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First Aid & Emergencies

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Traveler's Diarrhea Treatment

1. Rehydrate

  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Children are especially prone to dehydration.
  • If you do not feel like eating solid foods, drink bottled or canned water or soft drinks, and eat clear broths for the first 24 hours.
  • For dehydration, drink an oral rehydration solution, available at drug stores.

2. Resume Foods Carefully

  • If you do not feel like eating solid foods at first, you may start the BRAT diet -- bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast -- or salted soda crackers, boiled potatoes, eggs, and cereals after 24 hours.
  • Avoiding dairy products for the first 24 hours may help.
  • Slowly advance to regular foods.

3. Treat Symptoms


4. When to See a Health Care Provider

  • If diarrhea is bloody, or if you have a fever or abdominal pain, see a health care provider immediately. Do not take over-the-counter drugs.
  • If diarrhea continues after several days despite home treatment, see your health care provider. He or she may prescribe an antibiotic. If diarrhea still persists, the health care provider may check for resistant bacteria or parasites.
  • Take a child to a doctor if symptoms include bloody diarrhea, dehydration, persistent vomiting, or fever higher than 102 Farenheit.
  • See a health care provider if nausea or vomiting is severe enough to prevent rehydration or if you feel woozy or have a rapid heart beat.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on October 10, 2015

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