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Diarrhoea treatments

Diarrhoea often goes away without treatment after a few days, because your immune system (the body's natural defence system) automatically fights the infection.

However contact your doctor if you have:

  • recently been treated in hospital
  • recently been treated with antibiotics
  • diarrhoea that is very dark and smelly
  • you have bad pain in your abdomen or back passage
  • diarrhoea that has blood in it
  • diarrhoea and persistent vomiting
  • you have no appetite and are losing weight
  • bleeding from your rectum (back passage)
  • passed large volumes of very watery diarrhoea, or your urine is very dark – you may be at risk of dehydration
  • symptoms at night that are disturbing your sleep
  • diarrhoea that lasts longer than 2 days
  • you have a fever
  • you have a chronic illness, for example diabetes.

The information on this page relates to diarrhoea in adults. For information specific to children read the article about diarrhoea and vomiting in children.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your diarrhoea, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2017

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Diarrhoea | myVMC

Diarrhoea is a common digestive disorder that virtually all people will suffer at some stage during their lives. The definition of diarrhoea varies but it can generally be taken to mean increased stool water causing an increase in stool frequency or the passage of soft stools.

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There are many causes of diarrhoea and vomiting, the most common being viral. Other symptoms such as headache, fever, generalised aches and pains and tiredness may also be present.

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Diarrhoea - Better Health Channel

Acute diarrhoea in babies and young children can be life threatening.

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The risk of traveller's diarrhoea is higher where sanitation and hygiene standards are poor.

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Diarrhoea Faecal Continence Foundation of Australia

Diarrhoea is the frequent passing of watery and unformed faeces. What are the causes and treatments?

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Diarrhoea treatments - myDr.com.au

What (and what not) to drink and eat when you have diarrhoea. Also medicines that can help relieve symptoms and when to see the doctor.

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Diarrhoea is a gastrointestinal disorder cause by infection. Symptoms include watery poos or loose bowel movements and should be checked by a doctor.

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Contaminated food and drink are the major sources of travellers' diarrhoea. High-risk regions for an attack include the majority of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America.

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Diarrhoea: causes and symptoms - myDr.com.au

Diarrhoea is when your bowel movements become loose or watery. Find out the common causes, how to help, serious symptoms, signs of dehydration, and when to see the doctor.

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Diarrhoea in children and teenagers | Raising Children Network

Diarrhoea is large, runny, frequent or watery poo. Its common in children. Make sure your child has enough to drink as she recovers from diarrhoea.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

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