Categorized | Diet

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What Are the BRAT and CRAM Gastrointestinal Upset Diets?

The BRAT and CRAM gastrointestinal diets are often recommended by physicians for gastroenteritis and/or severe diarrhea.

The BRAT Acronym stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.

The CRAM Acronym stands for Cereals, Rice and Milk.

When a person is suffering from severe dehydration caused by diarrhea and/or vomiting, it is essential to replace the loss of body fluids. Years ago, doctor’s recommended the BRAT diet for several days until the gastroenteritis subsided, but now that diet has been replaced with the CRAM diet because it contains more protein and fat content than the BRAT diet.

Symptoms of dehydration include but are not limited to: dry mouth, lack of urination, dark urine, headache, rapid heart rate, dry skin, skin flushing, fatigue, fever, chills, extreme thirst and muscle spasms.

It is also important to start oral re-hydration therapy as soon as vomiting subsides and the patient can tolerate the intake of fluids. It is highly recommended that the patient start with caffeine-free soft drinks, low acidic juices and soup broths to help replace the fluid loss. These beverages are usually recommended for 24-48 hours.

Here is a suggested list of food and beverages to try:

plain oatmeal

rice cereals

toast

cream of wheat

pudding

gelatins (jello)

chicken or beef broth

gingerale

caffeine-free cola

water

Italian ice’s

popsicles (fruit juice or rootbeer flavors)

bananas

plain rice

applesauce

yogurts

If your symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or if they are accompanied by abdominal pain, blood in your emesis, blood in your stools or a fever over 101 degrees, it is time for you to call your Physician or visit your local hospital or health clinic.

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