Acute diarrhea refers to a sudden onset of loose stools, often caused by infections, viruses, or bacterial toxins. It usually resolves on its own within a few days. However, it's important to stay hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.

Acute Diarrhea FAQ


What causes acute diarrhea?

Acute diarrhea is commonly caused by viral infections, bacterial toxins, or food poisoning.

How long does acute diarrhea last?

In most cases, acute diarrhea lasts for a few days, but it's essential to stay hydrated and seek medical advice if it persists.

Can I take over-the-counter medications for acute diarrhea?

Yes, over-the-counter medications like Imodium and Pepto-Bismol can provide relief from acute diarrhea, but it's important to follow the recommended dosage.

What should I eat during acute diarrhea?

Stick to easily digestible foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT diet) to help ease the symptoms of acute diarrhea.

When should I see a doctor for acute diarrhea?

You should seek medical attention if you experience severe dehydration, persistent symptoms for more than a few days, or if you have a high fever.

Is acute diarrhea contagious?

Yes, some infectious causes of acute diarrhea can be contagious, so practicing good hygiene and handwashing is important.

Can children and infants get acute diarrhea?

Yes, children and infants are more susceptible to acute diarrhea, and it's crucial to monitor their hydration levels carefully.

What are the signs of dehydration due to acute diarrhea?

Signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, and dark urine.

Is it safe to continue breastfeeding during acute diarrhea?

Yes, continuing breastfeeding is generally safe for infants with acute diarrhea, and it helps prevent dehydration.

What over-the-counter medications are not recommended for acute diarrhea in children?

Aspirin-containing products should be avoided in children with acute diarrhea due to the risk of Reye's syndrome.

Can stress or anxiety cause acute diarrhea?

Yes, stress and anxiety can contribute to digestive issues, including acute diarrhea, in some individuals.

How can I prevent getting acute diarrhea while traveling?

Practice good hygiene, drink bottled water, and avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods to reduce the risk of getting acute diarrhea while traveling.

Is it okay to exercise with acute diarrhea?

During episodes of acute diarrhea, it's best to avoid strenuous physical activity to conserve energy and prevent dehydration.

Can antibiotics help treat acute diarrhea?

Antibiotics may be prescribed for certain bacterial causes of acute diarrhea, but they are not always necessary and should be used under a doctor's guidance.

What should I do if I develop acute diarrhea after taking antibiotics?

If you experience diarrhea after taking antibiotics, contact your healthcare provider as it could be a sign of antibiotic-associated diarrhea or a possible infection called C. difficile colitis.

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