If you seldom suffer from diarrhea, you can use fluids and OTC medications to keep your body from dehydration and to manage your bowel symptoms. Usually, diarrhea goes away of its own accord if you eat and drink properly, but if you have a severe case of diarrhea, which means that it lasts for more than several days, you need to see your doctor, to check whether something internal is causing the prolonged problem. Remember, too, if you take over the counter medications as an adult, that your children can’t take the same doses as adults, as a rule, so check with your pediatrician before using medication to treat diarrhea in toddlers.
The main worry when you have diarrhea is that you will become dehydrated. You body loses a lot of salts and fluids when you have watery, loose stools, and you have to replenish the fluids. There are contradicting indicators from physicians and others on whether you should drink sports drinks or water. Sports drinks replenish the salt and sugar that your body loses in diarrhea, and they help your body absorb water. You can also add salt to fruit juices- not enough to ruin the taste, just enough to help your body absorb more water. Water and clear broths are also good for re-hydrating your body. Be careful not to overeat on dairy products or drink too much milk, as this tends to exacerbate the problem with some people.
When you deal with brief episodes of diarrhea, keep your diet as bland as you can. You can also eat or drink just clear liquids. Then add the blander foods and work your way back to a normal, healthy diet. A bland diet can include toast, applesauce, rice and bananas. Mashed potatoes without any butter and crackers are also helpful foods in a bland diet.