Heres How To Manage Your Diarrhea:
Try an over the counter treatment. There are a number of over the counter treatments available for diarrhea relief. They include loperamide , attapulgite , and bismuth subsalicylate . For relief of diarrhea as well as the symptoms of gas, cramps and bloating, loperamide plus simethicone is available. Loperamide helps with the diarrhea, while simethicone helps with the gas.
How do these medications work? Normally, water is reabsorbed as food passes through your bowels. With diarrhea, the bowels are moving too quickly for enough water to be reabsorbed, so the liquid stays in the stools, making them loose and watery. Each diarrhea medication works on this process in a slightly different way. Loperamide works by bringing the movement of the bowels back to a more normal level. This is important because diarrhea often reduces your ability to reabsorb water and absorb nutrients. Attapulgite absorbs the extra liquids in the bowel, which helps make stools more solid. It can be used for up to 2 days. Bismuth works by decreasing inflammation, killing certain bacteria that can cause diarrhea, and blocking the body from releasing more fluid into the bowels.
When To See Your Doctor
While many cases of diarrhea can be treated at home with OTC remedies, rest, and a temporarily restricted diet, if it lasts long enough you should consult your doctor. Call your doctor if your diarrhea lasts more than 2 days without improvement or if you get dehydrated.
If you get dehydrated or have other symptoms, you may need to go to the emergency room to get prompt treatment.
Other symptoms to watch for include black or bloody stools, severe abdominal pain, or a fever of 102°F or higher. You can call your doctor and ask what you should do if you experience any of these symptoms.
If your child has diarrhea, call their pediatrician and ask whether you should take them to the emergency room if they:
- dont improve after 24 hours
- havent had a wet diaper in three or more hours
- have a fever of 102°F or higher
- have a dry mouth or tongue
- cry without tears
Consider A Probiotic Or Other Good Bacteria
Since diarrhea often involves a whole lot of bad bacteria in your gut, replacing it with good bacteria can be beneficial, according to Dr. Masoud. Some probiotics have been shown to be helpful in certain cases with the two most studied being lactobacillus and saccharomyces boulardii, he says.
But it’s not just drugstore probioticsadding good bacteria and probiotic rich foods like yogurt and sauerkraut can also help inspire balance in your sour stomach.
Still, if your symptoms are severe , Dr. Masoud urges you to call your physician ASAP. Any cases with blood in stool or fever should be evaluated without delay.In general it is important to never minimize or brush off symptoms,” he says. “It’s never a bad idea to contact your primary care physician for direction if you develop a change in your bowel habits.”
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
Don’t Miss: How Do Probiotics Help Digestion
Children Older Than 1 Year Of Age
Same as above, and
- Ice popsicles made from ORS
- Flavored gelatin cubes
|At least 10 ounces of liquid every hour|
* Minimum fluid goals per hour may increase if diarrhea, vomiting or fever are present.
WARNING: Do not give medicines to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor specifically orders it. These medicines can be very dangerous to children if they are not used properly.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
If a virus caused your childs diarrhea, do the following to prevent the spread to others:
- Make sure your child washes hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before eating.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching your child and their eating utensils, dirty laundry or diapers .
- Keep your childs utensils, toys and dirty clothes away from others. Wash them in hot soapy water.
- Clean the toilet and hard surfaces often with disinfectant or an antimicrobial wipe. Let dry 15 seconds.
You May Like: Is It Heartburn Or Heart Attack
How To Cope With Side Effects Of Loperamide
What to do about:
- constipation â stop taking loperamide. If you have constipation, eat more fibre by having fresh fruit, vegetables and cereals, and drink plenty of water.â¯Try to exercise regularly, for example by going for a daily walk or run. If this does not help, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
- feeling dizzy â if loperamide makes you feel dizzy when you stand up, try getting up very slowly or stay sitting down until you feel better. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit until you feel better. Avoid driving, cycling, or using tools or machines if you feel dizzy.
- feeling sick â try taking loperamide with or after a meal or snack. It may also help if you stick to simple meals and avoid rich or spicy food.
- headaches â make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Talk to your doctor if the headaches last longer than a week or are severe.
- farting â avoid foods that cause wind like lentils, beans and onions. It might also help to eat smaller and more frequent meals, eat and drink slowly, and exercise regularly. There are products you can buy from a pharmacy to help with wind. Loperamide can be bought mixed with simeticone, a medicine for wind.
Best Otc Remedies For Diarrheaand You Can Buy Them Online
It’s like the childhood book taught useverybody poops, right? But there’s a big difference between needing to go number two and having uncontrollable diarrhea, especially at inopportune times like before a big work meeting, at a wedding, or while you’re on vacation.
