Most people suffer from diarrhea at some point throughout their lives. Whether it’s a bout of acute diarrhea resulting from illness, a side effect of medications like antibiotics, or chronic diarrhea from a condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diarrhea is an unpleasant experience, often accompanied by abdominal cramping, pain, and other symptoms.
When you do experience diarrhea, you want to alleviate it as soon as possible. While acute diarrhea often subsides on its own after a few days (or a few days after finishing a course of antibiotics), there are some things you can do to relieve your suffering in the meantime. We’ve compiled this list of 25 helpful ways you can get rid of diarrhea to help you recover more quickly and get back to your normal life (click on a link for more detail):
- Eat plenty of yogurt.
- Try some ginger.
- Avoid foods and beverages that can cause gas or increase discomfort.
- Consume liquids that contain salt and sugar.
- You can also make your own electrolyte solution at home.
- Talk to your doctor if you suspect your diarrhea is caused by bacteria or parasites.
- Prepare some fresh orange peel tea.
- Sip, don’t guzzle, beverages, and make sure they’re cool.
- Eat soft, bland foods.
- Eat bananas, which are easily digested and contain prebiotics.
- Use a heating pad to ease abdominal cramping.
- Try a vinegar and brown sugar mixture.
- Chamomile and lemon tea can help to soothe diarrhea and related symptoms.
- Get enough rest.
- Avoid dairy, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Find out if any medications you’re taking could be causing diarrhea.
- Drink a cup or two of black tea, which contains polyphenols.
- Identify potential food allergies and food intolerance.
- Coconut water and maple water are good alernatives to sugar-containing beverages.
- If you do take OTC medication to alleviate diarrhea, discontinue if your symptoms persist after two days and seek medical attention.
- During bouts of diarrhea, cutting back on fiber can be helpful.
- Don’t allow diarrhea to continue for more than three days without seeking advice from a healthcare provider.
- Take probiotics.
- Protein such as baked or broiled meats and vegetables are generally safe foods when you’re ready to begin reintroducing solids to your diet.
- Taking probiotics on a regular basis can even help to reduce chronic diarrhea and prevent the onset of diarrhea for those taking antibiotics.
If you’re currently experiencing a bout of diarrhea, there’s no time to waste. Read on to learn how to put these tips into action to get relief fast.
“These live cultures help restore the ‘good’ bacteria in your intestine and destroy the ‘bad’ bacteria causing the diarrhea.
“In a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that probiotics can help reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea
“Just two bowls of yogurt a day can produce noticeable relief. Add or eat a banana with your yogurt for added benefits.” – How To Get Rid of Diarrhea, Top 10 Home Remedies; Twitter: @10homeremedies
2. Try some ginger. “Ginger is known to be an effective treatment for food poisoning and can also help you stay away from cramps and abdominal pain which are the main symptoms of typical diarrhea. Why does ginger have the fabulous power? Ginger is accompanied with anti-inflammatory properties that can ease irritated bowels and promote digestive activities.
“Direction: Prepare a small piece of ginger. If you desire to make the best of it for your diarrhea, you should slice it into small pieces and mix it with a teaspoon of honey. It tastes not so good for those who don’t familiar with its flavor before.
“Note: If you are sensitive to spicy foods, you can turn to ginger supplements instead of using fresh ginger. Don’t drink much water then to let ginger perform its role smoothly.” – 15 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Diarrhea Fast, Health Essential
3. Avoid foods and beverages that can cause gas or increase discomfort. “Watching what you eat and drink is very important when you have diarrhea. Dehydration from diarrhea can be fatal in young children and older adults. The most important thing you can do is to keep hydrated.
“Alcohol, milk, soda, and other carbonated or caffeinated drinks may make symptoms worse. Fried and greasy foods, as well as dairy products, are usually not well tolerated. You can decrease bloating by avoiding fruits and vegetables that can cause gas, such as:
- peppers” – Joe Bowman, Medically Reviewed by Judith Marcin, MD, The 6 Most Effective Diarrhea Remedies, Healthline; Twitter: @Heatlhline
4. Consume liquids that contain salt and sugar. “The biggest danger with a short bout of diarrhea is dehydration, or the loss of water and nutrients from the body’s tissues. You could become dehydrated if you have diarrhea more than three times a day and are not drinking enough fluids. Dehydration can cause serious complications if it is not treated.
