How to Stop Diarrhea? : Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Diarrhea is a dangerous disease number two in the world especially against children that result in death. Every year almost certainly billions of people have suffered from diarrhea. How to stop diarrhea can be done in a simple, but a chronic one condition requires serious treatment. And here we will learn what to take for diarrhea when we or other people suffer this disease.

How to Stop Diarrhea? : Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea (diarrhea or diarrhoeal) means a frequent liquid bowel movement condition (three or more than a normal person) signed by soft, watery, loose stools.

Diarrhea and watery stools occur because of the inability of the intestines or gastrointestinal tract to absorb extra fluid from the stool so that there is excess water in the feces when defecation.

How long does diarrhea last? Diarrhea could last for a few days until weeks with the condition of mild to severe, it depends on the type of diarrhea and the patient’s condition. And of course, it makes the sufferers feel uncomfortable.

How Do You Stop Diarrhea?

You can do sort of thing to stop your diarrhea. Although we can do almost nothing for mild diarrhea because it can heal itself without special treatment or take some medicine.

But chronic diarrhea can be accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, headache, body aches, abdominal cramping, uncontrollable, colored stools (yellow, green, light brown), sometimes found blood and mucus in stools.

Indications that are seen in acute diarrhea such easily tired, wrinkled skin due to lack of fluids or dehydration, faster heart rate, pale skin color, decreased urine, less response.

If chronic diarrhea is ignored without treatment, it can result in overall health condition.

Some conditions following diarrhea such as malnutrition, reduce body weight, slow thinking, lack of physical activity, and can affect mental development, especially in children.

Diarrhea also causes other diseases such as hemorrhoids. By knowing the causes and symptoms, you know what to do for diarrhea for yourself or the people around you.

Diarrhea Types

There some types of diarrhea based on different categories such as :

Based on Critical Situation

Based on WHO information, clinically diarrhea is divided into :

  1. Acute watery – can last for several hours or days, and includes cholera
  2. Acute bloody – also called as dysentery
  3. Persistent – last 14 days (2 weeks) or longer

Based on Stool Condition

Based on the structure of the stool, diarrhea can be distinguished:

  1. Secretory, it means diarrhea that occurs due to excessive secretion of chloride ion caused by cholera toxin. There is no change in the structure of the normal stool
  2. Osmotic, it means diarrhea that occurs due to the amount of water absorbed into the intestine cause excessive consumption of sugar and salt.
  3. Exudative, diarrhea is characterized by the presence of blood and pus mixed in the stool.
  4. The inflammatory, diarrhea caused by damage to the mucosal tissue. This resulted in the loss of fluid containing protein due to the inability to fluid absorption.
  5. Dysentery means diarrhea contains blood in the stools due to inflammation of the intestinal tissue (gastroenteritis). Signs and symptoms of dysentery are vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and a feeling of incomplete bowel

What are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?

You can realize if you have diarrhea and when to see a doctor for treating the illness by looking at the following symptoms:

  1. Frequent bowel movements more than normal per day
  2. Watery stools, loose, mucus
  3. There are blood and pus in the stool
  4. Severe pain in the stomach and rectum
  5. Abdominal cramps, fever, and lack of fluids
  6. Low response to the situation around
  7. Foul-smelling diarrhea. It is an unusual smell on the stool that produce more gas, odor indicates problems in the digestive tract.

What does it mean when you have diarrhea with the condition above? With the signs above you know that you need to cure for diarrhea by seeing your doctor immediately.

Or with persistent diarrhea that has lasted for 14 days or 2 weeks, you should see your doctor examine your diarrhea condition.

What Causes Diarrhea?

The most common causes of diarrhea are due to infection of the intestines by bacteria, virus or parasite organisms (eg Rotavirus and Escherichia coli in most developing countries).

Medically, it is known as gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea. The cause of intestinal infection usually comes from food, drink, people and the bad environment sanitation that has been contaminated by germs diarrhea.

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Is diarrhea contagious? Yes, diarrhea is highly contagious, the disease can infect any person through touch, contaminated food, and drinks, unhygienic environment.

A contagious infection is one of the causes of the rapid spreading of diarrhea from person to person.