Diarrhea is defined as passing loose, watery stools, three or more times a day. “There can be many different causes, but it’s most commonly due to food intolerances, certain medications, celiac disease, bacterial or viral infections, or IBS-D,” says Taz Bhatia, MD, an integrative health expert and founder of CentreSpring MD.
IBS-D, which stands for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, affects 25 to 45 million people in the U.S., and 2 out of 3 are female. “Patients with IBS-D often experience abdominal pain along with increased frequency of bowel movements, and these symptomsalong with others, like bloatingmay force them to miss important social events, school, or professional obligations,” says Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, a gastroenterologist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.
Whatever’s causing your repeated trips to the loo, make sure you drink up: With diarrhea comes the serious risk of dehydration. But you may also need some medication to help settle your stomach.
Also Check: How To Relieve Constipation While Pregnant
How Do Doctors Treat Persistent And Chronic Diarrhea
How doctors treat persistent and chronic diarrhea depends on the cause. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics and medicines that target parasites to treat bacterial or parasitic infections. Doctors may also prescribe medicines to treat some of the conditions that cause chronic diarrhea, such as Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis. How doctors treat chronic diarrhea in children also depends on the cause.
Doctors may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms, most often bacteria, that are similar to microorganisms you normally have in your digestive tract. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat diarrhea.
For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices. If your doctor recommends probiotics, talk with him or her about how much probiotics you should take and for how long.
Can Diarrhoea Be Prevented
Gastroenteritis the most common cause of diarrhoea is highly infectious, and mostly spread by contact with another person who has the illness, or from contaminated food.
These measures can help to stop the spread:
- wash hands frequently using a good handwashing technique
- follow proper food-safety practices
- if a household member has diarrhoea, they should not prepare food for the other members, and everyone should follow regular handwashing and hygiene practices
- someone who has diarrhoea should not visit hospitals, aged care facilities, or swimming pools
- babies can be vaccinated against rotavirus
Also Check: Is Honey Good For Diarrhea
Common Questions About Loperamide
Loperamide is an anti-motility medicine. This means that it slows down food as it goes through your gut. Your body can then draw in more water from your intestines, so that your poos get firmer and you poo less often.
Loperamide usually starts to work within 1 hour to make your diarrhoea better.
Most people only need to take loperamide for 1 to 2 days.
If you’ve bought loperamide from a shop or pharmacy, do not take it for more than 48 hours without talking to a doctor.
If you’ve bought loperamide from a shop or pharmacy, do not take it for more than 48 hours without talking to a doctor.
Although diarrhoea is usually nothing to worry about, it can sometimes lead to dehydration. This can be serious if you do not get the correct treatment.
Diarrhoea can also sometimes be a warning sign of another problem. For this reason, it’s important to see a doctor to find out the cause of your diarrhoea if it continues beyond 7 days.
If you’ve bought loperamide for short-term diarrhoea, do not take it for longer than 48 hours without talking to a doctor.
Loperamide may be used for long-lasting diarrhoea and by people who have a colostomy if their doctor prescribes it.
Do not take loperamide to prevent diarrhoea, unless your doctor tells you to.
It’s not been officially approved and tested for preventing diarrhoea.
How Can I Treat Or Prevent Dehydration Caused By Diarrhea
To treat or prevent dehydration, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytescalled rehydration therapyespecially if you have acute diarrhea. Although drinking plenty of water is important in treating and preventing dehydration, you should also drink liquids that contain electrolytes, such as the following:
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn And Nausea
Isnt It Better To Treat The Root Cause Of The Problem
Its true that its better to avoid trigger foods or stresses, if these are the factors that bring on diarrhea for you. But often you cant control the cause of your diarrhea, especially if you have a sensitive system. So the best you can do is treat the effects in order to limit the extra strain on your system caused by loss of fluids and salts. Treatment will stop your diarrhea and help your body to get back to recovery more quickly than if you dont treat at all.
Tips For Preventing Diarrhea
You cant avoid the unavoidable, and there are unfortunately some types of diarrhea that cant be preventedsuch as those that are caused by an underlying health condition. Infectious diarrhea, however, can be avoided. Some of the best ways to prevent contracting bacterial infections and foodborne illnesses that can lead to diarrhea include:
- Washing your hands and practicing good hygiene
- Cleaning fruits and vegetables
- Cooking raw meat and seafood thoroughly
- Drinking clean, filtered water
Read Also: Can Probiotics Help With Bloating
How Is Diarrhoea Treated
In the case of simple short-term episodes of diarrhoea, which usually clear up by themselves in healthy people, you will probably be able to manage your symptoms through home care.