The best way to guard against dehydration is to consume liquids that contain salt and sugar, says digestive disease specialist Donald Kirby, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition. The salt slows down the fluid loss, while the sugar helps your body to absorb the salt.
“‘We tend not to want people to have salt in general, but when you’re having significant diarrhea, you want to make sure you’re getting salt and enough sugar to keep out of the emergency room,’ Dr. Kirby says.
“Over-the-counter rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte® will do the job, Dr. Kirby says. Or, follow Mom’s advice and have some chicken soup with saltine crackers or pretzels.
“‘Doctor Mom has been doing it for generations and it still works,’ Dr. Kirby says. ‘In this case, Mother really does know best.'” – Digestive Health Team, Mom’s Advice Is Still the Best for Treating Diarrhea, Cleveland Clinic; Twitter: @ClevelandClinic
5. You can also make your own electrolyte solution at home. “It’s important to keep replacing your body’s supply of water and electrolytes, which include sodium, potassium and chloride. Mix up the perfect electrolyte drink by stirring a half-teaspoon of salt and four teaspoons of sugar into a litre of water. Add a little bit of orange juice, lemon juice or salt substitute for potassium. During the day, drink the full amount.” – Natural Home Remedies: Diarrhea, Best Health; Twitter: @besthealthmag
6. Talk to your doctor if you suspect your diarrhea is caused by bacteria or parasites. “Most of the time, diarrhea doesn’t require treatment. It usually lasts only a couple of days, whether you treat it or not. However, medicine can help you feel better, especially if you also have cramping.
“When diarrhea is a symptom of an infection caused by bacteria or parasites, antidiarrheal medicines can actually make the condition worse. This is because the medicine keeps your body from getting rid of the bacteria or parasite that is causing the diarrhea. Talk to your family doctor if you have any reason to think your diarrhea might be caused by a bacterial or parasitic infection.” – Anti-diarrheal Medicines: OTC Relief for Diarrhea, FamilyDoctor.org; Twitter: @familydoctor
7. Prepare some fresh orange peel tea. “A traditional diarrhea remedy and general digestive aid, orange peels stimulate digestion. You need organic oranges for this brew; nonorganic orange skins may contain dyes and pesticides. Peel an orange and chop the peel finely. Place in a pot and cover with a pint of boiling water. Cover the pot tightly and steep until cool. Strain, sweeten with honey, and drink.” – Taylor Shea, 11 Home Remedies for Diarrhea, Reader’s Digest; Twitter: @readersdigest
8. Sip, don’t guzzle, beverages, and make sure they’re cool. “Whatever you choose to drink, keep it cool; it will be less irritating that way. Sip, don’t guzzle; it will be easier on your insides if you take frequent sips of liquid instead of guzzling down a glass at a time.” – 10 Home Remedies for Diarrhea, HowStuffWorks Health; Twitter: @HowStuffWorks
9. Eat soft, bland foods. “Soft, bland foods are recommended as well, including bananas, plain rice, toast, crackers, boiled potatoes, smooth peanut butter, cottage cheese, noodles and applesauce. Because yogurt, cheese and miso contain probiotics, which contain strains of bacteria similar to those in a healthy intestine, they are also good choices. Avoid fatty, high-fiber or heavily seasoned foods for several days.” – Elizabeth Palermo, Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments, Live Science; Twitter: @techEpalermo, @LiveScience
10. Eat bananas, which are easily digested and contain prebiotics. “The ‘B’ in the BRAT diet, bananas are bland and easily digested, and thus are a good choice for settling your upset tummy. As a bonus, the high level of potassium in bananas helps to replace electrolytes that may be lost by severe bouts of diarrhea.
“Bananas are also rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to absorb liquid in the intestines and thus move stool along smoothly.
