Diarrhea can be uncomfortable and unpleasant and can seriously disrupt a person’s day. However, most diarrhea is short-term or “acute”, but some can last for days or weeks.
This article outlines the typical duration of diarrhea, tips on how to get relief quickly, and advice on when to see a doctor.
First aid methods for adults
Below are a few methods you can use to get rid of diarrhea in adults quickly.
The most common and convenient solutions for acute diarrhea are over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as:
Loperamide (Imodium): This drug slows down digestion and causes the body to pull more water from the intestines. It helps to tighten the stool and reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol): This medication helps coat and kill diarrhea-causing bacteria that may be present in a person’s gut.
The above drugs are not suitable for people whose diarrhea is accompanied by the following symptoms.
signs of infection
Here’s what causes chronic diarrhea and how to treat it.
A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help clear up a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
People can become infected with harmful bacteria as a result of drinking contaminated food or contaminated water. According to trusted sources, the most common bacteria that cause diarrhea are:
Escherichia coli (E. coli)
Read more about side effects of antibiotics here.
Adjusting the diet
Some dietary adjustments can help alleviate acute episodes of diarrhea and reduce the risk of further complications. For example:
Eat bland foods: Bland, digestible foods reduce the risk of gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. A popular diet option for indigestion is the BRAT diet, which stands for the following bland foods.
apple cider vinegar
Increase your intake of soluble fiber: Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that absorbs fluid in the intestines. This will tighten the stool and relieve diarrhea. Foods rich in soluble fiber include:
fruits and vegetables
bread and pasta
Eat smaller meals: People should aim to eat smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals.
Resting after eating: Resting after eating helps slow down the passage of food through the intestines. It helps reduce the frequency of bowel movements.