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Diarrhea (cont.)

Diarrhea Self-Care at Home and Remedies

Diarrhea Treatment in Adults

Adults should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

  • Replenishing water loss (due to diarrhea) is important. Avoid milk as it can make diarrhea worse. Sports beverages (for example, Gatorade or Powerade) can be beneficial because they replenish electrolytes in addition to providing hydration.
  • If the affected person is able to eat, avoid greasy or fatty foods. Adults, infants, toddlers, and children should be encouraged to follow the "BRAT" diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast). The BRAT diet (diarrhea diet) is a combination of foods used for decades to treat diarrhea. If diarrhea is accompanied by nausea, have the person suck on ice chips until the nausea stops. After the diarrhea subsides, avoid alcoholic beverages and spicy foods for two additional days.
  • Individuals should continue their usual activities if they are mildly ill with diarrhea; however, strenuous exercise should be avoided because exercise increases the risk of dehydration.
  • Pregnant women with diarrhea should make sure to rehydrate to avoid dehydration, and should consult their physician.

Diarrhea Treatment in Children

Dehydration in children and toddlers can be a great concern.

  • Infants and toddlers pose special problems because of their increased risk of dehydration. They should be offered a bottle frequently. Solutions such as Pedialyte may be more appealing than water. These fluids also contain necessary electrolytes lost with diarrhea. Never use salt tablets as they may worsen diarrhea.
  • Children with frequent stools, fever, or vomiting should stay at home and avoid school and day-care until these symptoms go away. This allows the child to rest and recover and prevents other children from being exposed to possible infection.
  • As mentioned previously, infants, toddlers, and children should be encouraged to follow the "BRAT" diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast). The BRAT diet (diarrhea diet) is a combination of foods used for decades to treat diarrhea.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Diarrhea »

Acute diarrhea is defined as the abrupt onset of abnormally high fluid content in the stool (more than the normal value of approximately 10 mL/kg/d).

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