How to Treat Diarrhea at Home
If you’re experiencing diarrhea, you’re probably looking for ways to get rid of it quickly. Whether you opt to take over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication or attempt natural diarrhea remedies, there are numerous things you can do to treat diarrhea from the comfort of your own home.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications
Many people find it helpful to take over-the-counter medications like loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate) when they’re experiencing diarrhea. However, it’s important to proceed with caution before taking these medications, because they could force your body to hold onto what’s causing the diarrhea in the first place. Before taking anything, you may want to check with a doctor first.
Natural Diarrhea Remedies
The following natural at-home treatment techniques may help you find relief from your diarrhea:
- Stay hydrated. Did you know that diarrhea is the most common cause of dehydration and related deaths? When someone has diarrhea, his or her large intestine can’t absorb water from food like it normally would, which can lead to dehydration. In order to remain hydrated while you’re experiencing diarrhea, be sure to keep drinking clear liquids like water, juice, sports drinks, and broth. Notably, you’ll want to stay away from caffeine, alcohol, carbonation, and exceedingly hot beverages.
- Follow a bland diet. Even after your bowel movements have started returning to normal, you’ll want to stick to unseasoned, semisolid, and low-fiber foods like toast, soda crackers, rice, eggs, and chicken. Some people also find it helpful to follow the “BRAT” diet, which includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Be careful to not start eating dairy, spicy foods, or foods containing high amounts of fat or fiber too soon, since they can all aggravate diarrhea. You may also find it easier to eat smaller meals more frequently while you’re in the process of recovering.
- Take probiotics. Researchers are still studying the effects of probiotics on diarrhea. However, studies suggest that probiotics can help restore balance within the intestinal tract, so you may want to consider trying them. Keep in mind, though, that these supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Try to relieve any resulting discomfort. Diarrhea can often cause pain, itching, and a burning sensation in the rectal area. You may be able to achieve relief from these unpleasant symptoms by taking a lukewarm bath, patting the area dry (rather than rubbing it), and then applying a hemorrhoid cream or petroleum jelly.
Professional In-Home Treatment for Diarrhea
If these home remedies for diarrhea aren’t bringing you sufficient relief, you may need to call on the services of a trained medical provider. In some cases, professional treatment is necessary. For example, if your diarrhea is being caused by a bacterial infection, you may require prescription antibiotics. A doctor can also administer IV fluids and adjust the medications you’re taking, if needed. And if your diarrhea lasts for more than a few days, there’s a chance that it could be a symptom of irritable bowel disorder or another condition requiring a professional diagnosis. You should pay attention for the following symptoms, which can signal the need for prompt medical intervention:
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than a few days
- Diarrhea that occurs while you’re sleeping
- Bloody or black stool
- Severe pain in the abdomen or rectum
- A fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Significant weight loss
But what are you to do if your diarrhea is so bad that it’s preventing you from traveling to your doctor’s office or an urgent care center? Luckily, there’s a convenient alternative available to you: an in-home visit from DispatchHealth. As a leading mobile healthcare provider, we bring the treatment straight to our patients’ front steps, sparing them the hassle of having to leave home and travel to a provider’s office. If you’re concerned about the cost of an in-home visit, don’t be—our services cost approximately the same amount as a visit to an urgent care clinic, and are a mere fraction of what an ER visit would be. Contact DispatchHealth today via phone, mobile app, or our website to request a visit from our skilled team of providers. We’ll arrive within a few hours and provide you with the personalized care you deserve.
DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies. Sources referenced in this article: