Drinking small sips of fluid in order to prevent dehydration, eating a bland diet to give the intestines a chance to rest, and utilizing nonprescription medications are self-care measures that can treat diarrhea at home, according to Everyday Health. Acute diarrhea usually resolves in two to three days.
The body loses large amounts of fluid during a bout of diarrhea, notes WebMD. This must be replaced in order to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Taking small, frequent, sips of fluid such as flat soda, tea, water or sports drinks can help replace the fluid lost to frequent, watery, bowel movements. Using oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte for children is also useful, as these drinks have the proper fluid and electrolyte ratios, explains eMedicineHealth. Diarrhea treatments for children are usually different from those for adults.
Eating a bland diet can help settle the stomach and intestines, states eMedicineHealth. Individuals should avoid greasy, fatty or spicy foods in order to prevent the diarrhea from worsening. Instead, it helps to follow the BRAT diet, which focuses on bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast. This provides easily digested foods and allows the gastrointestinal tract to recover. Milk and other dairy products should be avoided until after the diarrhea passes. Crackers, cooked chicken breast without the skin, and mashed potatoes without butter can also be added to the diet, states Everyday Health.
Finally, over-the-counter medications can help quiet a sensitive bowel, though most cases of diarrhea should be allowed to run their course, states WebMD. However, if it lasts more than six hours, consider the use of medications such as Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, probiotics or psyllium fiber.