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Remedy for loose stools: How to treat and home remedies

How to treat and home remedies

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Loose stools are unusually watery bowel movements. They can result from a gastrointestinal infection, ulcerative colitis, thyroid problems, pancreatitis, and many other causes.

Loose stools often occur after eating, but can also happen at other points in the day. When loose stools occur consecutively on multiple occasions throughout a day, this is described as diarrhea.

However, loose stools can occur chronically and may require treatment. This article will outline potential causes and treatments for loose stools.

Fast facts on loose stools:

  • A loose stool is a term used to describe stools that are more watery and soft than usual.
  • Occasional diarrhea is not usually a cause for concern.
  • Loose stools can have a range of different causes, but most cases are relatively harmless.

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Most people will experience loose stools occasionally. These bouts of diarrhea can be caused by:

1. Dietary trends

Certain foods, drinks, or supplements can increase the likelihood of loose stools or diarrhea occurring.

Sometimes, the body can have problems digesting certain types of sugars, such as sugar alcohols and lactose.

Sugar alcohols are found in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and artificial flavorings. The small intestine cannot digest large amounts of sugar alcohols efficiently, which can cause diarrhea.

Diets high in lactose, a sugar found in milk-based products, can also cause loose stools. People with lactose intolerances may experience diarrhea following the consumption of any milk-based products.

Loose stools can also be caused by diets high in:

  • alcohol
  • rich and spicy foods
  • coffee
  • magnesium

2. Infections or food poisoning

Viruses, bacteria or parasites can cause inflammation in the stomach and intestines. This can cause loose stools and diarrhea, along with other symptoms including:

  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • nausea

Chronic conditions that can cause diarrhea include:

3. Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition affecting the digestive system. Diarrhea and loose stools are a common symptom of IBS. Other symptoms can include:

  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal bloating
  • constipation
  • gas
  • indigestion

4. Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition causing inflammation in the colon and rectum. People with UC often experience loose stools and diarrhea. Other symptoms of UC include:

  • abdominal pain
  • frequent bowel movements
  • fatigue
  • appetite and weight loss
  • mouth ulcers
  • joint pain
  • skin irritation
  • eye irritation

5. Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a long-term condition where the lining of the digestive system becomes inflamed. It can cause diarrhea and loose stools. Other symptoms can include:

  • abdominal pain
  • blood in fecal matter
  • appetite and weight loss
  • fatigue

6. Celiac disease

Celiac disease is a common condition in which the consumption of gluten causes an inflammation of the small intestine. People who have consumed gluten may experience loose stools and diarrhea. Other symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal bloating
  • gas
  • constipation
  • indigestion
  • skin irritation
  • fatigue
  • weight loss

7. Bile acid malabsorption

Several disorders of the liver and gallbladder can impair the action of bile, preventing the proper breakdown of fats in the intestine. For example, this can occur in people with gallstones or liver cirrhosis. Bile acid malabsorption can cause diarrhea or loose stools.

8. Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

An overactive thyroid is where the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, interfering with its normal functioning. This can cause loose stools or diarrhea. Other symptoms can include:

  • mood instability
  • poor regulation of sleep
  • swelling around the neck
  • erratic body temperature
  • irritability
  • weight loss
  • trembling


Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is a condition where the inflammation occurs in the pancreas. It can impair the proper breakdown of fats, starches, and proteins. This can cause loose stools or diarrhea.

Other symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting

10. Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a long-term condition where mucus builds up in the lungs and digestive system. This can interfere with digestion and cause loose stools or diarrhea. Other symptoms include:

  • recurring chest infections
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty gaining weight
  • a persistent cough

11. Dumping syndrome (rapid gastric emptying)

Dumping syndrome is a condition where food moves from the stomach to the bowel too quickly. It often occurs after weight-loss surgery. It can cause loose stools and diarrhea. Other symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • abnormal heartbeat

Infrequent cases of loose stools do not typically require medical treatment. However, multiple cases of loose stools can cause dehydration and malnutrition. Some home remedies that may help to prevent or reduce diarrhea include:

  • dietary changes to avoid foods triggering loose stools
  • consuming foods high in fiber
  • taking anti-diarrhea medication, such as Imodium. Imodium is available for purchase over the counter or online.
  • staying hydrated
  • consuming probiotics. A range of probiotics is available for purchase online.

With the help of these home remedies, diarrhea caused by dietary trends, infections or food poisoning should return to normal after a few days.

Loose stools or diarrhea that does not improve after 1 week should be given immediate medical attention. This can be a sign of a more serious medical condition and may worsen without treatment.

Some conditions may be treated with prescription medications or antibiotics, but more serious conditions, such as pancreatitis may require hospital treatment. In some cases, there are no available cures for the underlying condition, but symptoms can be managed.

