When Should I Call My Doctor About Diarrhea
If you have diarrhea that fails to improve or resolve completely, you should call your healthcare provider. Keep track of any other symptoms you may be experiencing this includes fever, vomiting, rash, weakness, numbness, lightheadedness, dizziness, weight loss and blood in your stool. If you have any concerns, its always best to call your healthcare provider.
Protecting Yourself From Gastroenteritis
The viruses that cause gastroenteritis come from contact with an infected person’s stool. You may get it if a person with the virus didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom and then touched the escalator at the mall — the same escalator you touched before eating lunch. Stomach flu viruses are tough, too. Some can live on surfaces such as counters for months.
It’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your family. Here’s some advice.
- Wash your hands. According to experts, this is still the best way to stop a stomach virus. One review of studies found that good hand-washing technique cut the rate of diarrhea by 40%. Make sure to use soap and water and do it thoroughly — wash your hands for as long as it takes to recite the alphabet. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after changing a diaper.
- Use hand sanitizer. If you’re not near a sink to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Be aware that hand sanitizer may not be as effective as hand washing at preventing the stomach flu.
- Wipe down surfaces. If a family member has the stomach flu, wash off high-traffic areas — such as the bathroom, door knobs, phones, and TV remotes — with a diluted bleach solution. If it’s possible, keep healthy people out of the bathroom the sick person is using.
- Make sure your kids get their vaccines.Vaccines for rotavirus can protect children from some types of stomach flu. Kids usually get the vaccines before they are age 2.
What To Eat When You Have Diarrhea
Whether your diarrhea is caused by allergies, food poisoning, a chronic condition like irritable bowel syndrome, or something else, diet and diarrhea are intricately linked.
Even if you have long-term conditions that affect the digestive system, the diet you eat can greatly affect your comfort levels.
When youre experiencing an episode of diarrhea, there are certain foods that you can eat to help your digestive system get back on track. There are also certain foods that you should avoid.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
There are some medicines that can affect the way loperamide works.
Check with a pharmacist or doctor if you’re taking:
- ritonavir, used to treat HIV infection
- quinidine, used to treat abnormal heartbeats or malaria
- itraconazole, used to treat fungal infections
- gemfibrozil, used to treat high cholesterol
- desmopressin, used for bedwetting or peeing too much
- other medicines for diarrhoea, constipation, or any other stomach and bowel problems
Speak to your doctor if your diarrhoea is very severe and you take metformin for diabetes, or medicines for high blood pressure or heart failure. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking these medicines for a few days until your diarrhoea is better.
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.
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Natural Remedies For Diarrhea #8 Brat Diet
Eating high-binding and hardening foods such as overripebananas, rice, apple sauce and toast are definitely the way to goif you currently have a dose of the runs. Other foods including pasta, oatmeal,yogurt and healthy wholemealcrackers are also very good for treating diarrhea and hardening stools. Andmake sure you avoid all spicy foods and saturated fatty foods, especially friedfoods and takeaway foods. Eating these unhealthy foods will only keep sendingyou back to that dreaded thunder box!;
Along with following the BRAT diet, try making yourself anice peppermint or chamomile tea as well. Chamomile and peppermint are bothvery soothing to the gastrointestinal tract and help to alleviate the build-upof intestinal gas that can sometimes accompany diarrhoea. Youcan easily buy chamomile or peppermint tea from most supermarkets or online. Forextra benefit and taste, add a slice of fresh lemon to your cup and drink 3-4times per day. For children with diarrhea, try giving them some peppermintcandy . Just be aware thatpeppermint candy can be high in sugar so be sure to go with a sugar free brand.;
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
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What About Nuts And Seeds
In the past, doctors thought you had to avoid certain foods if you had diverticulosis. These included nuts, seeds like sunflower and sesame, and even little seeds in fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers and strawberries. But recent research shows these foods donât harm people with diverticulosis.
