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How to Help Treat Diarrhoea

Letting diarrhoea run its course can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Help keep your everyday life on track by understanding why and how to treat diarrhoea. 

Treatment for Diarrhoea

If you suffer from diarrhoea, there are different treatments available to help you get on with your day as normal. Learn why, when and how to treat diarrhoea.

Why treat diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea can cause discomfort, inconvenience and disruption to your day-to-day life. Without any treatment, you may feel weak, lack energy and experience uncomfortable symptoms that can affect your plans – whether it’s work or socialising.

Imodium helps your body retain water and essential nutrients.

There’s a common myth that it’s better not to treat diarrhoea, instead letting it run its course. But why leave it untreated when you can relieve diarrhoea, get on with your day, and help reduce the loss of fluids and salts that can leave you feeling weak and tired? Imodium can help restore your body’s gut rhythm gently.

However, you should speak to your doctor before using Imodium if the diarrhoea is particularly frequent or severe, or associated with other symptoms, such as:

  • blood in your stool or fever
  • persistent vomiting
  • a severe or continuous stomach ache
  • weight loss
  • signs of dehydration – including drowsiness, passing urine infrequently, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • your stool is dark or black – this may be a sign of bleeding inside your stomach

Do not take Imodium for more than 48 hours. Not for children under 12 years.

Causes of diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is caused by a disturbance to the normal absorption of fluids by your digestive system – essentially, your digestive system works too quickly . This means your gut doesn’t absorb enough fluids and so they remain in the gut and cause your stools to become runny. . This can lead to an unbalanced bowel and cause dehydration . Read the leaflet carefully before using Imodium.

Diarrhoea occurs when you experience looser or more frequent stool than is normal for you . Acute diarrhoea usually lasts from a few days to a week. Chronic diarrhoea typically persists for more than 4 weeks. This can be caused by an underlying medical conditions and so you should consult a doctor.

You should treat the root cause of diarrhoea where possible – such as avoiding certain trigger foods or factors you know can result in you getting diarrhoea.

The main causes of diarrhoea include:

Infections

What you eat and drink

Other causes

  • Menstruation – Around a third of women experience gastrointestinal symptoms (including diarrhoea) just before or during periods.
  • Stress – Anxiety and stress can cause your bowel contents to move too fast through the gut.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – This is a condition that affects the digestive system and may cause symptoms including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and stomach cramps.

Read the leaflet before using Imodium

Effects of diarrhoea

When you experience diarrhoea, the lining of your intestine fails to absorb sufficient fluids. This leads to your body passing more liquids than it should.

Such a high loss of fluids doesn’t just mean your body loses water but also the important minerals and electrolytes contained within them that keep your body running. As your body doesn’t absorb these nutrients properly, diarrhoea can also cause:

  • Electrolyte and salt deficiency

It can put you at risk of dehydration. Symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Thirst

Diarrhoea symptoms

Diarrhoea is an unpleasant experience that creates discomfort. You may experience additional symptoms depending on the cause.

Some of the most common ones include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches

Diarrhoea can last a few days. It's important to see your GP before using Imodium if the diarrhoea is persistent or severe, or associated with other symptoms, such as: fever, blood in your stool, persistent vomiting, a severe or continuous stomach ache, weight loss, signs of dehydration (including drowsiness, passing urine infrequently, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy), dark or black stools.

Diarrhoea treatment FAQs

How long should diarrhoea last?

Without any kind of treatment, diarrhoea will usually clear up naturally within a few days to a week, but you could experience discomfort and inconveniences to your daily routine . When you suffer from diarrhoea, you can normally treat yourself at home (21)

What can I take to treat diarrhoea?

IMODIUM® contains an active ingredient called Loperamide. This works to bring the movement of your bowels back to a normal pace and restore the balance within your digestive system.

This allows your intestines to start to absorb fluids and nutrients back into your body more easily – relieving the symptoms and inconvenience of diarrhoea.

Imodium works in harmony with your body to help restore its natural rhythm, gently slowing digestion back down to a normal pace and helping resume the normal absorption of fluids. It provides diarrhoea relief – whether treating it at home, work or on holiday.

See below for more ways to help treat diarrhoea:

What can stop diarrhoea fast?

A combination of treatments could help ease your symptoms.

  • Rehydrate –'Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help replace what you've lost. Avoid alcohol, fruit juices, fizzy drinks and milk as they may cause additional stomach irritation or make the diarrhoea worse.
  • Oral rehydration salts: If you are dehydrated: speak to a pharmacist who may supply you with oral rehydration salts.
  • Eat when you’re ready – Stay away from fatty and spicy foods which may worsen diarrhoea but start to eat light meals when you feel up to it. Salty foodstuffs, in particular, can help.
  • Treat the underlying cause – If you were diagnosed with a specific condition that causes diarrhoea (such as IBS or coeliac disease) then treating this at its root could help. Speak to your doctor if you think you may have an underlying condition that is causing diarrhoea .

IMODIUM® Original capsules can stop diarrhoea in one dose.

IMODIUM® IBS Relief helps take control of your medically diagnosed IBS diarrhoea.

IMODIUM® Instants dissolve instantly on your tongue, so they’re great for when you’re on the go.

IMODIUM® Plus Comfort tablets not only helps stop diarrhoea, but also soothe painful cramps, bloating and wind.

Where to buy IMODIUM®

It’s easy to find IMODIUM® in supermarkets, chemists and many other shops. You don't need a prescription, so you can buy it over the counter as well as online.