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What to take for the runs: Treatment for Diarrhea – NIDDK

Treatment for Diarrhea – NIDDK

In this section:

  • How can I treat my acute diarrhea?
  • How can I treat my child’s acute diarrhea?
  • How do doctors treat persistent and chronic diarrhea?
  • How can I prevent diarrhea?
  • How can I treat or prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea?
  • How can I treat or prevent my child’s dehydration caused by diarrhea?

How can I treat my acute diarrhea?

In most cases, you can treat your acute diarrhea with over-the-counter medicines such as loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate). Doctors generally do not recommend using over-the-counter medicines for people who have bloody stools or fever—signs of infection with bacteria or parasites. If your diarrhea lasts more than 2 days, see a doctor right away.

In most cases, you can treat acute diarrhea with over-the-counter medicines.

When you have acute diarrhea, you may lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can go back to eating your normal diet. Learn more about eating when you have diarrhea.

How can I treat my child’s acute diarrhea?

Over-the-counter medicines to treat acute diarrhea in adults can be dangerous for infants, toddlers, and young children. Talk to a doctor before giving your child an over-the-counter medicine. If your child’s diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours, see a doctor right away.

You can give your child his or her usual age-appropriate diet. You can give your infant breast milk or formula as usual.

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 Crohn’s 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.

How can I prevent diarrhea?

You can prevent certain types of diarrhea, such as those caused by infections—including rotavirus and traveler’s diarrhea—and foodborne illnesses.


You can reduce your chances of getting or spreading infections that can cause diarrhea by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 15 to 30 seconds

  • after using the bathroom
  • after changing diapers
  • before and after handling or preparing food

Rotavirus, which causes viral gastroenteritis, was the most common cause of diarrhea in infants before rotavirus vaccines became available. The vaccines have reduced the number of cases of rotavirus and hospitalizations due to rotavirus among children in the United States.1

Two oral vaccines are approved to protect children from rotavirus infections:

  • rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent (RotaTeq). Doctors give infants this vaccine in three doses: at 2 months of age, 4 months of age, and 6 months of age.
  • rotavirus vaccine, live, oral (Rotarix). Doctors give infants this vaccine in two doses: at 2 months of age and at 4 months of age.

For the rotavirus vaccine to be effective, infants should receive all doses by 8 months of age. Infants 15 weeks of age or older who have never received the rotavirus vaccine should not start the series.

Parents or caregivers of infants should discuss rotavirus vaccination with a doctor.

Travelers’ diarrhea

To reduce the chances of getting travelers’ diarrhea when traveling to developing countries, avoid

  • drinking tap water
  • using tap water to make ice, prepare foods or drinks, or brush your teeth
  • drinking juice or milk or eating milk products that have not been pasteurized—heated to kill harmful microbes—viruses, bacteria, and parasites
  • eating food from street vendors
  • eating meat, fish, or shellfish that is raw, undercooked, or not served hot
  • eating raw vegetables and most raw fruits

You can drink bottled water, soft drinks, and hot drinks such as coffee or tea made with boiling water.

If you are worried about travelers’ diarrhea, talk with your doctor before traveling. Doctors may recommend taking antibiotics before and during a trip to help prevent travelers’ diarrhea. Early treatment with antibiotics can shorten a case of travelers’ diarrhea.

Foodborne illnesses

You can prevent foodborne illnesses that cause diarrhea by properly storing, cooking, cleaning, and handling foods.

How can I treat or prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea?

To treat or prevent dehydration, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes—called rehydration therapy—especially if you have acute diarrhea. Although drinking plenty of water is important in treating and preventing dehydration, you should also drink liquids that contain electrolytes, such as the following:

  • broths
  • caffeine-free soft drinks
  • fruit juices
  • sports drinks

If you are an older adult or have a weak immune system, you should also drink oral rehydration solutions, such as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, or CeraLyte. Oral rehydration solutions are liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes. You can make oral rehydration solutions at home (PDF, 184KB) .

How can I treat or prevent my child’s dehydration caused by diarrhea?

To treat or prevent dehydration, give your child liquids that contain electrolytes. You can also give your child an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, or CeraLyte, as directed. Talk to a doctor about giving these solutions to your infant.