Best Home Remedies For Diarrhea
Here’s 8 of the best natural remedies for diarrhea and stomach pain in order of importance. Use each of these potent home remedies;;to stop, reverse, and get rid of your diarrhea fast;and for good!;
Article by Troy Sawyer
Diarrhea is definitelyone awful health problem to have. Having to stay close to the toilet and beready to get on at the first sign of, well, you know how it goes, is really nota lot of fun. And as the saying goes theres no pain, no strain, you just letit drain! . The worst part though is when you have nausea andvomiting with your diarrhea. Then its hard to know which end to stick over theporcelain bowel first! ;
All jokes aside, if you or a loved one has diarrhea itneeds to be fixed A.S.A.P. The main problem with diarrhoea is it causesdehydration, and this can happen quite rapidly. So of course, what most peopledo is drink plenty of water to try and combat this. But drinking water usuallyjust causes more diarrhea, so it can become a vicious cycle. Dehydration fromwatery diarrhea is now a common cause of infant death world-wide, so if itsyour child that has a dose of the runs right now, the significance of fixingthis problem fast takes on extra importance. Fortunately, you are going to beable to treat and cure your diarrhea quickly with the 8sure-fire diarrhea remedies we’re about to list.;
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Home Remedies For Diarrhea #1 Organic Apple Cidervinegar
Organic ACV is our first choice and #1 treatment for fixing diarrhea quickly without any adverse effects. In fact, this miracle foodwill give you some much needed relief in as little as 20 minutes! Apple cidervinegar is the ultimate bacterial, viral, parasitic and microbial killer. Italso helps to replenish the supply of good bacteria in the digestive tract. And if your diarrhea happensto be accompanied with nausea, stomach ache and stomach cramps, ACV will help getrid of those in a hurry as well!
So all you need to do is mix 1-2 tablespoons of organicapple cider vinegar in 6-8 oz of warm, filteredwater and drink down on an empty stomach. Repeat this process every three hoursduring waking hours for 24 hours. After this, you simply take ACV once in themorning and once in the evening permanently to keep diarrhoea and upsetstomachs away for good . For those of youwho struggle with the taste of apple cider vinegar, you can either add a littleManuka honey to the mix or you can buy the ACV capsules, which are easy to takeand work just as well.
Are There Side Effects
OTC anti-diarrheal medicine doesnât usually cause problems. But like other drugs, thereâs always a chance you could have unwanted side effects. Some are mild, while others are more serious. Check with your doctor if you get symptoms like:
You may have more side effects if you take other drugs at the same time. Some medicine may not work as well if you take them with OTC anti-diarrheal drugs. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
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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.
What Are Home Remedies For Diarrhea In Kids
There is no one specific food, drink or home remedy that will stop your child’s diarrhea. The best treatment for your child’s diarrhea is supportive care. To provide relief from diarrhea symptoms, focus on:
- Keeping your child hydrated
- Offering a variety of nutritious foods
- Identifying triggers or problem foods
“With diarrhea, the body loses salts and electrolytes, so it’s very important to help your child stay hydrated, says Dr. Lazar. “Avoid juice and other sugary beverages.
To keep a child with diarrhea hydrated, offer plenty of fluids, such as:
- Pediatric electrolyte solutions in liquid or freezer pop form
- Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade
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Can Diarrhea Be Prevented
There are a few ways you can decrease your chances of having diarrhea, including:
- Avoiding infections with good hygiene habits: Washing your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, as well as cooking, handling, and eating, is an important way to prevent diarrhea. Washing your hands thoroughly can really help keep you and those around you stay healthy.
- Getting your vaccinations: Rotavirus, one of the causes of diarrhea, can be prevented with the rotavirus vaccine. This is given to infants in several stages during the first year of life.
- Storing food properly: By keeping your food stored at the right temperatures, not eating things that have gone bad, cooking food to the recommended temperature and handling all foods safely, you can prevent diarrhea.
- Watching what you drink when you travel: Travelers diarrhea can happen when you drink water or other drinks that havent been treated correctly. This is most likely to happen in developing countries. To avoid getting diarrhea there are a few tips to follow. Watch what you drink. Dont drink tap water, use ice cubes, brush your teeth with tap water, or consume unpasteurized milk, milk products or unpasteurized juices. You should also be careful when trying local foods from street vendors, eating raw or undercooked meats , as well as raw fruits and vegetables. When in doubt, drink bottled water or something thats been boiled first .