“Bananas also contain a good amount of inulin, another soluble fiber. Inulin is a prebiotic, a substance that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your large intestine Thus, bananas may actually help to address the underlying problem that is causing the diarrhea.” – Barbara Bolen, PhD, What to Eat When You Have Diarrhea, Verywell; Twitter: @Verywell
11. Use a heating pad to ease abdominal cramping. “Diarrhea can be caused by abdominal cramping. If this is the case, then it is important for you to soothe the cramped muscles up. You can do this by placing a heating pad over your stomach. But always use a layer of cloth to protect your skin from the heat.” – How to Get Rid of Diarrhea, Enki Village; Twitter: @EnkiVillage
12. Try a vinegar and brown sugar mixture. “Those who have a severe case of diarrhea can mix four tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of brown sugar in a glass of water. Drink a glass of this mixture every 6 hours. It may taste weird, but is an ideal remedy for diarrhea.” – 34 Simple Home Remedies to Get Rid of Diarrhea, Home Remedy Hacks; Twitter: @homeremedyhacks
13. Chamomile and lemon tea can help to soothe diarrhea and related symptoms. “Chamomile and lemon tea can help you to get relief from diarrhea as both have a soothing effect on your whole body. Chamomile tea is very effective, if your diarrhea is caused by heavy stress or from high anxieties. You can use directly the herbal leaves of chamomile in preparing the tea. On the other hand, if sprinkle over just one slice of lemon on your tea, you will get satisfactory result must. The recommended amount is one lemon for preparing 250 ml of tea.” – John Hurry, How to Get Rid of Diarrhea Fast Without Medicine, Healthy Women – Women TALK; Twitter: @HealthyWomen
14. Get enough rest. “When using what you’ve learned about how to stop diarrhea, do not neglect this step. Providing your body with the rest it needs to combat viral gastroenteritis is essential. If you’re not well rested, your immune system will simply be unable to perform as well as it should. This means the time it takes your body to cure diarrhea will be lengthened. Luckily, with the exception of frequent visits to the can, getting rest is usually a pretty easy thing to talk yourself into.” – Eric D. Ronning, Best Ways to Get Rid of Diarrhea, GetRidofThings.com; Twitter: @howtogetridofus
15. Avoid dairy, caffeine, and alcohol. “Sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks could make dehydration worse. Since diarrhea could also cause temporary lactose-intolerance, milk and other dairy products could make the symptoms feel worse. Thus, you should avoid these for about three days after the symptoms disappear. Yogurt or cheeses with probiotics are allowed.
“You should also avoid spicy foods and chewing gum that contains sorbitol.
“If diarrhea lasts for more than a few days, investigate the foods you eat because some can irritate your bowel and worsen diarrhea. These include foods that are high in fiber, such as brown rice, whole grains, and bran; and greasy or excessively sweet foods.” – How to Get Rid of Diarrhea Fast, HowtoGetRid.net
16. Find out if any medications you’re taking could be causing diarrhea. “Certain prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Talk with your healthcare provider about any medicines you take that may be causing these symptoms.” – Self-Care for Vomiting and Diarrhea, Fairview; Twitter: @FairviewHealth
17. Drink a cup or two of black tea, which contains polyphenols. “Black tea contains tannins that are polyphenols and give tea its astringent property. Astringent ingredients are capable of binding up and contracting bodily tissue. Tannins, in fact, stick to the protein layer of inflamed mucous membranes and make these membranes thick. The thick membranes cannot absorb toxins that fast. Also, their thickness prevents the bodily fluids from being secreted. In case of diarrhea, tannins thus thicken the irritated intestine and stops loss of bodily fluids. Therefore, you may have a cup or two of black tea when suffering from diarrhea.” – Sara, How to Get Rid of Diarrhea, Rapid Home Remedies; Twitter: @RapidRemedies
18. Identify potential food allergies and food intolerance. “Food intolerance is when your body can’t digest a certain food and it causes irritation in your digestive system. For example, if you have diarrhea after consuming dairy foods you may be lactose intolerant. According to Patient.info, the symptoms of food intolerance are nausea after eating, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea, which can all occur within a few hours after eating.
