Stools - watery; Frequent bowel movements; Loose bowel movements
- Wash your hands often, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- Teach children to not put objects in their mouth.
- When taking antibiotics, try eating food with Lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy bacteria. This helps replenish the good bacteria that antibiotics can kill. Yogurt with active or live cultures is a good source of these healthy bacteria.
- Use alcohol-based hand gel frequently.
When traveling to underdeveloped areas, follow the steps below to avoid diarrhea:
- Drink only bottled water and do NOT use ice.
- Do NOT eat uncooked vegetables or fruits that do not have peels.
- Do NOT eat raw shellfish or undercooked meat.
- Do NOT consume dairy products.
Semrad CE, Powell DW. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 143.
Proctor DD. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 134.
Review Date: 02/08/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.