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
•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:
•Clear fruit juices (cranberry, grape or fruit drinks)
•Carbonated beverages (ginger ale, 7-up)
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.