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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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I have had diarrhea for 4 days, temp is 97.7

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 140 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 22 Jan 2019 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I have had diarrhea for 4 days, temp is 97.7 degrees, have no appetite & if I do eat anything, I have diarrhea within 4 hours. What can I do to replace lost fluids besides drinking water?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 50 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I see you live in Wisconsin, and unless you've traveled outside the US recently, the most likely cause of your diarrhea is a viral gastroenteritis ("stomach flu").

Providing you don't have any alarm symptoms (you already indicated no fever - good) such as pain waking you from sleep, severe pain at any time, or bloody diarrhea, and assuming you have no significant underlying medical problems, you should recover from this soon, at least within a few days.

In the meantime, in addition to water, one of the best rehydration solutions is coconut water (NOT coconut milk). It's sold at many grocery stores, and I think Walgreens has it too. It has an ideal balance of glucose and electrolytes, and in 3rd world countries, is used (in a sterile form) as an IV solution for dehydration. I think it tastes pretty bad though - sorry.

Avoid things like Gatorade because they have too much sugar, which can cause an osmotic diarrhea.

For foods, safe things to eat are apple sauce (not raw apples), rice cooked with extra water for a longer period of time than it is called for, and sometimes plain toast, boiled chicken, and bananas, although if the bananas don't have just the right ripeness they can be iffy. Avoid dairy and greasy foods during this time. Eating small amounts at a time can be easier on a stressed digestive system and sometimes can keep the gastric-colic reflex (where food in the stomach triggers the colon to have contractions) from happening.

If you aren't able to keep in even liquids, then there is the risk of dehydration. If that is the situation, it's time to go to an ER or urgent care center where they can give you IV fluids.

I hope this information helps, and that you are feeling better soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 30 minutes later
Thanks for the info. Just wondering- why don't anti-diarrheal medications help at all or is it just me?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 44 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Need to find cause

Detailed Answer:
Anti-diarrheal medications can work. It can depend on the cause and severity of the diarrhea and what type of medicine you are taking. The different types of antidiarrheal medications have different mechanisms of action.

If your diarrhea is severe and you go in to a clinic or ER, they will likely give you a prescription type of antidiarrheal that contains a form of opiate in it - those usually work quite well but have the risk of causing problems from toxins (from the infection) staying in the colon and creating problems. However that is a low risk.

Sometimes complete bowel rest with IV hydration for a short period of time allows your body to recover. But that can only be done if you go in, because if you stop taking liquids by mouth without an IV you will quickly become dehydrated.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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