How to Prevent Diarrhea

From: Helen Dynda (
Mon Feb 26 14:01:34 2001

[] How to Prevent Diarrhea

Diarrhea is characterized by an unusual frequency and consistency of the stool. There is no sure way to prevent diarrhea, but common sense will help to minimize your risk.

1.) Practice good hand-washing hygiene, especially when you are around a group of children, or after using public bathrooms or shopping. Wash your hands after you have a bowel movement, or after wiping up your children after their bowel movements. It's possible to spread bacteria.

2.) Avoid huge dietary changes. For example, don't go on an all-grapes diet. Introduce new foods slowly into your diet, especially fruits, vegetables, grains and milk products.

3.) Throw food away if it drops onto the floor or the ground. Parasites and germs are found at ground level.

4.) Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

5.) Cook food thoroughly, especially meat.

6.) Avoid foods that have a tendency to loosen bowels, like the sorbitol found in many diet foods.

7.) Practice good stress management if your diarrhea is caused by anxiety. ( See the Related "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" eHows. )

8.) Forgo milk products if your diarrhea is caused by a lactose intolerance.

9.) Cut back on caffeine, which can cause stools to loosen.

10.) Read your medication labels carefully. If one of the side effects is diarrhea, check with your physician about changing medications.

[] Tips:

Diarrhea and loose stools are not the same thing. Diarrhea is watery; loose stools are soft and runny, but at least partially formed.

Antibiotics can cause diarrhea by upsetting the normal microbial balance in the intestine, thus leading to infection and diarrhea. However, if you need to take antibiotics, you can combat diarrhea by eating yogurt, which contains a live active culture that restores this balance and prevents infection.

[] Warnings:

If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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