Soothing Care Strategies After You've Suffered a Bout of Diarrhea

Soothing Care Strategies After You've Suffered a Bout of Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common symptom of viral infections, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and numerous other conditions that can cause loose, watery stools that may occur multiple times a day.

Board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Prem Chattoo and our team at Hudson River Gastroenterology specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the digestive system, many of which can cause diarrhea.

Let’s look at the many causes of diarrhea and steps you can take to combat the discomfort and potential health complications related to this common, sometimes serious issue.

Diarrhea basics

Diarrhea is a common digestive problem characterized by loose, watery stools that may occur more frequently than usual. It’s usually a symptom of an underlying issue rather than a specific disease.

Causes of diarrhea include:

Dehydration is a common and serious complication of diarrhea, which can quickly become life-threatening due to loss of fluids and electrolytes.

Care strategies following a bout of diarrhea

Dr. Chattoo recommends these care strategies during and after an episode of diarrhea:


Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, clear broths, oral rehydration solutions, and sports drinks. This helps replace lost fluids and electrolytes.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration in adults include:

Dehydration is serious at any age, but infants, young children, and seniors are especially vulnerable to complications.

Symptoms of dehydration in infants and young children include fewer than six wet diapers a day (infants) and no urination in eight hours for toddlers. 

Other concerning signs include sunken eyes, lack of tears when crying, lethargy, and rapid breathing. Seek urgent medical care for any of these symptoms.  

Electrolyte replacement

Consume electrolyte-rich foods and beverages, including bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT diet). These foods provide essential electrolytes like potassium and sodium.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Steer clear of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages since they can contribute to dehydration. Soothing herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, and ginger can help relieve digestive discomfort.

These teas possess anti-inflammatory properties and can help calm an irritated stomach. Choose caffeine-free options and sip slowly.


Consider taking probiotics to help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Yogurt with live cultures or probiotic supplements can be beneficial.

Gradually reintroduce solid foods

Before reintroducing a regular diet, begin with easily digestible foods like plain rice, bananas, and boiled potatoes. Avoid spicy, fatty, or dairy-rich foods initially.


Allow your body to rest and recover. Avoid strenuous physical activities until you feel better.

Over-the-counter medications

Antidiarrheal medications, such as loperamide, may be helpful. However, it's essential to consult our team before using them, especially in cases of infectious diarrhea or if you have underlying conditions that may interfere with their use.

Soothing rectal irritation

Use fragrance-free, alcohol-free wet wipes (baby wipes) rather than toilet tissue after a bowel movement, and pat rather than wipe. For children and adults, apply Vaseline®, zinc cream, or another barrier cream in the anal area to prevent irritation.

Avoid prolonged sitting since this can irritate the anal area, and consider cotton rather than nylon underwear to absorb moisture. Change your baby’s diapers frequently to help prevent contact with the stool. Warm baths can offer relief, too.

When to seek medical attention

Dr. Chattoo recommends scheduling an appointment if you experience:

See a specialist if you frequently experience diarrhea, even if it only occurs once daily since this could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention.  

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Chattoo at Hudson River Gastroenterology today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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