Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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IBS Diarrhea

Home treatment of diarrhea in a person with irritable bowel disease includes hydration and dietary therapy.

Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids are usually used in children, but are also effective for adults. These include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital
  • Generic drugstore brands

Additional ORT fluids include:
  • Soft drinks without caffeine
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Dietary Therapy
ORT is most important if you have vomiting with the diarrhea. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, eat bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Foods that may help diarrhea:
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Strained carrots
  • Wheat
  • Yogurt

Items that may worsen diarrhea include:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • High-sugar foods (junk food)
  • Cow's milk
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar substitutes

Continue to IBS High Fiber Diet

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed IBS References
  1. El-Serag HB, Pilgrim P, Schoenfeld P. Systemic review: Natural history of irritable bowel syndrome. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Apr 15;19(8):861-70. [15080847]
  2. Hungin AP, Chang L, Locke GR, Dennis EH, Barghout V. Irritable bowel syndrome in the United States: prevalence, symptom patterns and impact. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jun 1;21(11):1365-75. [15932367]
  3. Payne S. Sex, gender, and irritable bowel syndrome: making the connections. Gend Med. 2004 Aug;1(1):18-28. [16115580]
  4. Spanier JA, Howden CW, Jones MP. A systematic review of alternative therapies in the irritable bowel syndrome. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Feb 10;163(3):265-74. [12578506]
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