Treating diarrhea involves avoiding dehydration, eating mild foods and taking nonprescription medication. The initial treatment usually focuses on at-home measures, as stated by WebMD. Medications can be used if the condition does not improve or becomes severe.
Diarrhea tends to clear up on its own without treatment after a few days. Drinking periodic glasses of water or a rehydration drink helps prevent dehydration. For patients suffering from severe diarrhea, drinking at least 1 liter of water every 1 or 2 hours is necessary. Patients diagnosed with heart, kidney or liver disease should consult a doctor prior to increasing their fluid intake, as stated by WebMD. Depending on a patient's condition, it is necessary to start eating mild foods as soon as possible. After the condition clears up, it is advisable to refrain from alcohol, spicy foods, fruits and caffeine for at least 48 hours.
Diarrhea patients should also refrain from chewing gum containing sorbitol. Milk should be avoided for up to 3 days after the condition gets better, but dairy products with probiotics can be taken. Pregnant women should consult a doctor prior to using medication for diarrhea. Types of medications include those that stiffen the stool and those that draw in water.