Treatment for Diarrhea

Diarrhea treatment depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In most cases, treatment simply involves replacing fluids and electrolytes (i.e., minerals and salts used in important body functions).

Clear liquids (e.g., soup, broth, tea, fruit juice) and bland foods (e.g., rice, crackers, dry toast, bananas, potatoes) may be helpful. Foods that aggravate diarrhea, such as dairy products and foods that are high in fat, sugar, or fiber should be avoided.

Anti-diarrheal medications (e.g., loperamide [Imodium], bismuth [Pepto-Bismol]) may be used to treat some types of diarrhea; however, these medications should not be used to treat diarrhea caused by a bacterial or parasitic infection. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed to treat these infections.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015