However, not all of the stools that characterized by soft, watery, loose is caused by a bacterial infection, but can also by other factors such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, and several others :

  1. Infections, due to food, beverage and unhygienic environment due to contracting the virus. Examples of bacteria that cause diarrhea are Salmonella spp., Shigella spp. The virus that causes diarrhea in adults is Norovirus.
    Parasites that cause diarrhea such as Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium spp., Blastocystis spp., Giardia spp., Cyclospora cayetanensis
  2. Malabsorption. Diarrhea that occurs because of the inability of the body especially the small intestine to absorb food and liquids perfectly. The cause of these symptoms assortment such as:
    • Enzyme deficiencies, such as lactose intolerance
    • Excessive consumption of sugar or salt from food or drink.
  3. Inflammatory bowel disease occurs due to inflammation of the colon and small intestine. The signs of this disease are stomach pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, internal cramps, weight loss. There are several causes, including:
    • Microbe
    • The high protein content in food
    • Heredity factors
  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is one of the health problems in the digestive system that lasts a long time. Conditions that tend to come and go within a few days or months at a time due to stress or after the consumption of certain foods. Some people with IBS sometimes get diarrhea after eating certain foods and suddenly they need to go to the bathroom.
  5. Malnutrition. It is known that children who die of diarrhea, one of them due to malnutrition. Mentioned in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health that malnutrition increases by 37% the level of frequency of patients against diarrhea. And also increases as much as 73% of the long-time suffering diarrhea.
  6. Food allergies
  7. Food poisoning
  8. Food disturbing digestive tract
  9. Diabetes
  10. Alcoholic beverages
  11. Allergy medications
  12. Laxative
  13. Cancer
  14. Surgery digestive system

So, what helps with diarrhea? By seeing the causes and signs above, actually, there is no single cure for diarrhea. Different treatment combination is good for diarrhea relief.

Some Condition Usually Found During Diarrhea

Below some conditions that come along with diarrhea. Those indications give you information about the cause of the disease and what best medicine for diarrhea. See below :

  1. Yellow diarrhea
    Why is my poop yellow? Sometimes you find that your diarrhea poop is liquid in yellow or bright yellow color. Yellow stools or yellow poop mean excess fat content that can not be absorbed due to problems in the digestive system, malabsorption and resulting in diarrhea.
  2. Mucus Diarrhea
    What causes mucus in stool? An amount of yellow or green mucus in the stool are common symptoms in the digestive system due to an intestinal infection such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammation of the intestine.
  3. Watery Stool
    What causes watery diarrhea? Watery or liquid diarrhea is caused by the amount of water content in the stool that can not be absorbed by the intestine.
  4. Stomach Cramps and Diarrhea
    What causes stomach cramps or abdominal pain and diarrhea? Some causes of stomach cramps and diarrhea are:

    1. Intestinal infection caused by a virus
    2. Food poisoning
    3. Enzyme deficiencies such as lactose intolerance
    4. Food allergies
    5. Allergies to certain drugs

    If you have the symptoms of stomach cramping and diarrhea repeatedly, it is likely you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  5. Blood in Diarrhea
    Diarrhea with blood sometimes occurs and is a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding and caused by inflammation, intestinal infections, ulcerative colitis. Dark black blood mixed with watery, loose stools coming out of the digestive tract.

What Other Diseases Can be Caused by Diarrhea?

There are several diseases which are caused or associated with diarrhea, including :

  1. Hemorrhoids
  2. Anal Itching
  3. Anal Fissure
  4. Colon Cancer
  5. Dehydration
  6. Malnutrition
  7. Hyponatremia (Low Blood Sodium)
  8. etc

Can Diarrhea Cause Hemorrhoids

Yes, diarrhea cause hemorrhoids. According to The College of Family Physicians of Canada, hemorrhoids that occur because of increasing pressure on the blood vessels around the anus and rectum.

Some of this disease is due to constipation and diarrhea so that the blood vessels in the anus filled with blood pressure on a vein. The main treatment for diarrhea and constipation is the key to reduce your hemorrhoid.

How to Stop Diarrhea Fast? Best Treatment and Medication

In most cases, diarrhea does not require special treatment, because the disease can be cured by itself. However, if diarrhea has become acute in more than 3 days, accompanied by cramps, lethargy, treating diarrhea by seeking medical help is urgent.

Diarrhea treatment for adults and children, especially infants, are very different. Therefore you should be careful before providing certain medicine for diarrhea.

How to Treat Diarrhea in Adults?

