How to stop diarrhea quickly
Diarrhea usually starts suddenly and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as stomach cramps and nausea. With diarrhea, the stool in the intestine cannot be sufficiently thickened. This, in turn, can have various causes: For example, stress can increase the movement of the intestinal wall, so that less water can be withdrawn from the stool. However, infection with viruses and bacteria can also cause diarrhea. Here, the diarrhea is often a mechanism to get these pathogens out of the body and should therefore not be stopped.
So, to treat diarrhea, one should consider the cause of the symptoms. The following article describes what options there are to treat diarrhea.
Also read: Causes of diarrhea
These drugs can help
Both medications and home remedies can be used to treat diarrhea.
Many of the drugs are available from pharmacies without a prescription. One of the best-known diarrhea drugs is certainly Imodium (active ingredient loperamide), which is described in more detail below. This preparation acts directly on the stool, which is then thickened. Furthermore, powders can be purchased in the pharmacy, which when mixed with water result in a drinking solution that is supposed to compensate for the loss of electrolytes. This can be especially helpful if you have diarrhea that lasts for several days or if you have additional headaches.
If a bacterial infection is the cause of the intestinal discomfort, the use of antibiotics can be considered. Since even diarrhea caused by infections usually heals on its own, these preparations are more likely to be used in difficult cases, for example in the case of a complicated course of the disease or concomitant diseases.
After diarrhea, probiotic preparations from the pharmacy can also help to rebuild and regenerate a healthy intestinal flora.
Read more on this topic at: Medication for diarrhea
Imodium for diarrhea
The Imodium preparation contains the active ingredient loperamide. This only acts locally on the intestine and temporarily slows down the movements of the intestinal wall. Loperamide or Imodium numbs the nerve plexus that regulates these movements. The time that the stool mass spends in the intestine is thereby increased. In turn, the intestinal mucosa has more time to absorb water from the stool and thus thicken the stool.
However, unintentional constipation can also be caused by taking loperamide or imodium. Even if it is available in the pharmacy without a prescription, the first use should therefore be discussed with the treating specialist or the family doctor.Likewise, people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease should not take this preparation during a flare-up. As will be explained in more detail below, diarrhea, which has an infectious cause, should not be treated with loperamide (Imodium): In this situation, diarrhea is a useful mechanism of the body to flush the pathogens out of the intestines and should not be prevented.
Further information on this topic can be found at: Imodium
These home remedies can help
Diarrhea can often be relieved or cured with the help of home remedies. The use of home remedies is particularly useful in the case of diarrhea caused by infections, as many drugs used to treat diarrhea reduce bowel movements and therefore also inhibit the excretion of pathogens via the bowel.
Well-known home remedies include foods that put as little strain on the intestines as possible and have a constipating, i.e. thickening effect: light foods such as rusks with grated apples, bananas or mashed potatoes can provide uncomplicated relief for those affected. Drinking chamomile or mint tea can also have a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Fennel, anise and caraway tea has a similar calming and antispasmodic effect. Drinking water and tea should always be remembered in order to compensate for the fluid loss caused by diarrhea and to protect the body from dehydration. Since salts and electrolytes are also lost, pretzel sticks, for example, can be consumed. For more severe diarrhea, you can consider taking an electrolyte-glucose mixture, which is available at the pharmacy.
More about this topic can be found:
- Home remedies for diarrhea
- Diet for diarrhea
You might also be interested in: Black tea for diarrhea
Charcoal tablets for diarrhea
Charcoal tablets are freely available in pharmacies and drugstores. Charcoal tablets contain activated charcoal. This is a binding agent or adsorbent: This means that it binds liquids as well as toxins or metals. It is used not only in the medical field, but also in technical and chemical fields.
Taken as tablets, activated charcoal works in the gastrointestinal tract, where it binds toxins and excess fluids absorbed through the mouth. It thickens the stool significantly and can thus relieve watery diarrhea. Some diarrhea pathogens also produce toxins that cause the symptoms in the first place. Activated charcoal can also bind toxins that may have been produced by the pathogens. It should be noted, however, that diarrhea can also be a function of the body to remove pathogens or the toxins they produce from the body. Activated charcoal should therefore not be used always and not too long for diarrhea.
You can find more about activated charcoal for diarrhea on our main page: Medication for diarrhea
Why not stop all diarrhea?
Diarrhea is not a disease, it is a symptom. So it gives an indication of an existing pathological cause to which the gastrointestinal tract is reacting. This cause can be a more harmless and self-healing gastrointestinal flu, but also a more serious bacterial infection or even bleeding from the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract can be behind the diarrhea.
You might also be interested in: Therapy of gastrointestinal bleeding
Diarrhea that has persisted for a long time should - like all other stool irregularities - be clarified by a doctor. In the case of infections, diarrhea often helps to “flush” the viral or bacterial pathogens out of the body. Here the diarrhea fulfills a very healthy, body's own protective mechanism - preventing this would even counteract the healing process. Anyone who suffers from diarrhea and vomiting from, for example, spoiled food should not stop these complaints if possible, but - as annoying as they may be - endure them.
On the other hand, diarrhea, caused for example by periods of stress or irritable bowel syndrome, can be stopped with medication. However, a change in diet is also a long-term option here in order to deal with the unpleasant intestinal problems.
Also read: Diarrhea from stress
Depending on the underlying cause, it makes sense to treat the diarrhea or to avoid it. We therefore recommend our website to: Causes of diarrhea
When should I see a doctor if I have diarrhea?
Although diarrhea can often be stopped or at least overcome with home remedies, there may be indications for which you should still seek medical advice.
First of all, this includes long-lasting diarrhea: If the symptoms have persisted for more than a week, there is a risk of losing a lot of fluids and vital electrolytes in the long term. It can also be an indication of an infection that cannot be cured with home remedies.
We recommend our site to: Duration of diarrhea
Of course, a doctor can be seen earlier than after a week if the symptoms are very agonizing. Further examinations should also be carried out urgently if there is blood in the stool or the stool is darkly colored - the latter can be an indication of bleeding in the stomach or upper intestine.
Read more on this topic at:
- Blood in the stool
- Blood in the stool with diarrhea