When You Have Loose Stools

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 20, 2013

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Drink more liquids each day.
  • Drink lots of clear liquids each day to replace the fluid you are losing.
  • Try to drink 1 cup of liquid after each loose stool.
  • Drink clear liquids, such as water, ginger ale, and clear soup.

Eat small meals that are easy on your stomach.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day, instead of 3 large meals.
  • Eat a meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Your doctor or nurse may suggest the BRAT foods. BRAT stands for:

Don't have things that can make your diarrhea worse.
  • Don't eat raw fruits and vegetables, whole wheat breads and cereals, spicy foods, or greasy fried foods.
  • Don't drink milk or milk products, drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or prune juice.

Tell your doctor or nurse if you are dizzy or have diarrhea or stomach pain for more than a day. Ask about medicine that can help.


These foods and drinks may be easy on your stomach until you feel better:


Soups (clear liquids) Drinks (clear liquids) Meals and snacks Fruits and sweets
  • Clear broth, such as chicken, vegetable, or beef

  • Clear soda such as ginger ale
  • Cranberry or grape juice
  • Oral rehydration solution drinks, such as Pedialyte®
  • Tea
  • Water

  • Chicken - broiled or baked, without the skin
  • Crackers
  • Cream of wheat or rice cereal
  • Noodles
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes - boiled, without the skin
  • Pretzels
  • White rice
  • White toast
  • Angel food cake
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Canned Peaches or apricots
  • Gelatin (Jell-O®)
  • Yogurt

How to take care of your bottom (rectal area):

  1. Use a baby wipe that is alcohol free and unscented.

Questions to ask your doctor or nurse:

  1. What problems should I call you about?
  2. How much liquid should I drink each day?
  3. What medicine can I take to stop the diarrhea?
    What are the side effects of this medicine?
  4. What are oral rehydration solution drinks?
    Where can I find them?
  5. What is a sitz bath? Should I take these?
  6. What creams can help my bottom feel better?


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