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Managing Diarrhea

Managing Diarrhea

Perform good personal hygiene after each bowel movement to prevent skin breakdown.
Wipe the anal area thoroughly and wash area with warm water if necessary.  Witch hazel swabs (Tucks, others) or witch hazel liquid on a piece of cotton can be a soothing way to cleanse the anus

  • Avoid coarse, irritating foods.

  • Avoid high-residue foods, such as vegetables, whole-grain cereals, and breads.

  • Avoid extremely hot or cold foods, which may increase intestinal motility.

  • If diarrhea is due to a viral infection, let the bowel rest (ingest only clear liquids) for approximately 24 hours.

  • Replace fluids and electrolytes (salts) by consuming fluids such as Gatorade, bouillon, and soft drinks.

  • Begin with clear liquids, progress to small, frequent meals of bland, high-carbohydrate foods such as rice, cooked cereal, bananas, baked or broiled potatoes, etc.

  • If you think that your diarrhea is due to medication, discuss this with your physician or pharmacist.

  • Take antidiarrheal medications as recommended by your doctor and pharmacist.