Wondering how to stop diarrhea? Strategic choices and proactive measures are vital in preventing diarrhea quickly. By embracing a modified diet with soft and binding foods like rice, applesauce, bananas, and toast, you can promote bulkiness in your stool and relieve distressing symptoms. Probiotics, glutamine supplements, and age-old remedies like herbal teas and rice water further enhance your arsenal. Over-the-counter and prescription medications offer effective control for more intensive cases.
Remember that diarrhea caused by viruses or bacteria usually resolves within a few days, and healthcare professionals can determine the root cause through patient history, physical exams, and laboratory tests. Treatment plans may include rehydration, dietary adjustments, and targeted medications if an infection occurs. Proactive prevention, such as practicing good hygiene and making mindful food choices, is vital.
Understanding the intricacies of diagnosis and treatment empowers you to conquer diarrhea swiftly, reclaiming your vitality and well-being with confidence. This blog discusses all the details.
- Hydration levels are critical. Drink fluids and replenish electrolytes with sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions.
- Modify your diet to include easily digestible, low-fiber foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
- Consider incorporating probiotics, glutamine supplements, or herbal remedies like herbal teas and rice water to aid in reducing diarrhea symptoms.
- Anti-diarrheal pills sold over the counter can offer short-term relief. Still, it’s vital to speak with a doctor before taking them, especially if the patient is a kid or if there is a high temperature, blood in the stool, and diarrhea.
- Diarrhea caused by viruses or bacteria often resolves within two to three days, so patience is vital.
- The threat of death from diarrhea exists. It’s crucial to seek medical care if diarrhea worsens or persists so that underlying diseases or infections can be adequately diagnosed and treated.
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is the rapid movement of loose stools—three or more bowel movements daily, often described as a “liquid-like loose stool.”
Diarrhea is a familiar complaint among schoolchildren and may result from unclean food, a change in climate, excessive exercise, or close contact with new people. It can be a mild or severe illness caused by bacterial, viral, parasitic, or other conditions. Medication side effects can also cause it.
Flu viruses, bacteria (Proteus, Amoeba, and Coccidia), parasites (Giardia duodenalis), and protozoa (Paramecium) are examples of common causes. If left untreated, diarrhea can worsen and, in some cases, result in death. Diarrhea can also cause nausea, loss of appetite, and discomfort.
Causes of Diarrhea
It is generally not possible to identify the cause of most self-limited diarrhea. A virus infecting your bowel is the most common cause of diarrhea (“viral gastroenteritis”). Sometimes the infection is called “intestinal flu” because it lasts a few days.
The following are other possible causes of diarrhea
The most common cause of diarrhea is an infection, such as a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection. Examples include norovirus, rotavirus, Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Campylobacter, and Giardia.
Consuming contaminated food or water can lead to diarrhea. Contaminants can include bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins. Improper food handling, inadequate cooking, or consuming raw or undercooked food can increase the risk of food poisoning. Consuming food contaminated with certain bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus cereus, can cause acute diarrhea and other symptoms.
Traveling to areas with poor sanitation or consuming contaminated food or water during travel can result in traveler’s diarrhea. It is commonly caused by bacterial pathogens such as enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC).
Medications causing diarrhea
Certain medications, such as antibiotics, antacids containing magnesium, cancer drugs, and certain heart medications, can cause diarrhea as a side effect.
Food intolerances and sensitivities leading to diarrhea
Some people may experience diarrhea after consuming certain foods, such as lactose (milk sugar) intolerance, gluten intolerance (celiac disease), or sensitivity to certain food additives like artificial sweeteners or food coloring.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diarrhea
Conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can cause chronic diarrhea due to inflammation and damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diarrhea
IBS is a long-term condition that affects the large intestine and is associated with diarrhea, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.
Conditions that affect the absorption of nutrients in the intestines, such as celiac disease, pancreatic insufficiency, or lactose intolerance, can lead to chronic diarrhea.
Stress and anxiety
Emotional stress or anxiety can disrupt normal bowel function and result in diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Some antibiotics can disrupt the normal balance of good bacteria in the intestines, leading to an overgrowth of certain bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). This can result in diarrhea.
Apart from norovirus and rotavirus, viral infections like adenovirus, astrovirus, and calicivirus can cause acute gastroenteritis with diarrhea as a prominent symptom.
