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How to Stop Diarrhea Fast

By Laura Hageman ; Updated July 27, 2017

Diarrhea results in loose, soft or watery stools. When you get diarrhea, your main mission becomes how to stop it fast; if it continues, diarrhea can cause dehydration. Diarrhea may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, tainted food, parasites or poison and is the result of your body trying to rid itself of the toxin. However, if diarrhea persists, you should consult a doctor.

  1. Over-the-counter medicine is one of the fastest ways to stop diarrhea. Try a medication such as Imodium, DiaClear, Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol. However, they can cause side effects, such as headaches or nausea. If a side effect does occur, stop taking the medicine immediately and talk to your doctor.

  2. Eat foods that will help produce a firmer stool. Such foods include brown rice, bananas, applesauce, toast and yogurt. These foods are easily digested and can help stop diarrhea within the day. You can also eat a baked potato, boiled eggs and cooked carrots, plain rice and unsalted crackers. Unseasoned chicken without the skin can also be eaten.

  3. Ask your doctor about activated charcoal pills. These are not recommended for everyone, which is why you should talk to your doctor first before taking them. Activated charcoal can help alleviate inflammation and stop diarrhea.

  4. Stay hydrated. Drink water or an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade to help you stay hydrated while you have diarrhea. Avoid milk, alcohol and caffeine, since they can prolong the problem.

  5. Tip

    Avoid high-fiber foods while you have diarrhea, along with oils, sugars, milk and cheese. These are complex foods and can increase the diarrhea.

    Get plenty of rest.


    If diarrhea lasts more than four days or you have severe abdominal pain, a fever, bloody stools, or your diarrhea started during or after a trip to a foreign country, see your doctor immediately.

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