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Diarrhea Treatments


A medical condition may cause diarrhea. Treating the condition may help to relieve the diarrhea.

General recommendations for treating diarrhea include:

Drink Lots of Fluids

Plain water will not replace the electrolytes lost through diarrhea. Look for sports drinks or special solutions.

Ask Your Doctor If You Should Eat

Some doctors suggest that you drink only clear fluids during severe phases.

Avoid Certain Foods

Avoid the following foods:

  • Very spicy foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Greasy foods
  • High-fiber foods
  • Dairy products in large amounts
  • Caffeinated drinks

Encourage Certain Foods

  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Yogurt
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meats

Treat Abdominal Pain With Heat

Use a hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen to relieve cramps and pain.


Your doctor may recommend medications, such as:

  • Bismuth subsalicylate
  • Codeine phosphate
  • Loperamide hydrochloride
  • Paregoric
  • Psyllium or methylcellulose compounds
  • Kaolin or pectin products
  • Antibiotics may be indicated for certain bacterial causes of diarrhea.
  • Probiotics (eg, lactobacillus , bifidobacterium) may be beneficial.
  • Zinc supplementation may be recommended in certain cases.


Diarrhea can cause severe dehydration. You may need to be hospitalized. Fluids will be delivered through an IV.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2024 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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