“Food allergies are when your body mistakes a certain food as harmful and attacks it. The symptoms of food allergies are similar to food intolerance and can cause constant diarrhea after eating a meal. Usually, the symptoms of food allergies come on quicker after eating certain food and may affect different parts of your whole body, not just your digestive system.
“If you think that the cause of your diarrhea after eating food is because of an allergy or intolerance, it’s important to identify the trigger and eliminate this from your diet.” – Jenny Hills, Diarrhea After Eating: The Most Common Causes and Treatments, Healthy and Natural World; Twitter: @GetBetterHeal
19. Coconut water and maple water are good alernatives to sugar-containing beverages. “The more water lost in your stool, the less you have in your body, and the greater your risk for dehydration. Dehydration will only make you feel worse, so drink up.
“Stick to water, and/or small amounts of an electrolyte-containing beverages (but be careful with the later—too much of a sugary beverage can make diarrhea worse. Coconut water and maple water are good options.
“And although bubbles may sound soothing, carbonation can actually make diarrhea worse, so stick avoid fizzy drinks until you’re back up to speed.” – Katherine Baker, Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid When You Have Diarrhea, Spoon University; Twitter: @SpoonUniversity
20. If you do take OTC medication to alleviate diarrhea, discontinue if your symptoms persist after two days and seek medical attention. “In many cases of diarrhea, replacing lost fluid and salts is the only treatment needed.
“Adults should consume broth, soup, fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables.
“Children should drink a special liquid that has all the nutrients they need. These solutions are sold without a prescription in grocery stores or drugstores. Pedialyte, Ceralyte, or Infalyte are some examples.
“Taking medicine to stop diarrhea can be helpful in some cases. Medicines that are available without a doctor’s prescription include loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol and Kaopectate). Stop taking these medicines if symptoms get worse or if diarrhea lasts more than 2 days.” – What is diarrhea?, EDinformatics.com
21. During bouts of diarrhea, cutting back on fiber can be helpful. “A low fibre diet can help you manage diarrhea, cramps and gas. A diet low in fat, lactose, caffeine and spices may also help. You may find it easier to eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day. It is also very important to stay well hydrated.” – Connie Giordano Ziembicki, MHSc, RD, What to Eat and Drink When You Have Diarrhea, Cramps and Gas, UHN Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; Twitter: @UHN_News
22. Don’t allow diarrhea to continue for more than three days without seeking advice from a healthcare provider. “Suffering from diarrhea should not be for a longer time. You should seek medical help once it lasts for more than 3 days. Most doctors don’t give oral medicine for diarrhea because through the bowel movement, humans are able to eliminate toxins which should be secreted. It’s the natural way of the body to remove unwanted substances that should not be present in the body for a longer time.
“But, if you are suffering from stomach pain and you are experiencing continued watery bowel. Something’s not right anymore. You should start seeking for help since dehydration is a fatal complication that can occur when diarrhea is going on for a longer time.” – Jacob Mabille, Foods to Eat to Stop Diarrhea, HealthGuidance.org
23. Take probiotics. “These microorganisms help restore a healthy balance to the intestinal tract by boosting the level of good bacteria. Probiotics are available in capsule or liquid form and are also added to some foods, such as certain brands of yogurt.
“Studies confirm that some probiotics might be helpful in treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea.” – Diarrhea, Mayo Clinic; Twitter: @MayoClinic
24. Protein such as baked or broiled meats and vegetables are generally safe foods when you’re ready to begin reintroducing solids to your diet. “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.
25. Taking probiotics on a regular basis can even help to reduce chronic diarrhea and prevent the onset of diarrhea for those taking antibiotics. “For over a decade, I have recommended a trial of probiotics to virtually all of my patients. Why? Of all the strategies I discuss with clients, adding probiotics has resulted in the most significant decrease in chronic diarrhea.” – Niki Strealy, RDN, LD, Tip #8 Try Probiotics, The Diarrhea Dietician; Twitter: @DiarrheaRD