These conditions include Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and IBS. Symptoms are often managed using a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.

In most cases, diarrhea will often subside within a few days without treatment, or with the help of some home remedies.

It is important to distinguish between loose stools that occur infrequently and those that are chronic. Experiencing loose stools that persist for over 1 week may indicate a more serious underlying condition that will require immediate medical attention.

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5 Effective Diarrhea Remedies

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Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:

  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

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A bout of diarrhea is never fun. Plenty of options, from anti-diarrheal medication to dietary changes that soothe your digestive system, can help you find relief.


We’ve all experienced bouts of diarrhea at some point in our lives. Common symptoms of diarrhea include frequent, watery stools, abdominal cramping, and bloating.

Diarrhea is often your body’s way of dealing with disruptions in your gastrointestinal system. Acute diarrhea lasts less than 2 weeks and can come from many sources, such as:

  • a viral infection
  • a bacterial infection
  • food poisoning
  • recent antibiotic use
  • water contaminated with an infectious agent

Infectious diarrhea is common in young children and is often caused by a virus. Traveler’s diarrhea can occur if you travel to underdeveloped areas with contaminated water. Bacteria from improperly stored or cooked food are typical causes of food poisoning.

Read on for some of the most effective ways to manage acute diarrhea.

Hydration is very important when you have diarrhea. Dehydration from diarrhea can be fatal in young children and older adults. Continue breastfeeding or formula feeding infants who are experiencing diarrhea. Over-the-counter oral pediatric hydration solutions, like Pedialyte, are the recommended fluids of choice for children with diarrhea. Small amounts of hydration solutions should be given frequently. These formulas also come in popsicle preparations.

Studies have shown that for adults with mild symptoms of diarrhea, sports drinks and over-the-counter rehydration solutions are equally effective.

Alcohol, milk, soda, and other carbonated or caffeinated drinks should not be used for hydration, as they may make your symptoms worse.

Probiotics are sources of “good” bacteria that work in your intestinal tract to create a healthy gut environment. They’re essentially live microorganisms that exist in certain foods, including:

  • aged soft cheeses
  • beet kvass
  • cottage cheese
  • dark chocolate
  • green olives
  • kefir
  • kimchi
  • kombucha
  • sauerkraut
  • miso
  • natto
  • pickles
  • sourdough bread
  • tempeh
  • yogurt

Probiotics also come in powder or pill form.

The good bacteria that live in your intestinal tract are necessary for the normal functioning of your gastrointestinal system. They play an important role in protecting your intestines against infection. When your system is changed by antibiotics or overwhelmed by unhealthy bacteria or viruses, you can get diarrhea. Probiotics can help with diarrhea by restoring the balance of bacteria in your gut.

Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast probiotic. While it’s not a bacterium, it acts like one. S. boulardii may improve antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It also seems to provide relief for traveler’s diarrhea. Studies suggest it may help your intestines fight off unwanted pathogens and ensure they’re absorbing nutrients properly. Because it is yeast, it should be used with caution in people with inadequate immune systems.

It’s important to receive proper medical care in cases of acute diarrhea. Talk with your health care provider before taking probiotic supplements to treat your diarrhea.

With your doctor’s supervision, several over-the-counter medications can help with acute diarrhea if your symptoms are not severe. Common over-the-counter medications include:

  • bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate)
  • loperamide (Imodium)

While these drugs can relieve the symptoms of diarrhea, they don’t treat the underlying cause.

If you have chronic diarrhea, you shouldn’t use these drugs without your doctor’s consent. Chronic diarrhea is diarrhea that lasts more than 14 days. It often has different causes.

You should be especially cautious if your child has diarrhea. Dehydration resulting from diarrhea can be dangerous and can occur quickly in young children. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening. Over-the-counter medications are not recommended for treatment in children, so it’s important to talk to your doctor. Infants under 3 months old who have diarrhea should be taken to the doctor right away.

If you have bloody diarrhea, a fever, more than seven days of symptoms, intense abdominal pain, or diarrhea that is getting worse, you should seek medical attention.

