Treatment

Treatment

If you have diarrhea, it's very important to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. Usually, you can do this with water. Other options include:

Chicken, beef, or vegetable brothSoft drinks or juiceFlavored mineral water

If you're heading to the bathroom a lot, or you've had diarrhea for a long time, talk with your doctor to make sure that your levels of sodium, potassium, sugar, and other electrolytes are OK. Things like sports drinks and children's electrolyte solutions (drinks or popsicles) can all help boost your electrolytes.

Over-the-counter (OTC) antidiarrheal medications may provide some relief of symptoms, including loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, etc.). Consult your doctor before treating diarrhea with these drugs, as some people may need to avoid them. Do not give them to children under 5 years of age.

The prognosis for diarrhea is generally good and in most cases symptoms will resolve in a few days.