Paradoxically, changes in diet, dehydration, and decreased physical activity during travel can lead to constipation followed by diarrhea when regular bowel movements resume.
Overconsumption of certain foods or substances
Excessive intake of certain substances like caffeine, alcohol, or artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect and contribute to diarrhea.
Intestinal parasites and diarrhea
Besides Giardia, other parasites like Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cyclospora can cause diarrhea when ingested through contaminated food or water.
Digestive disorders leading to diarrhea
Conditions such as diverticulosis, diverticulitis, or bowel obstruction can cause changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea.
Malfunctioning digestive system
Chronic pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, or biliary tract disorders can impair normal digestion and lead to diarrhea.
An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) can increase bowel motility and result in diarrhea.
Some individuals may experience diarrhea due to an allergic reaction to certain foods, such as shellfish, nuts, or other allergens.
It can also be caused by conditions such as autoimmune diseases, certain cancers or intestinal obstruction.
Types of Diarrhea
Impairment of bowel movement that results in 3–4 episodes of loose or liquid-like stools a day is generally categorized as diarrhea.
Based on causes and symptoms, diarrhea is classified into four major types.
Osmotic diarrhea results from eating foods that draw water into your intestine instead of being absorbed. It is a considerable amount of watery or clear stools that last up to 10 days, is infrequent and can be associated with fever, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. A very soft stool or excessively runny (diarrhea of infancy) is typical and non-threatening. Malnutrition, antibiotics, and bowel diseases such as Crohn’s can cause this type of diarrhea.
Ingredients that often cause osmotic diarrhea include the following:
- Dairy products contain lactose
- Sweeteners made with artificial ingredients, like aspartame and saccharin
- Sugars found in fruit juices
Medicines and medical treatments can also cause osmotic diarrhea, including:
- An anticancer drug
- A certain class of antibiotics
- Antihypertensive – medication
- High-dose radiation therapy
- Surgical removal of the gallbladder
- Laxatives containing salts like sodium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium phosphate
Still, diarrhea generally occurs when the body is weakened or lacks the strength to fight infection, which can cause a person to lose 10% of their weight daily. The one-year-old infant, child, or teenager whose stool is described as very soft or excessively runny likely has osmotic diarrhea.
This type of diarrhea causes damage to the intestinal mucosa, which leads to the release of blood, plasma proteins, and mucous from the cells, thereby increasing the fluid content in feces. The inflammation is caused by invasive enteric infections of microorganisms like shigella, campylobacter, and salmonella or by other gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
Exudative diarrhea is often chronic because the diseases that cause it are usually lifelong and long-term. Exudative diarrhea causes inflammation that lasts over 14 days, along with other symptoms like:
- Stools that contain blood or pus
- Weight loss or recurrent fever
In the case of secretory diarrhea, there is an abnormality in the absorption of normal mucosa, as it may be increased or decreased. As a result, water loss equals sodium loss, and stool production exceeds one liter a day.
As a result of altered transport channels in the intestinal epithelium, increased electrolytes (mainly sodium, > 70 mmol/liter) are secreted into the intestinal lumen, dragging water with them. When bicarbonate is lost from the stool, generalized metabolic acidosis occurs, causing rapid breathing and fatigue.
Pathogens are the most common cause of secretory diarrhea. A virus, such as rotavirus or norovirus, causes 70% of secondary diarrhea cases. Other cases are caused by infections caused by certain bacterial strains, including Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, or Escherichia coli. These are spread by eating infected food or drinking unpurified water.
Nocturnal diarrhea is when you have loose, watery bowel movements that occur at night and disturb your sleep. A variety of factors can cause nocturnal diarrhea.
A mild case of diarrhea will pass after a couple of days. Chronic nocturnal diarrhea may also be the cause. You should consult your doctor if you have severe or chronic diarrhea.
In nocturnal diarrhea, symptoms include:
- Thin, watery, or loose stools
- Abdominal pain
- An upcoming bowel movement sensation
If you experience severe diarrhea, you may experience these symptoms and others, such as blood in your stool.
Diarrhea that lasts for longer than a month is considered chronic. Chronic diarrhea frequently happens at night and indicates a more serious underlying condition.
Sleep patterns can be disrupted when you suffer from nocturnal diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea can especially pose a problem in this regard.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
About 3–4 episodes of watery stools per day are a manifestation of diarrhea, but other symptoms can also accompany them. These include:
- Bowel discomfort
- Weight reduction
- Muscle aches
- Stomach ache
- Cramps in the abdomen
A person with diarrhea may also suffer from other conditions, some of which are serious. Other accompanying symptoms that indicate severity include:
- Stools with blood or pus
- Recurrent vomiting
A diagnosis may be made by monitoring the signs and symptoms of diarrhea. Doctors usually follow a specific pattern to treat diarrhea:
- Examine your body
- Check your medication list
- Check your stool or blood for bacteria, parasites, and other signs of disease
- Check to see if diarrhea goes away by stopping eating certain foods
There may be other tests needed if you have chronic diarrhea. Some possible tests that can help in the diagnosis of the condition and the type of diarrhea you might be suffering from include:
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
It is a blood test that provides a complete picture of the situation, including kidney health and the level of electrolytes in the body.
Hydrogen Breath Test
Some allergies and intolerances can also help understand the cause of diarrhea, like wheat allergy (celiac disease) or lactose intolerance (intolerance to dairy products, especially milk). If you are lactose intolerant, your doctor may test you for hydrogen breath, and if the level is higher than normal, it indicates your body cannot digest lactose.
This test is performed to determine whether the causal agent is bacteria or parasites causing diarrhea.
This test is performed to see the inside of the stomach with a camera or extract stomach tissue for analysis in the lab. In severe cases, this test is performed to diagnose the underlying condition.
It is another type of test to see the inside of your colon by inserting a tube in the rectum and diagnosing the condition causing the problem.
How to Get Rid of Diarrhea: Home Remedies
You may wonder how to cure diarrhea at home. While it usually goes away on its own, several home treatments help reduce symptoms and hasten healing. Some of them are explained below:
Stay Hydrated in Diarrhea
Staying hydrated is essential when diarrhea occurs since frequent loose bowel movements can cause significant fluid loss. Dehydration, which can be particularly dangerous for young children, adults, and people with compromised immune systems, can be avoided by maintaining proper hydration and replenishing lost fluids.
Here are some tips to stay hydrated during diarrhea:
- Water: Plain water is the most basic and essential fluid for staying hydrated. Sip small amounts of water frequently throughout the day, even if you can only tolerate small amounts.
- Oral rehydration solutions (ORS): ORS packets are readily available at pharmacies and can be mixed with water to create a solution that helps restore the balance of electrolytes in your body. These solutions contain specific amounts of salts (such as sodium and potassium) and sugars (such as glucose) that aid in the absorption of fluids. Follow the instructions on the packet for proper preparation and consumption.
- Clear broths: Clear broths like vegetable or chicken broth can offer certain nutrients and hydration. They can help replenish lost electrolytes and are simpler to digest than solid foods.
- Herbal teas: It may have crossed your mind if tea is good for diarrhea. Sipping on herbal teas, such as chamomile or peppermint tea, can contribute to your fluid intake while providing soothing properties to your digestive system.
To stay hydrated, it’s essential to monitor your urine output. Your urine should be pale yellow or clear if you’re adequately hydrated. Dark-colored urine can indicate dehydration, so increasing your fluid intake is essential.
Probiotics are good bacteria that can help your body’s microbes balance out again and stay that way. It is one of the best natural diarrhea remedies. These living bacteria and yeasts provide several health advantages, including aiding digestion and enhancing gastrointestinal health.
Here are some details on consuming probiotics to help alleviate diarrhea:
Types of probiotics
There are different types and strains of probiotics, each with its potential benefits. Commonly recommended probiotics for diarrhea include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Saccharomyces boulardii. These strains have been studied for their ability to reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea.
Natural food sources
Certain foods naturally contain probiotics. Some examples include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and other fermented foods. When choosing yogurt or other dairy products, check for labels that say that live, active cultures are present. This can be used as a loose-motion home remedy.
If natural food sources are not easily accessible or are your preference, you can also think about taking probiotic pills. These supplements are available in various formats, including liquids, tablets, powders, and capsules. These are natural treatments for diarrhea. It’s crucial to adhere to the directions on the product label or get advice from a healthcare provider regarding the correct dosage and strain for your unique needs.
