Common Illnesses

Diet

Diet Suggestions

These are very general diet suggestions for some of the common illnesses or health problems which you may encounter during your college years. If your illness is severe, prolonged or not responding to these suggestions, please come to Health Services for further examination and additional treatment or medication. Call (978) 934-4991 to make an appointment.

Nutritional counseling for good health maintenance or weight control is also available. Please request further information whenever you have a problem or wish to avoid a problem in the future.

Diets for special conditions:

Acne:
Special diets are no longer used for treatment of acne; however, good general nutrition is important. Avoiding excess fats, spicy foods and carbohydrates (sugars) is beneficial.
Diarrhea:
Bland foods such as rice and applesauce are often helpful. Avoid milk and dairy products. Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate can be used as directed on the package.
Constipation:
Foods high in roughage and whole grain cereals (bran) are helpful. Adequate water intake with fruit (especially prunes or prune juice) daily is necessary. To correct chronic constipation, retraining bowel habits in addition to diet is important. Avoid the laxative habit.
Nausea & Vomiting (Intestinal flu, food poisoning, etc., of temporary or short duration):
Stop everything by mouth until vomiting has stopped or slowed. Small, frequent amounts of room temperature clear liquids will help avoid dehydration, such as ginger-ale and jello water. If tolerated, progress to clear soups, ice cream or yogurt, jello, tea, toast or crackers. Begin with small amounts at 15-20 minute intervals.
Exam gut, heartburn, acid indigestion, or ulcers:
Small amounts of bland foods with milk and bread products eaten frequently help these stomach ailments. Coffee, spices, alcohol and carbonated beverages, especially on an empty stomach, will irritate and aggravate an already upset stomach or heartburn.
Common Cold:
A general, good "balanced" diet is suggested with extra amounts of liquids, juices and fresh fruit.
Mono:
Much the same as common cold diet. Soft foods, soups, ice cream, jello, hot tea or Kool-Aid type drinks will be especially helpful when sore or swollen throat symptoms are a problem. Alcohol and fatty foods are to be avoided.
Vitamins:
Unless specifically ordered, high dose vitamins are not recommended. The general "one-a-day" type multiple vitamins available at the pharmacy at the dose recommended on the bottle is safe and adequate. Exceeding these doses does not apparently help and may actually harm you.
When taking medications:
Carefully follow any instructions given by the Pharmacist or on labels regarding diet when taking medications.