Diarrhea

Diarrhea is watery poop (stool). It can make you feel weak, tired, thirsty, or give you a dry mouth (signs of dehydration). Watery poop is a sign of another problem, most often an infection. It often lasts 2–3 days. It can last longer if it is a sign of something serious. Take care of yourself as told by your doctor.

HOME CARE

  • Drink 1 cup (8 ounces) of fluid each time you have watery poop.

  • Do not drink the following fluids:

  • Those that contain simple sugars (fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, sucrose, maltose).

  • Sports drinks.

  • Fruit juices.

  • Whole milk products.

  • Sodas.

  • Drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, soda) or alcohol.

  • Oral rehydration solution may be used if the doctor says it is okay. You may make your own solution. Follow this recipe:

  • ⅓–⅔ teaspoon table salt.

  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda.

  • ⅓ teaspoon salt substitute containing potassium chloride.

  • 1 ⅓ tablespoons sugar.

  • 1 liter (34 ounces) of water.

  • Avoid the following foods:

  • High fiber foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables.

  • Nuts, seeds, and whole grain breads and cereals.

  • ExitCare Image Those that are sweetened with sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol).

  • Try eating the following foods:

  • Starchy foods, such as rice, toast, pasta, low-sugar cereal, oatmeal, baked potatoes, crackers, and bagels.

  • Bananas.

  • Applesauce.

  • Eat probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt and milk products that are fermented.

  • Wash your hands well after each time you have watery poop.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Take a warm bath to help lessen burning or pain from having watery poop.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You cannot drink fluids without throwing up (vomiting).

  • You keep throwing up.

  • You have blood in your poop, or your poop looks black and tarry.

  • You do not pee (urinate) in 6–8 hours, or there is only a small amount of very dark pee.

  • You have belly (abdominal) pain that gets worse or stays in the same spot (localizes).

  • You are weak, dizzy, confused, or lightheaded.

  • You have a very bad headache.

  • Your watery poop gets worse or does not get better.

  • You have a fever or lasting symptoms for more than 2–3 days.

  • You have a fever and your symptoms suddenly get worse.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.