Timing of probiotic consumption
It’s generally recommended to take probiotics with or after meals. This can help protect the live bacteria from stomach acid and increase their chances of reaching the intestines, positively impacting gut health.
Duration of use
The duration of probiotic use can vary depending on individual needs and the underlying cause of diarrhea. In some cases, a short-term course of probiotics may be sufficient to restore the balance of gut bacteria and alleviate symptoms. However, long-term use of probiotics might be recommended for chronic or recurring diarrhea.
The BRAT Diet for Diarrhea
Adults can try the BRAT diet to stop diarrhea naturally.
The diet consists of four tasteless, low-fiber foods.
These foods can aid in the firming up of your stools. Considering their moderate odour is unlikely to provoke nausea, they are also beneficial if you throw up. Bananas are helpful since they can replace the potassium that has been lost due to all of those bowel motions.
The BRAT diet is quite limiting and might need to give you more nutrition. It is no longer advised for kids because of this. Adults should only briefly adhere to the BRAT diet, introducing more bland yet nutrient-dense foods when symptoms subside.
Avoid certain foods and beverages
Stay away from spicy, greasy, fatty foods, caffeine, and alcohol, as these can worsen diarrhea. Dairy products and foods high in fiber might also be difficult to digest during this time.
Fermented Foods and Diarrhea
Probiotics may be found naturally in fermented foods. These beneficial bacteria can quickly replace any loss due to diarrheal illness, assist in reestablishing regular bowel movements, and help cure diarrhea.
These foods include, among others:
- Miso Kombucha
- soft aged cheeses
- Cheese cottage
- Olives, green
- Unrefined bread
Another well-liked fermented meal is tempeh kimchi. However, it contains spices that could aggravate your diarrhea.
You should avoid some dairy items during diarrhea, but not all. Yogurt and kefir are among the best dairy products with live probiotic bacteria.
Bland Diet as treatment of Diarrhea
Adults can increase their intake of bland, easily absorbed foods as their diarrhoeal symptoms improve. This comprises:
- Baked chicken breasts without skin
- Simple cereal
- Boiling potatoes
- Soup of chicken and saltines
Rice Water to help with Diarrhea
The cure for diarrhea that is frequently suggested for infants may also be helpful for adults. The mildly starchy fluid is binding in addition to offering nutrition.
According to research, rice water works more effectively than electrolyte solutions at reducing the frequency of loose stools.
Making rice water
Never use quick rice; combine 1/2 cup of white or brown rice with 1 to 2 cups of water. The water should seem cloudy after 10 minutes of boiling. Drain, reserving the water, and then give it time to cool.
You can have one cup of rice water two to three times per day.
How to stop diarrhea fast?
A physician will treat diarrhea that lasts for a long time or is chronic along with its underlying causes. But there may be no need to treat mild cases of acute diarrhea.
Intravenous Fluid Therapy During Diarrhea
Dehydration or hypovolemia caused by gastrointestinal diseases can be treated with fluid therapy. Regarding the adverse effects of diarrhea, both children and adults are prone to becoming dehydrated.
In this case, the body may become dehydrated due to frequent episodes of watery stools, and the overall electrolyte balance may be disturbed. Rehydrating the body is advised for this reason to support the body during times of stress and dehydration.
Depending on the patient’s condition, physical examination, and diagnostic results, a customized treatment plan should be recommended by a doctor. Specific abnormalities of the patient and the severity of the gastrointestinal disorder should be considered when selecting a particular fluid therapy. If oral rehydration is not helping with depleted volume, Intravenous fluid replacement may be required.
It is also possible to purchase antidiarrheal medications over the counter. Loperamide is one of these medications, while bismuth subsalicylate is another. The drug Imodium reduces the passage of stool by reducing motility. The drug is available both over the counter and online.
Pepto-Bismol relieves diarrhea in children and adults. Additionally, it can prevent traveler’s diarrhea. Antidiarrheal medications have been linked to the prolongation of bacterial infections because of their ability to reduce pathogen removal from the body through stools.
The type of medicines to stop diarrhea or antibiotic you need to treat an infection or stop watery diarrhea will depend on the cause of the problem. In the case of diarrhea caused by bacterial infections, it can only be treated with antibiotics.
If the cause is a particular medication, switching to another one might help. Before changing medications, consult your doctor.
Zinc supplementation is crucial for reducing the severity and duration of diarrhea in children.
