Under normal circumstances, diarrhea disappears on its own within a few days. You do not have to take any serious treatment as some lifestyle changes and certain home remedies make up the diarrhea treatments. It is only when you do not get relief from these methods that doctors may recommend other types of medications and treatments.
Methods for increasing fluids intake
It is a good option to take small sips of water frequently, and small bites of salty crackers. The fluid intake must be increased to at least 1 liter per hour for a period of one or two hours and you can extend it for more if the problem does not subside quickly. If you are a person already suffering from heart, liver or kidney disease and have some limitations in increasing the fluid intake, you must consult with your doctor before increasing the quantity of fluids. Your doctor is most likely to advise you to replace the fluids and salts intake with getting fluids through a vein. Another aspect you must be aware of is that although water is a good source for replacing fluids, it does not contain the slats and electrolytes including minerals like potassium and sodium. The human body has to sustain the electric currents that help your heart beat normally. For keeping electrolyte levels at optimal levels, you have to take fruit juices and soups. Fruit juices offer potassium, and the soups provide sodium. At the same time, you have to remember that some fruit juices like apple juice can create a negative impact on diarrhea. When it comes to children, you can ask your doctor about taking an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte for addressing dehydration or substituting lost fluids.
Control your diet and choose the diet carefully
It is a good choice to start eating mild foods immediately or in the next day based on how you feel. You should eliminate alcohol, caffeine, fruits, and spicy foods from the diet for 48 hours to allow the symptoms to vanish. Many people have a habit of chewing gum, and if they are suffering from diarrhea, you must stop this habit because chewing gums contain sorbitol. Additionally, the consumption of milk needs to be avoided for 3 days so that the symptoms subside and yogurt and cheese with probiotics can be taken to get fast relief.
Pregnant women must consult with the doctor prior to taking any medicines for diarrhea. Generally speaking, nonprescription medications are helpful in treating diarrhea, but you need to be aware of some essential facts before taking a nonprescription medication. If your diarrhea does not subside after 6 hours, you can take nonprescription anti-diarrheal medication. At the same time, you should not take these medicines if you have the symptoms of bloody diarrhea and high fever. It is necessary to follow the directions on the package of the nonprescription medicine container as it allows you to stick with the prescribed dose. These types of medications must not be taken for a long duration of time and when the stools start thickening, you should stop taking anti-diarrheal medications to avoid constipation. Children, who are suffering from diarrhea due to flu or chickenpox, must not make use of over the counter medications to eliminate the symptoms of diarrhea because they contain bismuth subsalicylate like Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol. Subsalicylate is always connected to a serious but very rare disease called Reye syndrome. If your child has already consumed subsalicylate and started showing symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and behavior changes, you must contact the doctor immediately. These types of signs could be interpreted as early symptoms of Reye syndrome.
Popular over the counter medications
You can find various types of anti-diarrheal medications available in the market. Some of them reduce the intestinal spasms while some others absorb water and thicken the stool. Psyllium is a thickening mixture and it absorbs water. These medications get engaged in the process of bulking up the stool to make it firmer. Antispasmodic antidiarrheals like Pepto Diarrhea Control and Imodium A-D control intestinal spasms. There are also products containing antispasmodic ingredients as well as thickening ingredients. The most popular probiotics like Lactobacillus can be found in powder form and pills form and they speed up the digestion process to fight diarrhea effectively.
You have to learn how to clean up diarrhea in a safe manner. It is always advisable to safeguard your hands using gloves while getting engaged in the cleaning up process and you must wash your hands after the cleaning up process. If you notice dehydration worsening while depending on these diarrhea treatments, you have to seek the help of your doctor. Other situations that make seeking professional help inevitable are high fever and severe diarrhea and, if you find bloody stools, you have to contact your doctor immediately.