It’s that time of year again! The holiday season: when we come together with family and friends to celebrate, eat, and (sometimes) overindulge. While diarrhea isn’t a topic that usually comes to mind when we think of Christmas cheer, it’s important to be prepared in case it strikes. Here are some tips for managing diarrhea at home:
Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Water, electrolyte solutions, and soups are good options. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) are a recommended option.
Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.
Eat a low-fiber diet
While fiber is important for maintaining healthy bowel movements, it can also irritate the digestive system. When you have diarrhea, opt for low-fiber foods like cooked cereals, white rice, and bananas.
Avoid trigger foods
Certain foods, like dairy products, spicy foods, and fatty foods, can worsen diarrhea. It’s a good idea to avoid these until your symptoms improve.
Take over-the-counter medications
There are several over-the-counter medications that can help manage diarrhea, such as loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). In children, however, they have no place in the treatment of diarrhea and are likely to do more harm than good.
Do not take antidiarrheal agents when diarrhea is accompanied by fever, severe illness, abdominal pain, or if there is blood or pus (mucus) in the stool. If diarrhea from an infection is a possibility, only use antidiarrheal drugs as advised by a healthcare professional.
Get plenty of rest
Diarrhea can be exhausting, so make sure to get plenty of rest while you’re recovering. When you have diarrhea, your body is working hard to flush out the infection or irritation causing your symptoms. This can take a lot of energy, so it’s important to allow your body to rest and recover.
Remember, if you have severe diarrhea, blood in your stool, or a fever, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. But with a little bit of self-care and some over-the-counter remedies, most cases of diarrhea can be managed at home.