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When you have diarrhea | UF Health, University of Florida Health

Description

Diarrhea is the passage of loose or watery stool. For some, diarrhea is mild and will go away within a few days. For others, it may last longer. It can make you lose too much fluid (dehydrated) and feel weak. It can also lead to unhealthy weight loss.

The stomach flu is a common cause of diarrhea. Medical treatments, such as antibiotics and some cancer treatments can also cause diarrhea.

Video: Diarrhea

Test Your Knowledge About Diarrhea in Kids

Alternative Names

Diarrhea – self-care; Diarrhea – gastroenteritis

How to Relieve Diarrhea

These things may help you feel better if you have diarrhea:

  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of clear fluids every day. Water is best.
  • Drink at least 1 cup (240 milliliters) of liquid every time you have a loose bowel movement.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals.
  • Eat some salty foods, such as pretzels, soup, and sports drinks.
  • Eat some high potassium foods, such as bananas, potatoes without the skin, and fruit juices.

Ask your health care provider if you should take a multivitamin or drink sports drinks to boost your nutrition. Also ask about taking a fiber supplement, such as Metamucil, to add bulk to your stools.

Your provider may also recommend a special medicine for diarrhea. Take this medicine as you have been told to take it.

Eating When you Have Diarrhea

You can bake or broil beef, pork, chicken, fish, or turkey. Cooked eggs are also OK. Use low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt.

If you have very severe diarrhea, you may need to stop eating or drinking dairy products for a few days.

Eat bread products made from refined, white flour. Pasta, white rice, and cereals such as cream of wheat, farina, oatmeal, and cornflakes are OK. You may also try pancakes and waffles made with white flour, and cornbread. But don’t add too much honey or syrup.

You should eat vegetables, including carrots, green beans, mushrooms, beets, asparagus tips, acorn squash, and peeled zucchini. Cook them first. Baked potatoes are OK. In general, removing seeds and skins is best.

You can include desserts and snacks such as fruit-flavored gelatin, fruit-flavored ice pops, cakes, cookies, or sherbet.

Things you Should Avoid Eating or Drinking

You should avoid certain kinds of foods when you have diarrhea, including fried foods and greasy foods.

Avoid fruits and vegetables that can cause gas, such as broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, berries, prunes, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, and corn.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.

Limit or cut out milk and other dairy products if they are making your diarrhea worse or causing gas and bloating.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you have:

  • The diarrhea gets worse or does not get better in 2 days for an infant or child, or 5 days for adults
  • Stools with an unusual odor or color
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blood or mucus in your stool
  • A fever that does not go away
  • Stomach pain

References

Bartelt LA, Guerrant RL. Diarrhea with little or no fever. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 98.

Shiller LR, Sellin JH. Diarrhea. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 16.

Diarrhea, Age 11 and Younger

How old are you?

Less than 3 months

Less than 3 months

3 to 5 months

3 to 5 months

6 months to 3 years

6 months to 3 years

4 to 11 years

4 to 11 years

12 years or older

12 years or older

Are you male or female?

Why do we ask this question?

The medical assessment of symptoms is based on the body parts you have.

  • If you are transgender or non-binary, choose the sex that matches the body parts (such as ovaries, testes, prostate, breasts, penis, or vagina) you now have in the area where you are having symptoms.
  • If your symptoms aren’t related to those organs, you can choose the gender you identify with.
  • If you have some organs of both sexes, you may need to go through this triage tool twice (once as “male” and once as “female”). This will make sure that the tool asks the right questions for you.

Is your child having belly pain that does not go away after he or she passes stools?

With diarrhea, it’s normal to have cramping pain that goes away after the child passes stools. But if the pain is constant, there may be another problem.

Does your baby seem sick?

A sick baby probably will not be acting normally. For example, the baby may be much fussier than usual or not want to eat.

How sick do you think your baby is?

Extremely sick

Baby is very sick (limp and not responsive)

Sick

Baby is sick (sleepier than usual, not eating or drinking like usual)

Is your child having trouble drinking enough to replace the fluids he or she has lost?

Little sips of fluid usually are not enough. The child needs to be able to take in and keep down plenty of fluids.

Yes

Unable to drink enough fluids

No

Able to drink enough fluids

How much blood is there?

More than a few drops. Blood is mixed in with the stool, not just on the surface.

More than a few drops of blood on stool or diaper

A few drops on the stool or diaper

A few drops of blood in stool or diaper

Do you think your baby has a fever?

Did you take your child’s temperature?

This is the only way to be sure that a baby this age does not have a fever. If you don’t know the temperature, it’s safest to assume the baby has a fever and needs to be seen by a doctor. Any problem that causes a fever at this age could be serious. Rectal temperatures are the most accurate. Taking an axillary (armpit) temperature is also an option.

Is it 38°C (100.4°F) or higher, taken rectally?

This would be an axillary temperature of 37.5°C (99.5°F) or higher.

Yes

Temperature at least 38°C (100.4°F) taken rectally

No

Temperature at least 38°C (100.4°F) taken rectally

Do you think your child has a fever?

Did you take your child’s temperature?

How high is the fever? The answer may depend on how you took the temperature.

High: 40°C (104°F) or higher, oral

High fever: 40°C (104°F) or higher, oral

Moderate: 38°C (100.4°F) to 39.9°C (103.9°F), oral

Moderate fever: 38°C (100.4°F) to 39.9°C (103.9°F), oral

Mild: 37.9°C (100.3°F) or lower, oral

Mild fever: 37.9°C (100.3°F) or lower, oral

How high do you think the fever is?

Moderate

Feels fever is moderate

Mild or low

Feels fever is mild

How long has your child had a fever?

Less than 2 days (48 hours)

Fever for less than 2 days

From 2 days to less than 1 week

Fever for more than 2 days and less than 1 week

1 week or longer

Fever for 1 week or more

Does your child have a health problem or take medicine that weakens his or her immune system?

Yes

Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems

No

Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems

Does your child have shaking chills or very heavy sweating?