While it might sound counterintuitive to eat if you have diarrhea, eating certain foods can help alleviate your diarrhea symptoms and ensure your health doesn’t worsen from not eating. Stick to low-fiber “BRAT” foods that will help firm up your stool. These include:

  • bananas
  • rice (white)
  • applesauce
  • toast

Other foods that are usually well-tolerated when experiencing diarrhea include:

  • oatmeal
  • boiled or baked potatoes (with skins peeled)
  • baked chicken with skin removed
  • chicken soup (which also aids in rehydration)

Fried and greasy foods are usually not well-tolerated in people who have diarrhea. You should also consider limiting high-fiber foods like bran as well as fruits and vegetables that can increase bloating. Foods to avoid include:

  • alcohol
  • artificial sweeteners (found in chewing gum, diet soft drinks and sugar substitutes)
  • beans
  • berries
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • chickpeas
  • coffee
  • corn
  • ice cream
  • green leafy vegetables
  • milk
  • peas
  • peppers
  • prunes
  • tea

Rapid Diarrhea Tablets – Inexpensive List


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Contents of the article

  • In adults
  • Fast acting
  • Abdominal tablets
  • Summary
  • References
  • Ask an expert about the topic of the article

Many people have experienced indigestion. According to statistics, about two billion cases of diarrhea are recorded annually in the world. The causes of its occurrence are varied: from malnutrition to infectious diseases. The consequences of loose stools are very unfavorable. During diarrhea, the body actively loses water and electrolytes, which can lead to weight loss, dry skin, increased heart rate, and muscle pain. In order to prevent complications, it is important to start therapy in a timely manner.

Pharmacist Natalia Dolgikh will talk about the drugs used for diarrhea: will introduce the treatment of diarrhea in adults, fast-acting drugs and pills “from the stomach.

In adults

Diarrhea is loose, watery stools more than 3 times a day. Treatment depends on the cause of the bowel disorder. Common causes for diarrhea:

  • Bacterial infections caused by Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogens.
  • Viruses: rotavirus, enterovirus.
  • Diet related diarrhea. For example, seafood often transported without hygiene, as well as coffee and caffeinated drinks, alcohol often lead to diarrhea.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and other diseases: pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus.
  • Taking medications: antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and others.

The pharmacist says: “Diarrhea pills are a frequent request of pharmacy visitors, but it is not so easy to find drugs for diarrhea. The first thing to do is to identify the cause of this condition. If diarrhea is accompanied by bleeding or severe pain, you should call emergency care.

The initial treatment for diarrhea is the restoration of lost water and minerals. For this, ready-made saline solutions are suitable. For example, Regidron . In addition, it is important to follow a diet and exclude foods and dishes that stimulate the secretion of the digestive organs and fermentation processes. For example, carbonated drinks, smoked meats and canned food.

Enterosorbents are recommended to remove toxins from the intestines. The most popular and cheapest are activated carbon, Smecta or Polysorb . The drugs are approved for use by pregnant and lactating women. The use of activated charcoal is possible if the benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.

In some cases, it is recommended to take probiotics – “friendly” bacteria that improve the condition of the intestinal microflora. For example, with diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics. List of inexpensive probiotics: Bifidumbacterin , as well as dietary supplement Synbiotic and Normobact L .

If diarrhea persists for more than 1-2 days and is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, bloating, vomiting and severe pain, medical attention should be sought.

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Only antimicrobial drugs. Diarrhea caused by bacterial activity can be distinguished by the occurrence of fever, cramping abdominal pain, and the absence of vomiting.

In case of infectious diarrhea, do not take painkillers and fixing drugs, warm the stomach and use improvised means. Taking fixative drugs such as Loperamide will slow down the elimination of toxic substances from the body, which will increase the spread of microbes. In this case, they can be prescribed: Enterofuril , Furazolidone and other antibacterial agents. Antibiotics and antimicrobial tablets help with diarrhea of ​​​​a purely microbial nature.

Rapid Diarrhea Tablets are symptomatic antidiarrheals. Medicines in this group are strong and are used mainly for moderate and moderate traveler’s diarrhea, as well as diarrhea of ​​​​emotional and allergic origin. Before taking them, you need to make sure that there are no signs of the presence of bacteria and viruses. The main representative of antidiarrheals is Loperamide or Imodium .

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Abdominal tablets

volume of intestinal contents and accumulation gases that stretch the walls of the intestines. It is not recommended to use pills for abdominal pain in such situations, as this can “blur” the picture of the disease and make it difficult to diagnose. Painkillers and antispasmodics are used only if the exact cause of the diarrhea is known.


  • Diarrhea is loose, watery stools more than 3 times a day.
  • The initial treatment for diarrhea is the restoration of lost water and minerals.
  • It is important to follow a diet and exclude foods and dishes that stimulate the secretion of the digestive organs and fermentation processes.
  • Enterosorbents are recommended to remove toxins from the intestines.
  • In some cases, probiotics, “friendly” bacteria, are recommended.
  • If diarrhea persists for more than 1-2 days and is accompanied by other symptoms, medical attention should be sought.
  • For a bacterial infection, only antimicrobial medicines will help with diarrhea.
  • Fast acting diarrhea tablets are symptomatic antidiarrheals.
  • Abdominal pain tablets are not recommended for diarrhea as this may blur the picture and make diagnosis difficult.


