What do you do when you have an upset stomach?

I’ve had “bathroom issues” for the past couple of weeks. Sorry if this is TMI, but what is good to eat when the end result is usually watery? What should I be avoiding? This has been going on for too long now; should I talk to a doctor?

If you got this far without fleeing into the night, just let me know any tried and true remedies that seem to work for you. Not having fun with this. :frowning:

slinks back into the corner…

I don’t know about your watery problem, but for an upset stomach I suggest these babies.

I could steer you to a high fiber diet, but if you’ve been having the brown spray for two weeks, you need to see a doctor right away. This is not a dietary thing. If you don’t have a family doctor, either go to a doc-in-a-box (immediate care clinic, not an emergency room) or ask somebody to recommend a doctor.

It’s serious. People die from continuous diarrhea every day. We’d rather you survive, okay?

low residue diet

As a dietary supplement, I also recommend:

ground flax seed meal

Just sprinkle a teaspoon a day on whatever boring food you’re allowing yourself to eat from the low residue diet. Most tolerable in yoghurt. Least tolerable mixed with juice.

And drink lots. It’ll make you feel bloated, but you’re probably dehydrated after two weeks.

Is your stomach bothering you (such as nausea or cramps) or is it just diarrhea? If it’s the latter, that’s a long time. Go to the doctor. You can get some Immodium (loperamide) to tide you over. Drink a lot of fluids.

Proboitics will help (that’s the “live culture” in Ypgurt, or you can get them as supplements at health food stores). Acidolpholus is the most common form.

Is your stool just loose and slightly watery? Or are you having many BM’s a day, with “squirting” cramps- that is to say severe diarrhea? Are you needing to run to the bathroom?

Loose soft stool is not a bad thing at all- in fact, it’s a good sign if not TOO loose. In other words, if your stool comes out very soft- that’s good (bettter than hard and dark). If it come out in a brown squirt- that’s BAD. Especially with cramps.

Drink a lot of fluids in any case. Pectin might help (“Kaopectate”).

If you are having severe diarrhea over a long period- get to a Doc right away. That could be life threatening. Really.

“Good to eat”- Bannanas, rice, Mac & Cheese, toast (white), and such bland fare. My dad had Dysentary in WWII, and they fed him Bannanas, toast and rice. the bannanas also help with the potassium loss.

For diarrhoea doctors recommend the BRAT diet.
Bananas, Rice (drink the water you boiled the rice in too), Apples and Applesauce and dry Toast.

That said, you need to see and doctor and probably give a stool sample. Most diarrhoeal agents will go away themselves after 10-14 days, some need aggressive therapy. There are other causes of diarrhoea, apart from bacteria, viruses and parasites, that also need to be excluded, get to a doctor ASAP.

Are you male or female? It might be IBS too. Zelnorm is what they give females for IBS. It works, well.

Holy crap on a freaking stick [or not crap in the case of this diet…]

I always thought you actually needed to get some fiber in your diet to keep the mail moving…as the predominant substances in your crap are bile by-products, and sluffed body cells, dead microbes … dietary residue making up something like only .33% of the [ahem] crap running through your system.

I just looked at the suggested menu and it is a fairly typical american USDA food pyramid menu…

I get more fiber in my antichristical fat modified Atkins diet that everybody swears is going to kill me for being so wackily unbalanced. I will also admit that my incedences of IBS have decreased drastically [other than the normal runs I get as a result of my menstrual cycle…]

Dispersion? Winds?

Start by taking Metamucil or the equivalent. Bulk fiber supplements will work to absorb excess water in the intestines.

Activated charcoal is a folk remedy for reducing gas. Whatever its effectiveness, it is not the solution to watery diarrhea.

A low fiber diet is also not indicated, unless a doctor puts you on one.

“if your stool comes out very soft- that’s good” No, that’s bad. Stool should not come out too softly. It should be neither too firm nor too soft. Both extremes can tear at the delicate tissues around the anus and cause fissures or hemorrhoids.

However, DrDeth’s other questions about your evacuations are good ones. The OP wasn’t TMI, it was too little.

Chronic diarrhea is not a diagnosis at only two weeks. The OP can of course see a doctor - a good idea at any time - but the best first self-treatment is bulk fiber. However, if there are other symptoms we’re not being told about then off to the doctor for sure.

How do soft, sloppy stools tear the tissues?

Genuine question - I can understand how hard stools would force the anus open and risk tearing, but surely the soft ‘n’ sloppies just flow out without distending the anus at all?

They also cause your skin to get chapped and raw, which leaves it more vulnerable to abrasion and tears. Think of dishpan hands.

Think of a river full of silt and what it can do when it overflows the banks.

Water is not supposed to come out the anus; the intestines are designed to absorb it. Water by itself is highly abrasive of soft tissue. A mixture of water and particulate matter is even more so.

Good stools are firm but without hard edges.

Here’s an analogy that’ll cause you to clench: an erect penis is firm but soft, yet it slides into a vagina or anus more easily and with less damage than either a mostly limp penis or, say, a tree branch.

I’ve lived with ulcerative colitis on and off since the age of 12. I’m 40. When it’s active, keeping to a low residue diet does help, mainly through avoidance of catharctic or otherwise GI-irritating foods. Taking the flaxseed meal also helps, because it is in fact a nice gentle fiber. The OP requested dietary solutions. I could also describe my meds at length, but I’m not going to assume the OP has ulcerative colitis. Many other people advised seeing a doctor to determine the cause of the symptoms.

Coming in, bo be sure it’s understood that I too, advice the OP to go to the doctor to find out what is causing the problem. It’s what I did.

Another vote for calling your doctor. You’re not only risking dehydration, which is no fun at all, but you’re most likely losing valuable nutrients.

That said, Immodium-D and similar products will stop you up temporarily. Also, Pepto Bismol works nicely, if not as quickly.

Personal experience: I had a similar problem a while back that went on and on for weeks, with some variation. My GP gave me the immodium and PB advice and recommended a gastroenterologist, who after zillions of tests to rule out the nasty stuff (parasites, infection, Celiac disease, etc.) finally diagnosed lymphocytic colitis. That’s a somewhat uncommon disease, cause unknown. The treatment is – get this – 8 Pepto Bismol tablets a day for 2 months. Nobody is doing research on this annoying disease because it’s so readily dealt with by a cheap OTC drug, so we will probably never know what causes it.

Bottom line :smiley: : This symptom can be caused by a whole lot of different things, some very nasty and by itself can be health-threatening.

Another vote for doctor, and also a comment that if the problem is happening regularly right after you eat, you might consider whether or not you’re having an allergic reaction to something in your diet.

purple haze. I’ve closed this thread as we prefer that posters not ask for specific medical advice for a personal problem. I, myself, tend to let these threads run for a bit(sorry, I couldn’t resist), but things that have potential serious causes need to be seen by a doctor.

I think that you have gotten a lot of good, practical, sensible advice here. Most people who post to these medical question threads are concerned for your welfare.

It’s been too long. Get to a Dr.

samclem GQ moderator