Treatment Options for Diarrhea

Make Sure You Replace Fluids

Since diarrhea can lead to dehydration, it’s important to replace the fluids your body is losing. Drink plenty of water when you’re suffering from diarrhea. However, many times water will not be enough as it does not contain the salts, electrolytes, and minerals (such as sodium and potassium) that your body also needs to recover.

You can help replenish electrolytes by drinking fruit juices or sports drinks and eating soups with clear broth. However, pay attention to the amount of sugar in these drinks, as too much sugar can worsen diarrhea symptoms.

For children, talk to your pediatrician about oral rehydration solutions, such as Pedialyte, as a way to treat diarrhea and prevent dehydration.

If the diarrhea is severe, your doctor may determine that you need to be treated with fluid via intravenous therapy (IV). (1)

Eat a Bland Diet

A bland diet will be easy on your digestive system and can help ease diarrhea symptoms. A bland diet consists of foods that are soft, not spicy, and low in fiber. You should also avoid raw foods, fried foods, and drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

Some foods that are good to eat on a bland diet include bread, crackers, and pasta made with refined white flour; soup, especially broth; cooked, canned, or frozen vegetables; eggs; tofu; and lean, tender protein, such as poultry or whitefish, that is steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fat.

While you’re on a bland diet, foods that you may want to avoid include fatty or fried foods; raw vegetables; sugary foods; dried fruits or seedy fruits like berries or figs; whole-grain bread, crackers, or pasta; strong cheeses; spicy or strongly flavored items like hot peppers and garlic; and highly seasoned, cured, or smoked meats and fish. (2)

Talk to your doctor about when you should go back to eating other foods again.

Consider Taking Probiotics

Probiotics are microorganisms that can help restore balance to the intestinal tract by boosting the level of what doctors refer to as “good” bacteria. Probiotics are sold in pharmacies and health-food stores and can be taken in capsule or liquid form. They are also sometimes added to foods, such as certain brands of yogurt.

Studies show that taking probiotics might be helpful in treating certain cases of diarrhea.

More in Digestive Health

Can Probiotics Aid Digestive Health?

For example, in 2010 researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration analyzed 63 studies with about 8,000 total participants that looked at the effectiveness of probiotics for acute diarrhea.

The results showed that about 34 out of 100 people who didn’t take probiotics no longer had diarrhea after three days. Of the people who did take probiotics, 55 out of 100 were diarrhea free after three days. Another way to look at it is probiotics appeared to help diarrhea go away faster in 21 out of 100 people. (3)

However, more research is needed to better understand which strains of bacteria and what doses are most helpful.

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What to take to the race: a checklist for beginner runners

Every runner can remember the day he went out for his first run. At that moment, it didn’t matter at all what sneakers and equipment to wear. One thing was important. Movement. However, sooner or later in the life of a jogger around the house there is something inevitable – and he finds himself wearing a start number.

It doesn’t matter what distance you choose – 5 or 10 km, half marathon or marathon – the race, like the first run, will be remembered for a lifetime.

Experience shows that there are no trifles at races. The impression of the start, which has been preparing for a long time, can be spoiled by a thing accidentally forgotten at home, a carelessly tied lace or uncomfortable equipment. Therefore, it is important to prepare everything you need for the start in advance so that nothing distracts from the coveted finish!

Together with the Fitletic brand, we have prepared a checklist of what you need to take with you to the race, which will be useful for both beginners and all fans of long distance running.

So, here is a list of seven important things to take care of the evening before the race:

1. Proven clothing and running shoes

There is a golden universal rule among runners: nothing new on race day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a test start or your first official race, the risks of unpredictable scenarios must be minimized. It is not known how new sneakers can behave and whether the T-shirt you bought at the expo will rub. It is better to trust the equipment in which you have safely run at least a few workouts.

This doesn’t mean you should only wear what you’ve been running all season. But you must be sure of all the equipment.

If it is a sports shirt, it should be lightweight, moisture-wicking and should not hinder movement. If we are talking about competitive shoes, they need to be checked “in action” at control trainings. At a minimum, the outfit should be comfortable.

There are athletes who run in running shoes “out of the box” at the competition and feel fine. But it is possible that this approach was achieved through trial and error. The best time to experiment is training.

2. Catering

The organizers of major races and marathons try to provide food outlets at the distance. They can be of several types: points with water, points with water and isotonic, and points with food – usually bananas, oranges, raisins. At these points, participants can freely replenish their resources.

