Understand this symptom of stomach upset—and how to treat it
How Is Chronic Diarrhea Treated?
The key to treating chronic diarrhea is to determine its cause. Diarrhea caused by an infection can often be treated with antibiotics; however, the correct diagnosis must be made so the proper medication can be prescribed.
Diarrhea not caused by an infection is more difficult to diagnose and treat. Long-term medication or surgery may be required. You should discuss specific treatment with your healthcare provider.
For diarrhea whose cause has not been determined, follow these important treatment guidelines to relieve symptoms:
- Prevent dehydration. Serious health problems can occur if you don’t maintain your body’s proper fluid levels. Diarrhea may become worse and hospitalization may be required if dehydration occurs. Many oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte and Oralyte are available over the counter. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for the product that is best for you.
- Do not drink beverages containing caffeine, such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks.
- Do not drink alcohol; it contributes to dehydration.
- Do not rely on sports drinks and broths alone to maintain adequate fluid balance. They will not prevent severe deydration.
- Maintain well-balanced nutrition; it may help you recover more quickly.
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