  • Diarrhea. World Health Organization. 2017
  • Acute diarrhea in adults and children: a global perspective. M. Farthing, M. Salam. 2012
  • Diarrhea in adults. Clinical guidelines. Project. A. S. Sarsenbayeva, L.B. Lazebnik. 2020
  • State Register of Medicinal Products

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Methods and preparations for the treatment of loose stools. The nature of the causes of diarrhea | Imodium®

Author, editor and medical expert – Klimovich Elina Valerievna.

Editor and medical expert – Harutyunyan Mariam Harutyunovna.

Views: 637 673

Last update date: 06/25/2023

Average read time: 6 minutes


What to do with diarrhea
Preparations for the treatment of diarrhea in adults

second place after acute respiratory diseases of the upper respiratory tract 1 .

Since loose stools can be a symptom of a wide variety of conditions, treatment of diarrhea should always be preceded by a visit to the doctor and examination.

Causes of loose stools may be associated with infection:

  • food poisoning caused by eating foods that are contaminated with bacterial toxins 2 ;
  • intestinal infection that develops when infected with viruses, bacteria or protozoa 2 .

Infectious diarrhea, in addition to intestinal disorders, is characterized by general malaise, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and sometimes vomiting 1 . The severity of these symptoms and the choice of drug for therapy depend on the infectious agent that caused the disease 1 . Therefore, before treating diarrhea, the doctor will conduct a study – a microbiological analysis of vomit and feces to determine the type of pathogen and its sensitivity to antibiotics 1 .

Diarrhea may be associated with non-infectious inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, enteritis, colitis), circulatory disorders of the intestine (ischemic enteritis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerances and allergies, taking certain medications. In all these cases, the doctor selects the optimal treatment 4 .

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Dealing with Diarrhea

Recurrent diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes 1.2 . Violation of the body’s water and electrolyte balance negatively affects the work of the cardiovascular system and aggravates the course of the disease 5 . Therefore, rehydration therapy aimed at replenishing fluid losses is the first and most important component of the treatment of diarrhea in adults, and even more so in children 1 .


The method of rehydration depends on the degree of dehydration:

  • What to drink with a nose? In this case, regular drinking water, still mineral water, green or black tea, fruit drinks, compotes, diluted juices (if they are well tolerated), decoctions of dried rose hips and blueberries are suitable 1.2 .
  • If severe thirst, dry mouth, anxiety and bruising under the eyes appear, that is, signs of moderate dehydration, you need to drink special rehydration solutions 1.5 . They contain the most necessary electrolytes and help to restore the balance in the body during diarrhea.
  • Severe dehydration in which the patient appears emaciated, lethargic, unable to drink and hardly urinates – an indication for hospitalization and intravenous rehydration 2.5 . In such cases, urgent medical attention is needed.

As fluid loss is compensated, the state of health improves, thirst disappears, urination is restored. Rehydration therapy does not reduce stool frequency, does not speed up recovery, but prevents the development of severe complications due to dehydration 1 .


Diet during diarrhea should be sparing. All dishes should have a delicate texture, so the products used for their preparation are carefully crushed, ground, stewed, boiled.

During the treatment of diarrhea, adults are advised to exclude from the diet 2.6 :

  • raw vegetables/fruits and stringy meats, which contain a large amount of indigestible coarse fibers;
  • various sweets, legumes, yeast bread, dairy and other products that cause fermentation and putrefaction in the intestines;
  • onions, garlic, radishes, turnips, mushrooms and spinach rich in essential oils;
  • beets, dried apricots and prunes;
  • coffee, cocoa and chocolate for their intestinal stimulating effect 2.6 .

Slimy soups, meatballs and quenelles made from twice ground lean meat, steamed fish, rice or buckwheat boiled in water, plain crackers and eggs are recommended 1, 6 .

If the intestinal disorder is caused by allergies or intolerance to lactose and gluten, the doctor prescribes an elimination diet that completely eliminates the use of “irritant” foods.

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Drugs for treating diarrhea in adults

Pharmacy chains offer a large number of products to normalize bowel function. However, self-medication is unacceptable. All drugs should be prescribed by a doctor based on the results of the examination.

Antibacterial agents

According to statistics, in 80% of cases, infectious diarrhea ends on its own within 5 days and there is no need to use antibiotics 1.5 . If the diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic therapy. The drug is chosen on the basis of the clinical picture and the results of a microbiological study of vomit and feces.


Enterosorbents are used to bind pathogenic bacteria, toxins and free water in the intestines. This allows to reduce intoxication, accelerate recovery and normalization of stool 4.5 .


Antidiarrheals are prescribed to quickly relieve diarrhea and prevent dehydration 1,4,5 . Among the drugs in this group is IMODIUM® Express, the main active substance of which is loperamide 7 .