Effective Ways to Deal with Diarrhea

Diarrhea is considered by a lot of people to be one of the most difficult diseases to deal with. This disease in the digestive system would often force you to take frequent bathroom breaks and have loose or watery stools. In addition, you may also experience painful stomach cramps. Because of these symptoms, having diarrhea could often ruin your normal flow for the day, as you wouldn’t be able to work, study, or do any activity properly because of how painful and uncomfortable your stomach area is.

In case you don’t know, diarrhea is a disease in the gastrointestinal system that is usually caused by viral or bacterial infection, but it can also occur through food poisoning and misuse of antibiotics. While diarrhea can usually be difficult to deal with, there are several methods that can be followed in order for the pain or discomfort to be reduced. Here are some of the effective ways to deal with diarrhea.

Drink Water Frequently

woman drinking water

One of the easiest ways to deal with diarrhea is to drink water frequently. Hydrating yourself can prevent dehydration, which diarrhea usually does to your body as a result of forcing out too much watery stool. Dehydration can often lead to more serious illnesses that can last longer than diarrhea, which includes kidney stones, kidney damage, and urinary tract infections.

So, always keep yourself hydrated if you have diarrhea so that you won’t get dehydrated and develop other illnesses. Be sure that you are drinking pure and clean water so that there won’t be any bacteria or organisms in the water that can cause infections. Moreover, you may also want to stay away from sodas, alcohol, milk, and coffee, as these types of drinks can just make your diarrhea worse.

Consume Foods that Have Probiotics

The second way for you to deal with diarrhea effectively is to consume foods that have probiotics, which are live yeasts and bacteria that are good for your health. [1] These probiotics, also known popularly as “good bacteria,” create a healthy community of microorganisms inside your body, primarily in the digestive system, and this community can help prevent bad bacteria and other harmful elements from surviving or thriving in your body.

Some of the foods that are high in probiotics include yogurt, cottage cheese, and miso soup. Incorporate these healthy foods into your daily diet so that the bad bacteria or viruses inside your body would stop thriving and growing in numbers.

Follow the BRAT Diet

BRAT diet

Another great way to treat diarrhea is to follow the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet, which is an acronym for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, is the type of diet that can help alleviate diarrhea symptoms because of its low fiber content. You can follow the BRAT diet for a few days or weeks until the symptoms of diarrhea have subsided.

A loss of appetite is one of the primary symptoms of diarrhea, but to treat it effectively, you will need to force yourself to eat at least a small meal. Not eating anything can just make the symptoms worse, and you may also develop ulcers and other gastrointestinal diseases.

Drink Rice Water

Aside from eating bananas, applesauce, toast, and rice, you may also want to drink warm rice water. To make rice water, you can pour one cup of rice into two cups of water and wait for it to boil for approximately 9 to 10 minutes. Then, use a strainer to separate the cloudy water from the rice. You can drink the rice water while it is still warm.

The rice water has binding properties that make the stools bulkier and firmer, thus reducing the chances of you getting watery stools. Drink rice water at least once a day while also following the BRAT diet to have better results in treating diarrhea.

Stay Away from Foods that Can Worsen Diarrhea Symptoms

woman with diarrhea

While there are foods that can help treat diarrhea, there are also foods that can just worsen the symptoms of the said diseases. The foods that you need to avoid when you have diarrhea are:

  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Ice Cream
  • Candies
  • Corn

These foods can often make your stool much waterier, but they may also make it difficult for you to discharge feces from your body comfortably. Besides these foods, you should also avoid foods that have high fiber content, as they will just cause bloating in your stomach, which can lead to constipation.

Take Over-the-Counter Drugs

Along with eating and avoiding certain foods, you may also need to take over-the-counter drugs if you want to treat diarrhea fast. There are many kinds of over-the-counter medications that you can buy in pharmacies or drugs stores, but the ones you will need for diarrhea are:

  • Loperamide (Imodium)
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)

These over-the-counter drugs can help alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea, like watery stools and stomach pain. [2] However, people with chronic diarrhea may first need to consult their doctor, who may prescribe better medications or treatments for the disease. In addition, you may also have to get medical attention if your stools are reddish and have clumps of blood on them, as these are signs that there may be an underlying problem that worsens your diarrhea.

Diarrhea is a disease that can cause your usual daily flow to come to a halt, but by following the tips we have provided above, you will be able to cure your diarrhea effectively and return to your normal flow faster. But be sure to consult your doctor if symptoms persist even after following the methods we have provided diligently.


[1] Bowman, J. (2019, March 8). The 5 Most Effective Diarrhea Remedies. Healthline. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/most-effective-diarrhea-remedies

[2] Neal, T. (2022, July 18). Imodium A-D vs. Pepto-Bismol for Diarrhea in Adults: Which Works Better? GoodRx. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.goodrx.com/classes/antidiarrheals/pepto-bismol-vs-imodium