear and tear that drugs can cause. If there isn’t any protection against it, there may be an increase in the risk of processes related to dysbiosis and the appearance of gastrointestinal disorders.

Consuming yogurt reduces diarrhea associated with stress

Believe it or not, stress is capable of inducing the appearance of diarrhea or other intestinal disorders in an individual. An article published in The Chinese Medical Journal explains just how close the relationship between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract is.

Therefore, an alteration in either of the two systems can directly affect the other. In this way, any process of stress or emotional disturbance is capable of making the risk of suffering from diarrhea much higher.

Moreover, in order to reduce the appearance of emotional disorders, it’s recommended to take care of the intestinal flora and improve the lifestyle. Consuming probiotic-enriched yogurt can also protect against mood swings.

Kefir intake or probiotic supplementation also works really well. However, there’s a big difference between the two: the flavor. Not many people like kefir due to its texture and acidic taste, while yogurt is usually quite sweet.

Of course, it’s important to look at the labeling and choose a product that doesn’t have added sugars in its composition. Otherwise, you’d be consuming low-quality yogurt, which could negatively impact your metabolic health and blood glucose levels.

A woman suffering from diarrhea.

Consuming yogurt when having diarrhea is totally okay

Consuming yogurt when having diarrhea can improve the symptoms of this process and speed up recovery. Nonetheless, we must make something clear. It’s not necessary to have diarrhea to start including this food in your regular diet.

As a matter of fact, yogurt is recommended in almost any meal plan. The reason for this is that they provide probiotics, healthy fats, and protein. In addition, they provide calcium and other essential minerals that promote well-being.

However, it’s vital to remember to check the product label to determine that it’s a high-quality product. Not all dairy desserts on the market fall under the concept of yogurt. Some contain too many sugars and have little to no nutritional value.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Pereg D, Kimhi O, Tirosh A, Orr N, Kayouf R, Lishner M. The effect of fermented yogurt on the prevention of diarrhea in a healthy adult population. Am J Infect Control. 2005;33(2):122-125. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2004.11.001
  • Yoo JY., Kim SS., Probiotics and prebiotics: present status and future perspectives on metabolic disorders. Nutrients, 2016.
  • Szajwska H., Canani RB., Guarino A., Hojsak I., et al., Probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2016. 62 (3): 495-506.
  • Marotta A, Sarno E, Del Casale A, et al. Effects of Probiotics on Cognitive Reactivity, Mood, and Sleep Quality. Front Psychiatry. 2019;10:164. Published 2019 Mar 27. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00164
  • Guarino A, Guandalini S, Lo Vecchio A. Probiotics for Prevention and Treatment of Diarrhea. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2015;49 Suppl 1:S37-S45. doi:10.1097/MCG.0000000000000349
  • Hempel S. Probiotics for diarrhoea. Indian J Med Res. 2014;139(3):339-341.
  • Isolauri E. Probiotics for infectious diarrhoea. Gut. 2003;52(3):436-437. doi:10.1136/gut.52.3.436

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.