Stopping diarrhea that is indicated by watery, loose, mucus in the stool, can follow below methods::

  1. Drinking water in sufficient quantities. Diarrhea due to drain water from the body, then you need to recharge.
  2. Sports drinking that contains salt and mineral is good to keep you hydrated.
  3. Should avoid foods that cause flatulence or intolerance.
  4. Avoid milk if diarrhea is still ongoing.
  5. Avoid coffee when your stomach is irritated by caffeine. You have to know what to drink when you have diarrhea, is about water, electrolyte, and mineral. No soda beverage to drink.
  6. Avoid fatty foods and spices
  7. Taking food with semisolid and low-fiber

What’s Good To Stop Diarrhea? What Can I Take To Stop Diarrhea?

There are some good of over the counter (OTC) medicine to stop diarrhea that you can take and keep at home for emergency situation. So you understand what to do if you have diarrhea unexpectedly such exercise or running:

  1. Loperamide (Imodium) is a reliable anti-diarrhea medication. It cures diarrhea by slowing intestinal peristalsis so it can absorb more liquid from the stool.
  2. Racecadotril (acetorphan). It fixes diarrhea by reducing the water content produced by the small intestine.
  3. Bismuth subsalicylate. It works by balancing the movement of fluid through the gut. One brand is Pepto Bismol that works well for diarrhea. In addition, this diarrhea remedy is also useful for reducing inflammation and avoid the development of the organism that caused diarrhea in the stomach and intestines.

The medicines above can be purchased at pharmacies without needing a prescription from a doctor. For a prescription drug, you can consult your doctor for getting the best remedy for diarrhea.

What To Eat To Stop Diarrhea

There is something to eat to stop your diarrhea. Knowing what to eat with diarrhea are other ways to cure diarrhea in addition to the drug. There is some diet for diarrhea that includes foods and drinks to clear diarrhea symptoms you can do :

  1. To keep the body hydrated, drinking fluids into the body for at least 1 liter every hour or two.
  2. The most important substance that stops diarrhea is a kind of electrolytes or minerals such as potassium, chloride, and sodium. How to make mineral for diarrhea at home by mixing four teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt to one liter of water.
  3. What Foods To Eat To Stop Diarrhea? There are some foods to eat to stop your diarrhea. Understand what to eat if you have diarrhea can stop the cause of the sickness. BRAT diet foods you can eat is good to help your diarrhea relief. BRAT means Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These are known as foods to stop diarrhea due to their ingredients. The content of pectin from banana and apple sauce can be made into a solid stool. And crude fiber is able to absorb excess water in the intestines.
  4. Pectin in carrots helpful to solidify the stool. Cook carrots until soft and blender in water until soft and smooth. Eat a glass cup every hour.
  5. Diarrhea caused by food poisoning can be overcome by drinking a mixture of two teaspoons of smectite clay, or also known as montmorillonite, three times a day.
  6. Diarrhea caused by food allergies can consume six teaspoons of clay per day in a mixture of warm water. This method is known to cure 34 out of 35 people with diarrhea in an average time of 3.8 days, and defecation was reduced by an average of 1.8 per day.

But you have to know all the medication above is not stopping diarrhea shortly moreover for a chronic one. You need to keep eating kind of antidiarrheal foods above, drink favorable water and find medicine. Visiting doctor is recommended.

How Can Diarrhea be Prevented?

Prevention of diarrhea is an important way to stop the spread of viruses, bacteria, and parasites that contaminate public health. The best way to stop diarrhea infections are :

  1. Wash hands before eating regularly using soap or antiseptic.
  2. Store food in a clean place.
  3. Clean the refrigerator regularly so the food is not contaminated with the parasite.
  4. Set the refrigerator temperature at the optimum temperature so that cooling may inhibit the growth of harmful microbes.
  5. Consumption of foods that do not make you sick. Do not eat spicy food when the stomach easily irritated and spices.
  6. Avoid carbonated beverages or coffee when the stomach is bloated because of it.
  7. Maintain body health from diarrheal-related diseases

Sources :

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1992 Jul;47(1 Pt 2):28-35 “Diarrhea as a cause and an effect of malnutrition: diarrhea prevents catch-up growth and malnutrition increases diarrhea frequency and duration.”

WHO | Diarrhoeal disease, Fact sheet N°330, April 2013,

The College of Family Physicians of Canada, “Hemorrhoids – Reducing the pain and discomfort”, 2012 rev.

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