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.
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Probiotics May Relieve Diarrhea
Probiotics are friendly bacteria or yeast that help your digestive system function properly. A growing body of research shows that probiotics may help protect against antibiotic-associated diarrhea. In particular, some people have found that the probioticLactobacillus acidophilus, found in certain brands of yogurt, helps reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults. Probiotics are also found in miso and other fermented foods.
Probiotics occur naturally in some foods, are added to others, or can be taken as concentrated supplements. There are hundreds of probiotics, Parkman says. Each one is a little different. You may need to experiment to determine which one, if any, works for you.
Probiotics supplements are sold in drugstores, groceries, and health food stores in liquid, powder, and capsule forms. They are sometimes kept in a refrigerated section because they need to be protected from heat. You should talk to your doctor before taking probiotics, to make sure theyre safe to use with your other treatment plans.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What is causing my diarrhea?
- How long will it last if I dont treat it?
- Will taking an OTC antidiarrheal medicine shorten the length of time the diarrhea lasts?
- What can I be doing to treat my diarrhea in addition to taking OTC medicines?
- Will antidiarrheal medicines make me constipated?
- What side effects should I watch out for if I take antidiarrheal medicine?
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How Do Otc Antidiarrheal Medicines Work
Loperamide;slows down how fast things move through your intestines . This allows more fluid to be absorbed into your body. This helps you have less diarrhea and more formed stools.
Bismuth subsalicylate;balances the way fluid moves through your intestines. It reduces inflammation. It keeps bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhea from growing in the stomach and intestines.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
One of the biggest problems with diarrhea, and what leads many people to the emergency room, is dehydration. Diarrhea causes the body to lose a lot of water and electrolytes it needs to function normally. If not treated appropriately, dehydration can become dangerous, especially in young children.
To manage a mild bout of diarrhea, you will need to replenish fluids and electrolytes lost. Drink plenty of water, clear juices, clear broths, or an electrolyte-rich sports drink.
There are also things you should avoid when you have a bout of diarrhea. Avoid coffee, caffeinated drinks, prune juice, sugary drinks, sodas, and alcohol, all of which have a laxative effect. It is also a good idea to avoid dairy products.
Young children and babies with diarrhea should be given pediatric rehydration drinks, marketed under such brand names as Pedialyte, Enfalyte, or Gastrolyte. Breastfed infants;should continue to breastfeed. Children should continue with their regular diet, plus rehydrating fluids, rather than be put on a restrictive diet.
If you want to avoid the artificial colorings or flavorings used in some commercial rehydration drinks, you can make a homemade rehydration drink using only salt, sugar, and water. You can also purchase oral rehydration salts over the counter at most drugstores. Follow the preparation instructions as too much salt can be harmful, especially to children.
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How Is Diarrhea Treated
In most cases, you can treat mild and uncomplicated diarrhea at home. By using an over-the-counter product like bismuth subsalicylate youll usually feel better very quickly.
However, over-the-counter medications arent always the solution. If your diarrhea is caused by an infection or parasite, youll need to see a healthcare provider for treatment. A general rule is not to use over-the-counter medications for diarrhea if you also have a fever or blood in your stool. In those cases, call your healthcare provider.
When diarrhea lasts for a long period of time , your healthcare provider will base your treatment on the cause. This could involve a few different treatment options, including:
How should I take over-the-counter medications for diarrhea?
Its important to always follow the instructions on the packaging when you take an over-the-counter medication for diarrhea. The rules for managing diarrhea in an adult are different than in children. Always call your childs healthcare provider before giving your child any type of medication for diarrhea.
A tip for managing diarrhea in an adult with over-the-counter medication includes:
- Taking two tablespoons of Kaopectate® or two tablespoons of Pepto-Bismol® after each loose stool. Do not take more than eight doses in 24 hours.