What is it?

Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery bowel movements occurring frequently throughout the day. It may be an acute attack, coming on suddenly and lasting 24-48 hours, or chronic, occurring over a long period of time.

What causes it?

  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Food poisoning
  • Food intolerances
  • Stress/tension
  • Medications, e.g., antibiotics
  • Diseases of the stomach, small intestine and large intestine
  • Traveler’s diarrhea-In an acute case of diarrhea, the most important step is to consume fluids in small amounts throughout the day.

What should I eat?
In the first 12 hours your diet should consist of:

  • Weak tea
  • Clear fruit juices (cranberry, grape or fruit drinks)
  • Clear broth
  • Carbonated beverages (ginger ale, 7-up)
  • Flavored gelatin
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Popsicles
  • Fruit ice
    Once these foods are well tolerated, progress slowly to a soft, easily digested diet, e.g., soft-cooked eggs, crackers, poultry, fish, cooked vegetables, canned fruits, and refined breads,cereals, pastas.

Examination by a physician or nurse practitioner is recommended for those who suffer from frequent bouts of diarrhea or have symptoms such as: rectal bleeding or pain, mucus/pus in the stool, abdominal pain, or diarrhea lasting greater than three days.