Foods to Avoid That Cause Diarrhea
Here are some common foods that may cause or worsen diarrhea, along with details about why they can have this effect:
Spices such as chili peppers, cayenne pepper, and hot sauces can irritate the gastrointestinal lining, leading to increased bowel movements and potential diarrhea.
Greasy and fatty foods
High-fat foods like fried foods, fatty cuts of meat, and rich sauces can be harder to digest and may contribute to diarrhea. They can stimulate the digestive system and lead to loose stools.
Some individuals may have lactose intolerance, which means their bodies have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar in milk and dairy products. Consuming dairy products can cause digestive discomfort, including diarrhea, in these individuals.
While fiber is generally beneficial for digestive health, consuming excessive amounts of high-fiber foods, such as beans, lentils, whole grains, and certain fruits and vegetables (like broccoli and cabbage), can lead to loose stools and worsen diarrhea.
Certain artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gums, candies, and some diet products, can have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts, leading to diarrhea.
Drinks like coffee, tea, energy drinks, and sodas that contain caffeine have stimulating effects on the digestive system. Caffeine can increase bowel movements and potentially contribute to diarrhea.
Drinking alcohol can aggravate the gastrointestinal tract and increase bowel motions. Alcohol may also prevent the body from absorbing water and electrolytes, which could lead to dehydration and worsen diarrhea.
Acidic and citrus foods
Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and other juices are foods high in acidity that might irritate the digestive tract and aggravate diarrhea in some people.
Best Ways to Prevent Diarrhea
Preventing diarrhea is an important goal for maintaining digestive health. Here are some of the best ways to help avoid diarrhea:
Practice good hand hygiene
Before and after using the loo and before eating, ensure you properly wash your hands with soap and water. By doing this, the spread of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that might cause diarrhea is lessened.
Ensure food safety
Handle and prepare food properly to prevent contamination. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, cook meats thoroughly, and avoid consuming undercooked or raw foods. Store food at appropriate temperatures and prevent cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods.
Drink clean water
Consume safe and clean drinking water to minimize the risk of waterborne infections that can cause diarrhea. If the safety of tap water is questionable, drink bottled water or use water purification methods such as boiling or using water filters.
Be cautious when traveling
Take extra precautions when traveling to areas with poor sanitation or unfamiliar food and water sources. Drink bottled or purified water, avoid consuming raw or uncooked foods, and be mindful of hygiene practices in the local environment.
Maintain proper food storage
Refrigerate perishable foods promptly to prevent bacterial growth. Discard any expired or spoiled food. Follow proper food storage guidelines to minimize the risk of consuming contaminated food.
Practice safe food handling
To avoid cross-contamination, use different cutting boards and tools for raw meats and other items. After handling raw meat, carefully wash your hands and all other surfaces.
Be mindful of personal hygiene in public places
Use sanitary wipes or hand sanitizers when touching surfaces in public areas, such as doorknobs, handrails, and shopping carts. Avoid touching your face before washing or sanitizing your hands.
Stay current on recommended vaccinations, particularly those related to preventing gastrointestinal infections, such as rotavirus or cholera, especially when traveling to high-risk areas.
Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine
Excessive alcohol consumption and caffeine intake can irritate the digestive system and potentially contribute to diarrhea. Moderation is key.
Chronic stress may interfere with digestion and alter the average balance of gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhea. Use stress-reduction strategies like exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Diarrhea can result in dehydration, which may be life-threatening if untreated. Dehydration can have severe consequences in children, older adults, and especially those with weakened immune systems.
Signs of dehydration in adults include
- Dry mouth or skin
- Excessive thirst
- Little or absence of urination
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dark-colored urine
Signs of dehydration in children include
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Fever above 102 F
- Not having a wet diaper in more than 3 hours
- Crying without tears
- Unresponsiveness or irritability
- Sunken appearance to the eyes or cheeks, or abdomen
Preventing traveler’s diarrhea
Diarrhea commonly affects people traveling to countries with poor sanitation and contaminated food. The following measures may help reduce your risk:
- Be careful of what you eat. Eat warm and well-cooked foods. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables and raw/undercooked meats and dairy foods.
- Be careful of what you drink. Drink bottled water, soda, or wine from its container and avoid tap water. Use bottled water even for brushing your teeth, and keep your mouth closed while you shower.