Shaking chills are a severe, intense form of shivering. Heavy sweating means that sweat is pouring off the child or soaking through his or her clothes.

Yes

Shaking chills or heavy sweating

No

Shaking chills or heavy sweating

Does the fever come and go?

Has your child travelled to another country in the past 6 weeks?

Has your baby had large stools every 1 to 2 hours for longer than 4 hours?

Yes

Large stools every 1 to 2 hours for more than 4 hours

No

Large stools every 1 to 2 hours for more than 4 hours

Has your baby had large stools every 1 to 2 hours for more than 8 hours?

Yes

Large stools every 1 to 2 hours for more than 8 hours

No

Large stools every 1 to 2 hours for more than 8 hours

Has your child had 6 or more large, loose stools in 12 hours?

Yes

6 or more large, loose stools in 12 hours

No

6 or more large, loose stools in 12 hours

Does your child have diabetes?

Is your child’s diabetes getting out of control because your child is sick?

Yes

Diabetes is affected by illness

No

Diabetes is affected by illness

Is the plan helping get your child’s blood sugar under control?

Yes

Diabetes illness plan working

No

Diabetes illness plan not working

How fast is it getting out of control?

Quickly (over several hours)

Blood sugar quickly worsening

Slowly (over days)

Blood sugar slowly worsening

Does the diarrhea come and go?

Is your child having diarrhea more often?

Yes

More frequent diarrhea episodes

No

More frequent diarrhea episodes

Has your child had diarrhea off and on for more than 1 month?

Yes

Diarrhea off and on for more than 1 month

No

Diarrhea off and on for more than 1 month

Do you think that a medicine could be causing the diarrhea?

Think about whether the diarrhea started after your child began taking a new medicine or a higher dose of a medicine.

Yes

Medicine may be causing diarrhea

No

Medicine may be causing diarrhea

Has your child been taking antibiotics in the past 2 weeks?

Many antibiotics can cause diarrhea.

Yes

Antibiotic in the past 2 weeks

No

Antibiotic in the past 2 weeks

Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

  • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
  • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
  • Medicines you take. Certain medicines, such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines that suppress the immune system like steroids or chemotherapy, or natural health products can cause symptoms or make them worse.
  • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
  • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

Try Home Treatment

You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

  • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system’s ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in children are:

  • Diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and congenital heart disease.
  • Steroid medicines, which are used to treat a variety of conditions.
  • Medicines taken after organ transplant.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.
  • Not having a spleen.

What you are looking for is a change in your child’s usual bowel habits.

  • Diarrhea means that the child is having more stools and looser ones than usual.
  • Constipation means that the child is having fewer stools than usual.

Every baby and child has different bowel habits. What is “normal” for one child may not be normal for another. For example:

  • Many newborns have at least 1 or 2 bowel movements a day. By the end of their first week, they may have as many as 5 to 10 bowel movements a day. They may pass a stool after each feeding.
  • By 6 weeks of age, your baby may not have a bowel movement every day. This usually isn’t a problem as long as the baby seems comfortable and is growing as expected, and as long as the stools aren’t hard.
  • By about 4 years of age, it’s normal for a child to have as many as 3 bowel movements a day or as few as 3 a week.

Anywhere in these ranges can be considered normal if the habit is normal or usual for your child.

Babies can quickly get dehydrated when they lose fluids because of problems like vomiting or fever.

Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe. For example:

  • The baby may be fussy or cranky (mild dehydration), or the baby may be very sleepy and hard to wake up (severe dehydration).
  • The baby may have a little less urine than usual (mild dehydration), or the baby may not be urinating at all (severe dehydration).

You can get dehydrated when you lose a lot of fluids because of problems like vomiting or fever.

Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe. For example:

  • You may feel tired and edgy (mild dehydration), or you may feel weak, not alert, and not able to think clearly (severe dehydration).
  • You may pass less urine than usual (mild dehydration), or you may not be passing urine at all (severe dehydration).

Severe dehydration means:

  • The baby may be very sleepy and hard to wake up.
  • The baby may have a very dry mouth and very dry eyes (no tears).
  • The baby may have no wet diapers in 12 or more hours.

Moderate dehydration means:

  • The baby may have no wet diapers in 6 hours.
  • The baby may have a dry mouth and dry eyes (fewer tears than usual).

Mild dehydration means:

  • The baby may pass a little less urine than usual.

Severe dehydration means:

  • The child’s mouth and eyes may be extremely dry.
  • The child may pass little or no urine for 12 or more hours.
  • The child may not seem alert or able to think clearly.
  • The child may be too weak or dizzy to stand.
  • The child may pass out.

Moderate dehydration means:

  • The child may be a lot more thirsty than usual.
  • The child’s mouth and eyes may be drier than usual.
  • The child may pass little or no urine for 8 or more hours.
  • The child may feel dizzy when he or she stands or sits up.

Mild dehydration means:

  • The child may be more thirsty than usual.
  • The child may pass less urine than usual.

Symptoms of serious illness in a baby may include the following:

  • The baby is limp and floppy like a rag doll.
  • The baby doesn’t respond at all to being held, touched, or talked to.
  • The baby is hard to wake up.

Symptoms of serious illness may include:

  • A severe headache.
  • A stiff neck.
  • Mental changes, such as feeling confused or much less alert.
  • Extreme fatigue (to the point where it’s hard for you to function).
  • Shaking chills.

Temperature varies a little depending on how you measure it. For children up to 11 years old, here are the ranges for high, moderate, and mild according to how you took the temperature.

Oral (by mouth) temperature

  • High: 40° C (104° F) and higher
  • Moderate: 38° C (100.4° F) to 39.9° C (103.9° F)
  • Mild: 37.9° C (100.3° F) and lower

A forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.3° C (0.5° F) to 0.6° C (1° F) lower than an oral temperature.

