Although dehydration is the biggest worry with diarrhea, it’s not the only one. If diarrhea persists beyond a few days, complications, including kidney and urinary problems, can arise. It could also be a symptom of a more serious condition, like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or signs of an infection.
Follow these dos and don’ts for managing the runs so your health doesn’t escape from you.
What to Do About Fluids When You Have Diarrhea
Do drink plenty of fluid. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least one cup of liquid every time you have a loose bowel movement. Water, fruit juices, caffeine-free soda, and salty broths are some good choices. According to the Cleveland Clinic, salt helps slow down the fluid loss, and sugar will help your body absorb the salt.
Don’t consume beverages at extreme temperatures. Consume all liquids at room temperature, or slightly warmed. “Anything too hot or too cold can cause nausea.”
Do drink a tea with chamomile. There is some research to suggest that products containing certain combinations of herbs, including chamomile, may help an upset stomach. A study published in the journal Molecular Medicine Reports cited the potential favorable effects of drinking a chamomile preparation that is combined with other herbs, in treating diarrhea.
Don’t consume caffeine or alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol can irritate the digestive tract and worsen diarrhea, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine.
Dillute your water with fruit juice. Diluting your water with fruit juices, like cranberry or apple juice, to make the H2O, which can sometimes be nauseating when you have diarrhea, easier to tolerate.