The beverages made using boiled water, such as coffee and tea, are safe.
- Ask your doctor for antibiotics. If you have planned to travel to a developing country for a long duration, ask your doctor about a prescription for antibiotics before you go, especially if you have a weak immune system.
- Check for travel warnings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a travelers’ health website with updated disease warnings for various countries. If you plan to travel outside your country, it is best to look.
Drinks to Ease Diarrhea
Dehydration is often associated with diarrhea, and loose stools can deplete your water stores, electrolytes, and minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. To manage a mild bout of diarrhea, you require the replacement of fluids and electrolytes that you have lost.
Clear Fluids and Milk
Adults should drink a lot of water, clear juices, or broth.
Children and toddlers with mild diarrhea and aren’t vomiting can continue feeding on breast milk, cow’s milk, or formula.
Adults can consume drinks that contain electrolytes. Young children may drink pediatric rehydration drinks such as Pedialyte or Gastrolyte if they are experiencing mild diarrhea along with vomiting.
Additionally, you can make a homemade rehydration drink for adults using salt, sugar, and water. Oral rehydration salts can also be bought over the counter at most pharmacies.
Some specific drinks used as home remedies for diarrhea include rice water and herbal teas.
This diarrhea remedy is commonly used for babies but may also help adults. Moreover, the starchy solution is binding, and it provides nutrients as well.
Some research shows rice water is more effective in reducing the frequency of loose stools compared to electrolyte solutions.
The following herbal teas may be beneficial in any form:
- Chamomile tea: Chamomile helps relieve upset stomach and diarrhea. It can be combined with other herbs, such as star anise.
- Green tea: Green tea has been proven to reduce the incidence of diarrhea, specifically in people receiving radiotherapy for cancer.
- Lemongrass tea: Some studies have revealed that the boiled stalk and leaf of lemongrass may help relieve diarrhea.
Drinks to Avoid in Diarrhea
If you want to stop an episode of diarrhea fast, it’s best to avoid the following drinks:
- Caffeinated drinks
- Prune juice
- Sugary drinks
When to Consult A Doctor for Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is not always dangerous but can signal more serious problems if it becomes severe. Do not hesitate to contact a doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Dehydration signs
- If you are an adult, you have diarrhea that has lasted more than two days.
- When diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours for children
- Adults suffering from severe abdominal or rectum pain
- Fever of more than 102 degrees seeks medical attention.
- Bloody or pus-filled stools
- A black and tarry stool
Parents or caregivers should consult a doctor if their child has diarrhea. Infants and newborns are particularly vulnerable to diarrhea. Your Doctors Online have a team of professional doctors who can assist you 24 hours a day to control the symptoms and severity of diarrhea.
FAQs About Diarrhea Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
Generally, diarrhea resolves without intervention. If your diarrhea doesn’t get better and go away entirely, dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance, kidney failure, and organ damage could happen.
Acute diarrhea, lasting less than two weeks, often resolves within a few days to a week. If diarrhea persists for over two weeks, it is considered chronic and may be due to underlying health conditions.
Experiencing diarrhea without other noticeable symptoms of illness can be attributed to various factors such as dietary choices, food intolerances, medications or supplements, stress, anxiety, or functional gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While monitoring your symptoms is important, a healthcare professional should still evaluate persistent diarrhea for proper diagnosis.
Yes, Pepto-Bismol can help with diarrheal symptoms. It features an active substance called bismuth subsalicylate as an active ingredient, and it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that can help lessen diarrhea and calm an upset stomach.
While diarrhea is often the body’s natural way of eliminating toxins, there are situations where using antidiarrheal medications for convenience and symptom relief can be appropriate. However, it would help if you let it run its course. Over-the-counter antidiarrheal remedies like Attapulgite (Kaopectate) or Loperamide (Imodium) depends on individual circumstances.
Diarrhea caused by medication can be stopped by stopping the medication, drinking plenty of fluids, eating bland foods, taking OTC medications, and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and spicy foods.
To prevent diarrhea, keep kids hydrated by giving them regular, tiny sips of clear liquids like water, sports drinks, or oral rehydration solution (ORS). Giving children bland foods like toast, crackers, bananas, and rice can be beneficial. Giving your child probiotics, such as those found in yogurt or pills, may also be advantageous.