Ear or rectal temperature

  • High: 40.5° C (104.9° F) and higher
  • Moderate: 38.5° C (101.3° F) to 40.4° C (104.7° F)
  • Mild: 38.4° C (101.1° F) and lower

Armpit (axillary) temperature

  • High: 39.8° C (103.6° F) and higher
  • Moderate: 37.8° C (100° F) to 39.7° C (103.5° F)
  • Mild: 37.7° C (99.9° F) and lower

Note: For children under 5 years old, rectal temperatures are the most accurate.

A baby that is extremely sick:

  • May be limp and floppy like a rag doll.
  • May not respond at all to being held, touched, or talked to.
  • May be hard to wake up.

A baby that is sick (but not extremely sick):

  • May be sleepier than usual.
  • May not eat or drink as much as usual.

An illness plan for people with diabetes usually covers things like:

  • How often to test blood sugar and what the target range is.
  • Whether and how to adjust the dose and timing of insulin or other diabetes medicines.
  • What to do if you have trouble keeping food or fluids down.
  • When to call your doctor.

The plan is designed to help keep your diabetes in control even though you are sick. When you have diabetes, even a minor illness can cause problems.

It is easy for your diabetes to become out of control when you are sick. Because of an illness:

  • Your blood sugar may be too high or too low.
  • You may not be able take your diabetes medicine (if you are vomiting or having trouble keeping food or fluids down).
  • You may not know how to adjust the timing or dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • You may not be eating enough or drinking enough fluids.

If you’re not sure if a child’s fever is high, moderate, or mild, think about these issues:

With a high fever:

  • The child feels very hot.
  • It is likely one of the highest fevers the child has ever had.

With a moderate fever:

  • The child feels warm or hot.
  • You are sure the child has a fever.

With a mild fever:

  • The child may feel a little warm.
  • You think the child might have a fever, but you’re not sure.

Blood in the stool can come from anywhere in the digestive tract, such as the stomach or intestines. Depending on where the blood is coming from and how fast it is moving, it may be bright red, reddish brown, or black like tar.

A little bit of bright red blood on the stool or on the toilet paper is often caused by mild irritation of the rectum. For example, this can happen if you have to strain hard to pass a stool or if you have a hemorrhoid.

A large amount of blood in the stool may mean a more serious problem is present. For example, if there is a lot of blood in the stool, not just on the surface, you may need to call your doctor right away. If there are just a few drops on the stool or in the diaper, you may need to let your doctor know today to discuss your symptoms. Black stools may mean you have blood in the digestive tract that may need treatment right away, or may go away on its own.

Certain medicines and foods can affect the colour of stool. Diarrhea medicines (such as Pepto-Bismol) and iron tablets can make the stool black. Eating lots of beets may turn the stool red. Eating foods with black or dark blue food colouring can turn the stool black.

If you take aspirin or some other medicine (called a blood thinner) that prevents blood clots, it can cause some blood in your stools. If you take a blood thinner and have ongoing blood in your stools, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms.

Many prescription and non-prescription medicines can cause diarrhea. A few examples are:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Antacids.
  • Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid).
  • Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy).

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care in the next hour.
  • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
    • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now.

Sometimes people don’t want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren’t serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.

Seek Care Today

Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

  • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care today.
  • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and seek care in the morning.
  • If the symptoms get worse, seek care sooner.

Make an Appointment

Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.

  • Make an appointment to see your doctor in the next 1 to 2 weeks.
  • If appropriate, try home treatment while you are waiting for the appointment.
  • If symptoms get worse or you have any concerns, call your doctor. You may need care sooner.

Diarrhea, Age 12 and Older

Abdominal Pain, Age 11 and Younger

When to Treat Vomiting and Diarrhea | Covid 19 Testing St Augustine | Urgent Care St Augustine

Vomiting and diarrhea can be extremely unpleasant and cause a significant amount of discomfort. In most cases, however, the symptoms do not point towards any severe health concern. Although, there are certain times when vomiting and diarrhea need to be treated by a medical professional to ensure the symptoms do not worsen or last for longer than necessary.

While most cases of vomiting and diarrhea are minor and not a cause for concern, it is essential to keep a close eye on the symptom and come in for a visit to our urgent care facility in the event the symptoms start to cause a severe level of discomfort or last for more than a day or two.

While preventing the onset of vomiting and diarrhea is ideal, it is not always practical, and many of the causes of vomiting and diarrhea are simply unpredictable. Subsequently, knowing what signs are a cause for concern and seeking medical assistance when they present themselves is crucial to making a full, speedy recovery.

If you or your child suffer from vomiting and diarrhea that is concerning or lasts for more than several days, be sure to come in for a visit or give us a call to find out the cause of your vomiting and diarrhea and adequately manage the symptoms while they last.

Facts from

The Rehydration Project

  • Diarrhea is a common problem that usually resolves on its own, although it is not always best to let it run its course.
  • Food intolerance, such as being lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant, is a typical cause of diarrhea.
  • People with Diarrhea caused by certain infections can lose up to 20 liters of fluid a day.
  • The average humans intestine is about eight meters long.
  • Darker vomit is potentially severe and in many cases needs medical treatment.
  • Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting or seeing others vomit.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea can both lead to severe dehydration, which can cause serious health concerns that require prompt attention.
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome occurs when an individual experiences recurring episodes of vomiting without an apparent cause.
Questions to Ask

Your Urgent Care Provider

  • What triggered my vomiting and diarrhea?
  • Is there anything I can do to ensure that my vomiting and diarrhea does not turn into a chronic issue?
  • Are there any home remedies I should try to control my vomiting or diarrhea or is it best to let it run its course?
  • How long do the vomiting and diarrhea typically last?
  • What should I do if my vomiting and diarrhea last for an extended amount of time without improving?
  • Is it normal to have a fever along with vomiting and diarrhea?
  • Other than an infection, what else can cause vomiting and diarrhea?
  • Am I contagious?
  • What foods should I avoid to ensure my vomiting and diarrhea does not become worse?
  • Is it okay for me to go to work or school?
  • Should I be concerned about dehydration?
  • Is there anything I could have done to prevent my vomiting and diarrhea?

Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea

There are different reasons why someone may be suffering from the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Although it can be challenging to do so, it is essential to try and find the exact cause of the vomiting and diarrhea as the treatment is likely to differ depending on the cause. The best way to determine the cause of your vomiting and diarrhea is to remember recent lifestyle decisions you have made and determine if any of them could be the reason for your vomiting and diarrhea. While there are numerous reasons why a person may exhibit the symptoms, here are several of the more common causes of vomiting and/or diarrhea:

  • Consumption of spoiled food
  • Overconsumption of food or alcohol
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy

The primary cause of vomiting and diarrhea that coexists is some stomach illness, including food poisoning and stomach viruses. To determine if this is the cause, try and remember if there are any questionable foods you have eaten lately or have been around anyone recently who is sick.

Another common cause of vomiting and diarrhea is overconsumption, whether it be food, alcohol or some form of a drug. While overeating food generally does not pose much of a health risk, consuming too much alcohol or drugs can have serious long-term health risks, and it is essential to seek medical attention if this is a probable cause of the vomiting and diarrhea.

Also, it is not uncommon for too much stress to cause vomiting and in some cases diarrhea. Lastly, if there is a chance of you being pregnant, it is crucial to take vomiting and nausea very seriously as it is typically an early symptom of pregnancy.

If you are unsure of the cause of vomiting and diarrhea and are concerned about the symptoms, be sure to visit us here at our urgent care facility for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Vomiting and Diarrhea Treatment Options

To fully understand how to treat vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to know why our body produces and reacts in vomiting and diarrhea. In some instances, a bacteria or virus can release a substance or toxin that can cause these vomiting or diarrhea. When our body comes across an unfamiliar substance or one that it deems harmful, it tries to get rid of the element as quickly as possible. Therefore, the concept of vomiting and diarrhea is helpful to our body. However, too much vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other serious health concerns, which is why it is important to try and control the symptoms as much as possible.

Unfortunately, there is not a way to completely cure vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases, it is best to let it run its course, assuming the symptoms do not last for an extended period or lead to dehydration.

Therefore, the best way to treat vomiting and diarrhea is to let the body and the stomach rest properly. For the first several hours after vomiting begins, avoid consuming anything and let the body clear out the harmful substance. After approximately 6-12 hours, you can, and should, start consuming food and fluids once again. However, be sure to eat very light and choose foods that do not upset your stomach, such as soup or a small salad. While drinking, avoid taking big sips. Instead, take small sips often to stay hydrated.

Lastly, try your best to avoid taking any medications, unless authorized to do so by a medical professional. Frequently medications can make vomiting and diarrhea worse or even be the cause of vomiting and diarrhea in the first place. If you rely on specific medications that you cannot keep down, be sure to visit us at our urgent care facility as soon as possible to ensure you receive the treatment needed.

How to Prevent Vomiting and Diarrhea

As difficult as it can be to treat vomiting and diarrhea, it can be even more challenging to prevent vomiting and diarrhea because it can happen at any time and can be the result of different causes, many of which are unpredictable. With that said, however, there are certain things you can do to help prevent vomiting and diarrhea from occurring in the first place.

While there is always the chance of eating a bad meal that seemed fine at the time, you can help prevent these symptoms by doing the following:

  • Practice proper hygiene
  • Stay home and rest when sick
  • Be cautious  around individuals who are sick

First and foremost, it is crucial to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands often with soap and water, cleaning frequently used surfaces around your home and office and avoiding touching your eyes and mouth, especially after a sneeze or touching a doorknob.

Practicing proper hygiene can undoubtedly help prevent developing an infection, there is still certainly a chance that you may fall ill at some point. While you are sick, however, there are certain precautions you can take to minimize the possibility of developing the symptom of nausea, which could ultimately lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Most importantly, be sure to stay home and rest while sick with the cold or flu, which gives your body all it needs to fight off the infection.

Lastly, be cautious around others who are sick, especially if they have developed an infection within the last three days because that is when they are the most contagious. While it may seem rude to avoid contact with others, most who are sick are considerate and understand your concern.

Perhaps the most important thing to do is avoid eating any questionable foods that may cause food poisoning.

When to Visit Urgent Care for Vomiting and Diarrhea

A minor case of vomiting and diarrhea should improve on its own between 24 and 48 hours after the symptoms first begin. However, if the symptoms last for more than several days or become so severe that they cause an unbearable amount of pain and discomfort, you may want to consider visiting us at our urgent care facility.

With that said, there are various other reasons why you may want to visit us for your case of vomiting and diarrhea, and it is crucial to seek medical assistance if any of the following is true:

  • Vomiting lasts for more than a day
  • Diarrhea lasts for more than three days
  • You suffer from an extreme fever
  • You are unable to take important medications
  • Your child suffers from severe or chronic vomiting and diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea can be a scary time and cause for concern. In the event your vomiting and diarrhea need to be treated by our medical staff, your symptoms usually can go away within a couple of days, and there are not any risks of long-term issues.

While the above symptoms are a cause for concern as it pertains to vomiting and diarrhea, certain situations are even more severe and need to be treated in an emergency room, which includes:

  • There is blood found in your vomit
  • You become severely dehydrated
  • Recently traveled to another country
  • Suffer from severe abdominal pain

It is important to be able to assess the cause and severity of your vomiting and diarrhea as it is easier to manage and treat the symptoms if they are dealt with early. In most cases, you can treat your vomiting and diarrhea at home, but keep a close eye on the signs and visit urgent care if they begin to worsen or last for an extended period.

Consult With Us

To ensure your vomiting and diarrhea is kept at a tolerable level and the symptoms do not last for longer than what is necessary, be sure to consult with us anytime the concerns as mentioned above start to present themselves, including if the vomiting and diarrhea become intolerable or lasts for more than a couple of days.

At our urgent care facility, we have a team of medical professionals and the resources necessary to effectively and efficiently treat the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea as well as accurately diagnose the underlying cause for the symptoms.

