Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Viral Infection of the Intestine Diarrhea in Adults

Home treatment of diarrhea in adults with viral gastroenteritis 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 Viral Infection of the Intestine Diarrhea in Children

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Viral Infection of the Intestine References
  1. Beller M, Ellis A, Lee SH, Drebot MA, Jenkerson SA, Funk E, Sobsey MD, Simmons OD 3rd, Monroe SS, Ando T, Noel J, Petric M, Middaugh JP, Spika JS. Outbreak of viral gastroenteritis due to a contaminated well. International consequences. JAMA. 1997 Aug 20;278(7):563-8. [9268277]
  2. Clark B, McKendrick M. A review of viral gastroenteritis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2004 Oct;17(5):461-9. [15353966]
  3. Koopmans M. Outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis: what's new in 2004? Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Aug;18(4):295-9. [15985824]
  4. Lopman BA, Reacher MH, Van Duijnhoven Y, Hanon FX, Brown D, Koopmans M. Viral gastroenteritis outbreaks in Europe, 1995-2000. Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Jan;9(1):90-6. [12533287]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.