Adults should see a doctor for diarrhea if the condition does not improve in two days and severe abdominal pain, black stools, fever or dehydration accompany it, advises Mayo Clinic. Young children are particularly susceptible to dehydration and need medical attention if diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours.
Children need immediate medical attention for diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours without improvement or when they have symptoms of dehydration, including dry mouth, lack of tears when crying, excessive fatigue and infrequent urination, advises Mayo Clinic. Most diarrhea improves with no treatment over time, explains WebMD. To prevent dehydration, doctors advise diarrhea sufferers to consume plenty of water and liquids that replace sodium and electrolytes, such as broth, soup and fruit juices.