Without the proper treatment for vomiting diarrhea, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, developing a severe fever or just being far more uncomfortable than necessary. With the appropriate treatment, however, you can keep your symptoms at a tolerable level and ensure there are not any other health concerns that develop as a result of the vomiting and diarrhea.

In the event your vomiting and diarrhea worsens or lasts for an extended amount of time, be sure to consult with us and get the treatment you need. By doing so, you will more than likely be able to make a quick recovery and get back to living your life in a reasonable, healthy manner in no time.

FAQ

Q. Is it okay to not eat or drink while I am suffering from vomiting and diarrhea? After all, I am just going to throw it up anyways

A. It is important to continue to try and eat and drink while suffering from vomiting and diarrhea as the failure to do so can lead to dehydration, which poses a substantial long-term health concern. With that said, there are certain foods and drinks you should avoid, including anything that makes you nauseous. Instead, try eating soup and taking small sips of water throughout the day. In the event you or your child begin to exhibit symptoms of dehydration, be sure to come into our urgent care facility for treatment, especially if the vomiting and diarrhea are caused by an infection.

Q. My child is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. Is there anything I can give her/him that will help?

A. It can be a very concerning time to see your child suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately, there is a specific home treatment that can be administered to help manage the symptoms. First and foremost, do not give your child any solid foods. Instead, feed them applesauce, soup, etc., which should give them a better chance at keeping the food down. Additionally, provide them with plenty of rehydration solutions, such as Pedialyte. If they over the age of four, you can have them regularly sip on water throughout the day as well. As they recover, slowly integrate more solid foods back into their diet.

Q. I believe I ate something bad, which has caused me to have vomiting and diarrhea. How long should I wait before visiting the urgent care?

A. In general, vomiting and diarrhea for any cause, especially for food poisoning, should not last more than 72 hours. In the event you ate something you feel has caused food poisoning, visit urgent care if the symptoms do not improve within 72 hours. Also, if the symptoms become extremely concerning at any point within the first three days, you should also consider urgent care, especially if the vomiting and diarrhea have lead to you becoming dehydrated. While an adequately treated case of vomiting and diarrhea is not extremely concerning, dehydration can cause severe health concerns.

Q. I want to avoid dehydration. What are the warning signs of dehydration that I should watch for?

A. The very symptoms of dehydration often include extreme thirst and dark yellow urine. Additionally, you may experience muscle cramps and a headache before dehydration begins to set in. To be safe, it is encouraged to visit urgent care in the event the early signs of dehydration start to show. More concerning symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, fatigue, and a rapid heartbeat. In the event dehydration leads to any of the more concerning symptoms it is important to properly hydrate as soon as possible and visit urgent care if you are unable to keep fluids down.

Q. Are dehydration symptoms different in babies than it is in adults? What do I do if symptoms of dehydration begin to appear?

A. It is much more challenging to determine symptoms of dehydration during an episode of vomiting and diarrhea in a toddler than an adult. Subsequently, it is important to understand and notice the symptoms if they show up. Most commonly, a baby that has been vomiting and having diarrhea has not urinated in several hours or has very dark urine may suffer from dehydration. Also, check their mouth to see if it is dry and make sure they are secreting tears while crying. In the event they are not, they may be dehydrated. When a baby shows symptoms of dehydration, contact either your pediatrician or visit urgent care if your pediatrician is unavailable or you do not have one.

Q. I need to take my medication, but I keep throwing it back up. What do I need to do?

A. One of the biggest concerns when vomiting and diarrhea with people with a condition that requires them to take medicine daily is the inability to keep the medication down. If this is happening to you, you are not alone. However, it is a concerning scenario that requires medical assistance as soon as possible. If your vomiting and diarrhea does not allow you to keep your medication down, visit a healthcare professional for medical assistance, and they can help you find a way to take your medicine, whether it is through a shot or an IV.

Definitions

Dehydration Quite simply, dehydration is the act of losing more fluids than you take in, which causes the body not to be able to carry out necessary functions. Dehydration is a concern in individuals who have vomiting and diarrhea.

Food intolerance This occurs after eating food the body does not accept, which causes severe digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. For example, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance are common.

Emetophobia A phobia centered around an intense fear over the idea of vomiting or witnessing others vomit. Often, those with emetophobia are at an increased risk of vomiting.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome A condition where an individual continually experiences episodes of vomiting without a clear, defined cause, although in some the cause may be apparent.

Irritable bowel syndrome A disorder of the intestine that causes severe constipation and diarrhea. Irritable bowel syndrome is typically a long-term condition that can even last a lifetime.

Crohn’s disease An inflammatory bowel disease that causes severe abdominal pain that often leads to diarrhea. Crohn’s disease can affect anyone, regardless of age.

Gastroenterology A branch of medicine that focuses specifically on the digestive system and conditions related to the digestive system.

Infection A disease caused by the invasion of bacteria or viruses into the body. An infection is a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea and can often be treated with medication.

Rotavirus The most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea in toddlers. The rotavirus is not often dangerous in itself, but it can lead to dehydration, which is especially concerning in toddlers.

Stomach flu An intestinal infection that is famously known for causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. The stomach flu can be contagious and cause a critical level of stomach discomfort.

Loperamide: a medicine used to treat diarrhoea

If you’ve bought loperamide from a pharmacy or shop, follow the instructions that come with the packet.

If your doctor has prescribed loperamide for you or your child, follow their instructions about how and when to take it.

How to take it

You can take loperamide with or without food.

Capsules and tablets: swallow these whole, with a drink of water.

Tablets that melt in your mouth: put the tablet on your tongue and let it melt in your saliva. You can then swallow it without a drink. Do not chew it.

Liquid: this comes with a measuring cup, plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure the right dose. If you do not have one, ask your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount of medicine.

Dosage and strength

Loperamide comes as:

  • tablets and capsules that contain 2mg of loperamide
  • liquid that contains 1mg of loperamide in a 5ml spoonful

The recommended dose depends on the type of diarrhoea you have and your age.