You should try to do the following:
- rest at home
- stay off work or school until you have not had a loose bowel motion for 24 hours
- drink clear fluids or oral rehydration solution to replace lost fluids take small sips if you feel sick
- avoid fruit juice, cordials and sugary drinks they will prolong the diarrhoea
- avoid alcohol and caffeine
- manage your diet until you get back to normal eat bland foods, such as rice, pasta and crackers, and avoid fatty foods or those high in insoluble fibre
Gulp Down A Sports Drink
Most people think of Gatorade as a sports beverage, as it replenishes electrolytes after a workout, helping restore hydration. It works the same way when you have diarrhea. If the volume and frequency of watery stool is significant, steps must be taken to avoid dehydration, Dr. Masoud explains. The most important thing to remember is that with fluid losses also come electrolyte depletion.
Read Also: What Does A Bloated Stomach Mean
When To Call The Doctor
- Severe stomach pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- Diarrhea that is more frequent or more severe
- Signs of dehydration
- A high fever. Use a digital thermometer and wash thoroughly after each use.
- for age 3 months or younger, a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher.
- for any age, a temperature over 102°F , that lasts more than 2 days. Take rectal, ear or axillary temperatures in infants 4 months of age or older. When your child reaches 4 years of age, oral temperatures are OK.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Diarrhea
A few other causes of diarrhea are
- Bacterial diarrhea caused by E coli, Campylobacter, V Cholerae, Shigella, Salmonellaor Staphylococcus aureus.
- Parasites, such as Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum and Cestoda
- Intestinal disorders or diseases
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome
Common Causes Of Diarrhea
First of all, have you ever wondered why you have diarrhea? There are several reasons for this. Some of the reasons are as follows:
- Food Allergy There are times when people eat food products that are not accepted by their bodies. The body tends to release the food products as much as possible, which causes diarrhea.
- Contaminated Water Have you ever been to a new place, and you have gotten diarrhea from drinking the water? Sometimes, the water does not need to be contaminated to cause diarrhea. It just has to be foreign, and it can already make stools a bit lost.
- Intestinal Diseases There are different types of intestinal diseases that people are suffering from right now. One of the most well-known ones is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Having an intestinal disease can result in having diarrhea quite often.
Should You Take A Prescription
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help control your symptoms if you often have diarrhea because of irritable bowel syndrome . These medicines include:
Rifaximin is an antibiotic that works on certain bacteria in your gut. Youâd likely only take it for 2 weeks. Itâs sometimes used to treat travelerâs diarrhea.
New IBS-D drugs are in the works. Ask your doctor if there are more options you can try.
Inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohnâs disease or ulcerative colitis, can cause ongoing diarrhea. Your doctor will give you another kind of prescription to manage those conditions.
Read Also: Can You Get Diarrhea From Being Dehydrated
Are There Other Ways To Treat Diarrhea
A probiotic may help. Theyâre pills or food with âgoodâ bacteria or yeast in them. They can replace âbadâ bacteria that live in your gut. More research is needed to know if they soothe diarrhea. Ask your doctor if theyâre right for you.
Not eating foods you have a hard time processing may stop diarrhea. If youâre not sure what to avoid, talk to a registered dietitian nutritionist . They can help you figure out the problem foods.
What Can I Give My Child To Stop Diarrhea
Usually, medicine is not necessary to treat diarrhea in kids. In most cases, acute infectious diarrhea will stop when the body clears out the infection.
“Diarrhea is like a cough when you have a cold. Your gut is trying to get the bad stuff out, explains Dr. Lazar. “If you slow down the gut with an anti-diarrheal medicine during infectious diarrhea, you’re keeping the infection inside.
If your child’s diarrhea lasts more than a few days, check with your pediatrician to determine the cause and best treatment. For chronic diarrhea, your doctor might suggest a change of diet, medication or other ongoing treatment.
You May Like: Is Mustard Good For Heartburn
Food Poisoning By The Staphylococcus Bacteria
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness or “stomach flu,” is an acute infection of the digestive tract from food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or other toxins. It actually has no relation to influenza.
Any food can become contaminated if not prepared under clean conditions, cooked thoroughly, or stored at cold temperatures. Meat, fish, dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the most easily contaminated foods.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and sometimes fever and chills.
Most people recover on their own with supportive care, meaning rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers.
However, dehydration can result if the vomiting and/or diarrhea are not controlled and IV fluids may be needed.
If there is also blurred vision, dizziness, or paralysis, the nervous system may be affected due to botulism. This is a medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Proper food preparation and storage, along with frequent and thorough handwashing, is the best prevention.
Top Symptoms: nausea, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps , vomiting
Symptoms that always occur with food poisoning by the staphylococcus bacteria: nausea or vomiting