If there should be no problems with water, then food, by analogy with the first point, it is advisable to take your own.

The most common diet for races over 10 km is carbohydrate gels. Before taking them to the main race, try them in training. Some you will probably like more, some less.

The longer the distance, the more power you need. On a half marathon – from two to four gels, on a marathon, on average, six gels are needed. In hot weather, you can also take salt tablets with you to replenish the composition of electrolytes in the body.

It is important to take care of what will be comfortable to take them with you to the race. An excellent solution can be a special running belt, on which you can place your entire carbohydrate arsenal.

3. Change of clothes and shoes

In the warm season, runners often come to a sporting event in what they are going to run in. This is optimal if the weather is favorable, and not far from the start is your house or the place where you stopped.

In other cases, it will never be superfluous to take a change of clothes. The best thing is to come to the race in it, change into a running uniform, and put the change in the wardrobe.

Before the start, you will spend some time waiting for the starting shot. In cool weather, especially if you are lightly dressed, take a special foil thermal blanket with you, which you can give to volunteers along the way. This will help keep you warm before the start.

In cold or hot weather, it is important to choose the right hat. The buff serves as a universal element of running equipment. It can act as a scarf in cold weather, and bandanas if you need to cover your head from the sun.

4. Running belt or universal bag

This is an indispensable and convenient accessory for all the little things, with which you can forget about the problem of where to put your keys, phone, energy gels and much more. There are running bags that are designed to perform small but specific tasks.

When you go for a run, you can put your keys, money, phone in the Fitletic Mini Sport Belt bag. And for a short run, the bag will hold a few gels, patches and a phone that will store the finishing photos.

The Fitletic NEO Racing bag will allow you to attach your start number in addition to all these things. This will help you avoid pins, which tend to leave untidy hooks on sports shirts or long sleeves.

The Fitletic Hydra 16 bag will help you run in hot weather with water bottle compartments. You can take half a liter of water with you, which will be evenly distributed on the bag by weight. You no longer have to wait for a food point – you can drink or pour water whenever you want.

As with previous models, a start number is attached to the belt, and a convenient zippered compartment holds carbohydrate gels, a phone and other useful things.

5. Start number and other important details

Having talked about equipment and accessories, it is important not to forget about other useful details.

The start number is something without which an official race is unthinkable. It has a chip that records your cutoffs and time on the course. This is the very first thing you should put in your backpack or bag. The number can be immediately attached to a T-shirt or a running belt in which you will run, but the likelihood that it can wrinkle before the start is higher.

If you get a number before the start, take your passport, the original and a copy of the medical certificate – you can find out how it should look on the website of the race organizer.

Other useful little things:

  • wardrobe stickers issued by the organizers
  • Wristband for entering the starting town – sometimes given out at major races
  • rucksack or bag for spare items
  • vaseline and blister patch
  • wet wipes
  • water bottle
  • snack after finish
  • medicines, if you are taking them.

For those who run for a certain result, special wristbands with time cut-offs may be useful. But usually pacemakers help participants to run at a certain pace at a distance – runners in conspicuous equipment with a ball or flag, who aim at a given finish time (for example, in a half marathon – at 1:29, at 1:39, at 1:49).

6. Sports watch and chest heart rate monitor

The start number is important for the official protocol, but the sports watch is important for yourself, your loved one. Or for your own sports statistics.

Most likely, you have trained with them and have come a long way. Don’t forget to take them on the run. The watch also wants to participate and write your unique running story with you.

Another important accessory is the chest heart rate monitor. Like regular training, it is important to track your condition during the race, including the work of the heart. No matter how hard a sports watch tries, it will never give an accurate heart rate reading. At least for now.

A chest heart rate monitor will help you keep track of your condition at a distance, evenly distribute your strength during the race and not overdo it in the first half of the race.

Be sure to charge your gadgets the day before so that they do not turn off in the middle of the race. And on the day of the start, take it with you, synchronize and have time to catch the GPS so that the race track is as accurate as possible.

And a general advice for all things – prepare everything from the evening. Then the most serene morning awaits you. Except for the prelaunch fever.

7. Cheerleaders

The stories of great champions often show that their victory is the victory of a large group of people. Personal support group. Without them, victory is unthinkable.