Adults (over 18), with short-term diarrhoea or IBS

The usual starting dose is:

  • capsules or tablets: take 2 capsules or tablets, taken immediately. Then take 1 capsule or tablet after each runny poo.
  • liquid: four 5ml spoonfuls, taken immediately. Then take 2 spoonfuls after each runny poo.

Stop taking loperamide as soon as your symptoms settle down.

The recommended maximum dose in 24 hours is:

  • 6 capsules or tablets, if you buy loperamide from a shop
  • 8 capsules or tablets, or 16 spoonfuls of liquid (5ml each), if you have a prescription or buy loperamide from a pharmacy

Do not take loperamide for more than 48 hours without talking to a doctor.

Adults (over 18) with long-lasting or recurring diarrhoea

Most cases of diarrhoea get better in 5 to 7 days. If your diarrhoea does not stop in 7 days, talk to your doctor. It is important to understand the causes and to treat any complications, for instance dehydration.

If your doctor prescribes loperamide for long-lasting diarrhoea, they will tell you how much to take. The usual starting dose is:

  • 2 to 4 capsules or tablets, spaced evenly throughout the day
  • 4 to 8 spoonfuls of liquid loperamide (5ml each), spaced evenly throughout the day

Your doctor will adjust your dose according to your symptoms and how well loperamide is working, up to a maximum of:

  • 8 tablets or capsules in 24 hours
  • 16 spoonfuls of liquid loperamide (5ml each) in 24 hours

Once you’re on the right dose, your doctor will usually recommend dividing your daily dose, so you take half in the morning and half in the afternoon or evening.

Occasionally patients with a colostomy (stoma) need a higher dose. Only take a higher dose if your doctor tells you to.

Children’s doses

Do not give loperamide to children under 12 years old unless their doctor prescribes it.

  • Age 12 years and over with short-term diarrhoea – the dose is the same as for adults.
  • Age 12 to 17 years with IBS or long-lasting diarrhoea – follow the instructions from their doctor. This is given on prescription only.
  • Age 11 years or younger – follow the instructions from their doctor.

If a doctor prescribes loperamide for your child, they will use their weight or age to work out the right dose. The dose also depends on their symptoms.

What if I forget to take it?

If you miss a dose of loperamide, do not worry. Just take a dose after you next go to the toilet and have a runny poo.

Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.

What if I take too much?

Do not take more than the recommended amount.

If you take 1 extra dose of loperamide as a one-off, it’s unlikely to harm you. But taking higher doses can cause serious heart problems. The signs include having a fast or irregular heartbeat.

Medicines and the Digestive System

Irritation of the esophagus

Tips to prevent irritation of the esophagus

Some people have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, or sometimes take medicines without liquid. Tablets or capsules that stay in the esophagus may release chemicals that can irritate the lining of the esophagus. This may cause ulcers, bleeding, perforation, and narrowing (strictures) of the esophagus. The risk of these types of injuries is greater in persons with medical conditions involving the esophagus, including the following:

  • Strictures (narrowing of the esophagus)

  • Scleroderma (hardening of the skin)

  • Achalasia (irregular muscle activity of the esophagus, which delays passage of food)

  • Stroke

Certain medicines can also cause ulcers in the esophagus when they become lodged there. These include aspirin, certain antibiotics, quinidine, potassium chloride, vitamin C, and iron.

  • Stand or sit when swallowing medicines.

  • Take several swallows of liquid before taking the medicine, and swallow the medicine with a full 8 oz. glass of liquid.

  • Do not lie down immediately after taking medicine, to make sure the pills have gone through the esophagus into the stomach.

  • Notify your healthcare provider if you experience painful swallowing or feel that the medicine is sticking in your throat.

About esophageal reflux

Tips to avoid reflux

Some medicines interfere with the action of the sphincter muscle, located between the esophagus and stomach. This muscle allows the passage of food into the stomach after swallowing. This can increase the chances of reflux, or backup of the stomach’s acidic contents into the esophagus.

Classes of medicines that may increase the severity of reflux include the following:

  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and fatty or fried foods, which may worsen reflux.

  • Quit, or reduce, smoking.

  • Do not lie down right after eating.

Irritation of the stomach

Tips to prevent irritation of the stomach

One of the most common irritants to the lining of the stomach is that caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This includes medicines, such as ibuprofen and other common pain relievers. These medicines weaken the ability of the lining to resist acid made in the stomach and can sometimes lead to inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), ulcers, bleeding, or perforation of the lining.
Older people are at greater risk for irritation from these medicines because they are more likely to take these pain relievers for chronic conditions. People with a history of peptic ulcers and gastritis are also at risk.

  • Take coated tablets, which may reduce irritation.

  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages when taking these medicines.

  • Take medicines with food, or with a full glass of milk or water, which may reduce irritation.

Constipation

Tips to prevent constipation

A variety of medicines can cause constipation. This happens because these medicines affect the nerve and muscle activity in the colon (large intestine), resulting in the slow and difficult passage of stool.
Medicines that may cause constipation include the following:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Discuss taking a laxative or stool softener with your healthcare provider.

Diarrhea

Tips to prevent diarrhea

Diarrhea is most often caused by antibiotics, which affect bacteria normally present in the large intestine. These changes in intestinal bacteria allow the overgrowth of the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), which causes a more serious antibiotic-induced diarrhea. The presence of this bacteria can cause colitis, resulting in very loose, watery stools. The most common antibiotics to cause this type of diarrhea include the following:

This colitis is usually treated with another antibiotic that acts on the C. difficile. Certain medicines may also alter the movements or fluid content of the colon without causing colitis. Colchicine and magnesium-containing antacids can both cause diarrhea.
Talk with your healthcare provider if the diarrhea persists for several days.

  • Usually, preventing diarrhea involves avoiding foods known to irritate your stomach.

  • Treatment usually involves replacing lost fluids, and may include antibiotics when bacterial infections are the cause.

