Whether diarrhea persists for a day or three (or longer), the symptoms are not fun. A bout of diarrhea can leave you fatigued, dehydrated, and depleted of nutrients. Any case that persists should not be left untreated.
While most cases of diarrhea will pass relatively quickly and aren’t cause for major concern, it’s important to know when to seek out a solution and how long until you seek medical attention
Diarrhea is defined by two or more loose stools in a day and is often accompanied by abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea, cramping, bloating and sometimes even vomiting and fever. Usually, diarrhea will pass within two days, but staying hydrated and choosing the right foods is important (along with a few other tips mentioned below).
How Long Should Diarrhea Last in Adults?
Normal symptoms of diarrhea (the two or more loose stools a day) can persist in adults for three days before you call your doctor.
Any symptoms of diarrhea that continue beyond a month is considered chronic diarrhea and will need to be assessed by a professional.
Be aware of any other symptoms that go along with diarrhea that warrant a call to the doctor even before those three days, such as severe rectal or stomach pain, blood in your stool, high fever, or significant dehydration.
How Long Should Diarrhea Last in Children?
An occasional loose stool in kids is probably nothing to worry about, but any sudden changes in bowel movements that look watery and occur frequently can be considered diarrhea. Children can become dehydrated more quickly than adults, so don’t hesitate to call the doctor if your child’s symptoms persist longer than 24 hours.
A call is in order right away if diarrhea comes along with symptoms such as bloody stool, a refusal to drink liquids (refusing food is normal at first, but hydration is critical), no urination, a skin rash, or if your child has a weak immune system.
What to Do Before You Seek Medical Attention
If you are in the beginning stages of diarrhea, (more than one loose stool) but it’s not time to seek medical help, try a combination of DiaResQ, probiotics, and an oral rehydration solution.
DiaResQ is a food for special dietary use that promotes digestive health by providing beneficial nutrients to the digestive tract. It rapidly restores normal function for fast and effective relief. Children’s DiaResQ is safe for kids as young as one year old.
Probiotics work to replenish healthy gut bacteria that can also support normal gut function, and both can be extremely helpful in supporting a bout of diarrhea.
Both of these, along with oral hydrating solutions (like Pedialyte) are easy, safe, and effective steps.
After Three Days
If diarrhea persists longer than three days in adults or 24 hours in children (or even less for infants), or if you have other symptoms, don’t hesitate to get medical help.
Knowing how long diarrhea should last will enable you to take adequate measures and seek medical attention as necessary.