Surely you, having embarked on a running path, came with your support group, found or continue to find it. These people, whoever they are – relatives, friends, or just pleasant acquaintances – they are all somehow involved in your life. Invite them to run! They will support you on the course and meet you at the finish line. Share your joy with them!

Running is like traveling around the world: as soon as you finish one race, your thoughts start looking for the next start. There is no finish line on this journey. Most importantly, let it be fun! And to ensure that every race brings pleasure and joy at the finish line, choose proven equipment and comfortable accessories – the Fitletic brand will help you with this.

Fitletic specializes in the development of quality and comfortable running belts – bags suitable for runners of various distances. With them, you can go to the “top ten” and the ultramarathon.

American specialist brand Fitletic’s running accessories are carefully designed and tested, and are made from high quality materials. More than 20 patents guarantee quality down to the smallest detail.
Bags won’t bounce or move while running, and the strap won’t irritate your skin.

Models available with water bottles, number holders and gels. All bags have reflective inserts for safe running at dusk. Fitletic – to runners from runners!


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Where to put water on a run

With the onset of heat, the question of sufficient hydration becomes one of the main issues for runners. Whether your workout is an easy recovery run, a tempo run, or intervals, you can’t let yourself get dehydrated. However, many runners do not know where to put water during a workout.

If you are going to run in a stadium, you can leave a bottle of water next to the track or in the stands – and, as you run in circles, stop and drink if necessary. But what if you have to take water with you?

In the article we will analyze in detail where to put water, and analyze the pros and cons of the possible options.


To save energy by holding a bottle in your hand, you can put water in a special bag that is attached to your hand. You can wear such a bag on the inside or outside of the palm. True, frequent training using this design can negatively affect running technique.

One option is to try running with two bags, one on each arm, as long as you train at an easy pace.

Source: sport-marathon.ru


  • Permanent access to water without the need to get a flask;
  • Convenient to drink on the run;
  • You can put other things – keys, money.


  • Negative effect on running technique with frequent use;
  • When running fast, the feeling of weight increases significantly.

When you need it

  • During short and quiet workouts;
  • For short distances during trail competitions that do not have difficult descents and ascents. This flask can also be used with trekking poles.

Fanny Pack

Unlike a regular running fanny pack, it has pockets or hooks for water bottles and bottles, so you always have access to water without having to stop. Depending on the model of the bag, you can place flasks around the entire perimeter of the belt, only at the back or on the sides.


  • Ability to take different drinks for one workout. For example, water and isotonic;
  • Has a pocket for other things.


  • Many manufacturers have mounts made to fit the “native” bottle, so yours may not fit if it has a different shape or volume.
  • Due to the nature of the body, the fanny pack may rise, twist or jump.

When you need it

  • Trail or mountain runs with few food stations;
  • For short and long workouts.

Running Vest or Backpack

The running vest will fit snugly against your body and won’t wobble in any direction. In addition, thanks to the design, the weight of the vest is evenly distributed throughout the body. In addition to water bottles that are inserted in the front, you can put various little things in it.

Also available with drinking system. You will have a supply of liquid behind your back, and hoses through which you can drink – in front. But not all models are equipped with a hydrator, you should pay attention to this. Or at the backpack in the front there will be pockets for flasks of water.

Running backpacks look like classic models. The main load due to weight falls on the back, it is there that the compartment is located, where all the necessary things are placed: water, food, clothes for changing clothes. Models designed for long runs are equipped with additional pockets.


  • Large volume of liquid can be taken;
  • Enough space for essentials;
  • Additional mounts minimize side to side swings.


  • Due to its capacity (from 2 to 20 liters), a running backpack will not be light;
  • Increased perspiration possible as the vest covers most of the body. If the equipment is made of synthetic material, the ventilation between the back and the backpack will improve.

When you need it

  • When the things you need don’t fit in your waist pack;
  • For training and trail running, when you need a lot of liquid and high speed is expected, a running vest will do;
  • Running backpack is suitable for calm and long distances, and can also be used in everyday life.

The water itself is best poured into a soft flask. It is made of durable material, but folds easily and does not take up much space when the water runs out. It can be put in the pocket of your shorts, in the waist bag or in the compartment of your running vest. The weight of an empty flask is no more than 50 g.

One of the features of the container is a special drinking nozzle, thanks to which you can drink water on the run without unscrewing the lid.