  • Eating foods that are high in lactose bacillus, such as yogurt, acidophilus milk/pills, or cottage cheese, helps to replenish the normal bacteria present in the large intestine.

10 Natural Remedies For Diarrhea + Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention Tips

Norovirus, one of the causes of infectious diarrhoea, is responsible for causing over 200,000 deaths in developing countries (1). A disease that can be easily prevented by following basic hygiene habits is claiming a lot of lives.

All of us have experienced bouts of diarrhea at some point in our lives. And you probably know how distressing the stomach cramps and bloating associated with it can be. Diarrhea is a medical condition that is characterized by frequent bowel movements with abnormally loose and watery stools.

Mild cases of diarrhea usually last only for a couple of days. However, in some cases, diarrhea can also be an indication of a potentially life-threatening condition. If you are looking for natural ways to stop diarrhea, check out this post. We have included some simple home remedies and tips that can help prevent diarrhea in the future. Read on.

Note: If you have mild to moderate bouts of diarrhea, these home remedies may help ease the symptoms. However, if the condition persists beyond a week, consult your healthcare provider.

Home Remedies To Treat Diarrhea

1. Lemon Water

The mixture of lemon juice, sugar, salt, and water is a popular remedy used by many to treat symptoms of diarrhea, like dehydration (2).

You Will Need

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 glass of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

What You Have To Do

  1. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a glass of water.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and two teaspoons of sugar to it.
  3. Mix well and drink up.

How Often You Should Do This

Sip on this mixture every few minutes.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (3), (4). It may help fight the microbes responsible for causing diarrhea and soothe the inflamed intestines.

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
  2. Mix well and add some honey to it.
  3. Drink the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink this mixture 2-3 times a day until the symptoms subside.

3. Almond Milk

Adults and infants who are lactose-intolerant tend to develop diarrhea on consuming dairy products (5). Almond milk is a healthy and safe substitute (6).

You Will Need

Almond milk (as required)

What You Have To Do

Replace cow’s milk with almond milk in your cereals, smoothies, and other dishes.

How Often You Should Do This

You can make this a daily habit if you are lactose-intolerant.

4. Coconut Water

Coconut water can be used as a rehydration solution for people with mild symptoms of diarrhea. However, it should be used together with early refeeding (7).

You Will Need

1 glass of fresh young coconut water

What You Have To Do

Drink a glass of young coconut water daily.

How Often You Should Do This

You must preferably drink this concoction after every bout of diarrhea.

Caution: This remedy should not be used to treat symptoms of dehydration. It should also not be used for cholera or renal impairment.

5. Peppermint Essential Oil

The active constituent of peppermint oil is menthol. Menthol can help relieve abdominal pain that accompanies diarrhea and other IBS symptoms. Two studies published in Digestive Diseases And Sciences and Mymensingh Medical Journal also confirmed the same post sustained release of encapsulated peppermint oil in the small intestine (8), (9).

You Will Need

  • 1 drop of food-grade peppermint oil
  • 1 glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a drop of food-grade peppermint oil to a glass of warm water.
  2. Drink the solution.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink this mixture 1-2 times daily.

6. Ginger

According to a study published in Yakugaku Zasshi, Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, the acetone extract of ginger can help curb serotonin-induced diarrhea (10).

You Will Need

  • 1-2 inches of sliced ginger
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add an inch or two of sliced ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer and strain.
  4. Drink the warm ginger tea.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink this mixture 2-3 times daily.

7. Green Tea

Among the many benefits of green tea, one is its ability to treat diarrhea in the affected individuals (11).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Steep a teaspoon of green tea in a cup of hot water for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Strain and drink the tea.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink green tea 1-2 times daily.

8. Electrolyte Drinks (ORS)

Consumption of electrolyte drinks, such as sports drinks, as well as the ever-popular oral rehydration solution (ORS), may help alleviate the symptoms of dehydration that often accompany diarrhea (12).

You Will Need

  • 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 liter of boiled water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add six teaspoons of sugar to a liter of water. Mix well until it dissolves.
  2. Add a teaspoon of salt to the solution and mix well.
  3. Drink a cup of the solution.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this after every watery bowel movement you have.

9. Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is often associated with an increased risk of diarrhea. Hence, restoring this deficiency can reduce the severity of the symptoms (13).

You Will Need

Vitamin A-rich foods or supplements

What You Have To Do

  1. Increase your intake of vitamin A-rich foods, like carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, winter squash, cantaloupe, and spinach.
  2. You can also take additional supplements for this vitamin after talking to your doctor about the required dosage for you.

How Often You Should Do This

You can include small amounts of vitamin A-rich foods in your daily diet.

10. Rice Water

Rice water can cut down the number of stools without having any adverse effects on your health. It is especially great for treating diarrhea in infants that occurs as a result of infantile gastroenteritis in developing countries (14).

You Will Need

½ glass of rice water

What You Have To Do

  1. Strain the water from cooked rice.
  2. Consume half a glass of rice water after every bout of diarrhea.
  3. This remedy can also be used for children.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times or more daily.

While these remedies work their magic, you can also make some changes to your diet for a speedy recovery.

What Foods Help Stop Diarrhea?

Diarrhea can be quite uncomfortable. Hence, you must be a little careful about what you eat. This is where the BRAT diet comes into play.

BRAT is “bananas, rice, apple, and toast.” These bland foods will be quite easy on your stomach and will not aggravate your condition any further (1).

It is also necessary that you drink lots of fluids to keep yourself well-hydrated.

Foods To Eat

The foods that can help ease symptoms of diarrhea include:

  • Clear broths
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Toast
  • White rice
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt

Foods To Avoid

Avoid these foods if you have diarrhea:

  • Dairy products
  • Fried or greasy foods
  • Spices
  • Raw vegetables
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits
  • Raw vegetables
  • Pork
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners

These foods may either be too heavy for your recovering tummy or may further aggravate your condition if they are already contaminated, like in the case of raw vegetables. Hence, exercise caution.

Here are a few additional tips to prevent the recurrence of diarrhea.

How To Prevent Diarrhea

  • Always wash your hands every time after using the washroom and also before you eat.
  • Wash your hands if you come in contact with any contaminants or pets/animals.
  • If you can’t get hold of water to wash your hands, use a sanitizer.
  • Be careful when you are traveling to a new place. Do not eat or drink until you are sure the food and drinks are safe to be consumed.
  • Wash your vegetables and fruits thoroughly before cooking them.
  • Avoid eating uncooked or undercooked eggs.
  • Avoid using dairy that is not pasteurized. If you are lactose-intolerant, avoid dairy altogether.
  • Avoid handling food if you have diarrhea.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, and other foods that have laxative potential.

If you can think of any other possible hygiene tips that can help avoid diarrhea, add them to the above list and make sure you follow them religiously.

What causes diarrhea? Who is at risk of contracting this disease? Find out in the next section.

Causes And Risk Factors

Most cases of diarrhea are triggered by an infection in your gastrointestinal tract. Some common microbes that could be held responsible for triggering diarrhea are:

  • Viruses like Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis, and rotavirus.
  • Bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Escherichia coli.
  • Other parasitic organisms like Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, and Entamoeba histolytica.

In some cases, especially in chronic diarrhea, a clear cause may not be found. Such cases of chronic diarrhea are referred to as “functional.”

Other factors that can increase your risk of developing chronic diarrhea include:

  • Sensitivity to dairy products and/or artificial sweeteners
  • Stomach or gallbladder surgery
  • Hereditary or genetic conditions, like cystic fibrosis or enzyme deficiencies
  • Diseases of the pancreas or thyroid
  • Radiation therapy treatment of the abdominal or pelvic region
  • Consumption of uncooked meats
  • Swallowing water or swimming in contaminated water bodies
  • Traveling to countries with poor hygiene
  • Eating contaminated or unrefrigerated food
  • Close contact with an individual with gastroenteritis
  • Medications like laxatives and certain antibiotics can also trigger diarrhea.

There are mainly three types of clinical diarrhea.

Types Of Diarrhea

  • Acute Watery Diarrhea – It can last for several hours or even days. This type can also be caused due to cholera infection.
  • Acute Bloody Diarrhea – Blood is also noticed in the watery stool. This type is also referred to as dysentery.
  • Persistent Diarrhea – It lasts for 14 days or more.

Other than the characteristic watery stool, diarrhea may be accompanied by the following symptoms.

Signs And Symptoms

The common signs and symptoms associated with diarrhea include:

  • Stomach ache
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Fever

Other symptoms may include:

  • Presence of blood in the stool
  • Pus in the stool
  • Dehydration
  • Persistent vomiting

If you notice such symptoms along with chronic diarrhea, it could be an indication of a more severe illness. Most cases of diarrhea may ease on their own without treatment. However, in some cases, it is important to seek medical intervention.

When To See A Doctor

If your infant has had 6 bouts of watery bowel movements and 3 or more bouts of vomiting in 24 hours, do not waste any time in consulting a doctor. Children above 1 year should also be taken to a doctor if they have experienced 6 or more bouts of diarrhea in 24 hours.

You must also see a doctor immediately if you notice certain symptoms like:

  • Continuous vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Significant loss of weight
  • Pus or blood in stool that may also turn the stool black
  • Dehydration

Once you visit a doctor, they may do the following to diagnose diarrhea.

Diagnosis

Most often, doctors can diagnose diarrhea without having to carry out any additional tests as two or more watery stools a day indicates the condition without the need for any further diagnosis (1).

But, in severe cases, your doctor may suggest you take a stool test. This is done especially if the patient is very young or old.

For chronic and persistent cases of diarrhea, your doctor may ask you to take any of the following tests depending on the suspected cause:

  • Full blood count – a low or raised blood count may indicate inflammation.
  • Liver function test to test your albumin levels.
  • Malabsorption tests to check the absorption of vitamin B12, calcium, and folate. Your iron status and thyroid functions may also be assessed.
  • Testing for antibodies – as it can indicate Celiac disease.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein levels – Raised levels are usually an indication of inflammatory bowel disease.

If an underlying cause is responsible for causing diarrhea, the doctor may suggest further treatments accordingly.

Diarrhea is a condition that is rather easy to manage by paying a little bit of attention to your day-to-day hygiene habits. However, if there is an underlying cause of your symptoms, it is best to seek medical intervention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I get diarrhea after eating?

Experiencing symptoms of diarrhea every time after you eat something is known as postprandial diarrhea. The underlying causes of this kind of diarrhea may include infection, food poisoning, IBS, lactose intolerance, or certain medications.

What is the best thing to drink when you have diarrhea?

You should drink 8 glasses of fluids like fruit juices without pulp, broth, soda (without caffeine), and sports drinks to alleviate dehydration that often results from diarrhea.

How long does diarrhea usually last?

Diarrhea caused by an infection often lasts for no more than 3-5 days. If your symptoms last for more than 4-6 weeks, you most probably have an underlying gastrointestinal condition.

How do you know if your baby has diarrhea?

If your baby has 6 or more bouts of watery bowel movements in 24 hours, he/she has diarrhea and must be taken to a doctor immediately to prevent further health complications.

Can you have diarrhea in early pregnancy?

The shifting hormones, diet changes, and stress are all factors that contribute to many changes in your body during pregnancy, including diarrhea and constipation.

How to prevent traveler’s diarrhea?

Here are some tips that can help prevent traveler’s diarrhea:
• Drink only bottled water.
• Use bottled water even for brushing your teeth.
• Avoid consuming ice that may be made with tap water.
• Eat vegetables that are cooked. Avoid eating them raw.
• Make sure that all foods that you eat, including dairy, seafood, and meat, are properly boiled and/or cooked.
• If the area you are traveling to has had a recent outbreak of hepatitis, take the vaccination for the same before commencing your trip.