Sign in to your account

Don't have an account?

Create an account
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more
Black medical doctor in a white coat and red stethoscope examining a patient on a ward. Our doctors on askawayhealth have years of clinical experience to provide top notch care.

Need to check your symptoms?

Use our symptom checker to help determine what your symptoms are and to ensure you get the help you need.

Check your symptoms


Request a reset

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Reset your password

Don't have an account?

Create an account


3 Main Home Remedies – Acute Diarrhoea & Stomach Pain In Adults

February 8, 2023

Acute Diarrhoea and Stomach Pain – first, consider the following scene.

You wake up suddenly, heart pounding. The pain in your stomach squeezes hard and forces you to your side.

Growling like an angry bear, you feel cramps and bubbling in your side – all making you breathe hard, sweat dotting your forehead as you get to your feet, rushing blindly for the bathroom. You reach just in time to slam open the toilet seat and collapse down on it while your bowels forcefully release in a loud, watery whoosh of sound. 

“Oh!” you moan as another spasm of pain washes over your abdomen; “why did I eat that leftover chicken last night??”

What Is Acute Diarrhoea?

When you have acute diarrhoea and stomach pain or cramps, there are a few simple solutions you can use with items you probably have at home all ready to help you feel and get better quickly.

Diarrhoea means frequently passing loose or watery stools.

It happens when food and liquids pass through your body too quickly.

By acute diarrhoea, we mean symptoms that have been going on for a relatively short time – like a few hours or days.

On the other hand, chronic diarrhoea has been going on for weeks or months, and the causes and treatment can be slightly different.

Reasons For Acute Diarrhoea

Acute Diarrhoea has many causes:

  • chemotherapy,
  • radiation,
  • drug reactions or allergies,
  • infections like gastroenteritis from contaminated food/drink,
  • food sensitivity/allergy,
  • stress, or injury to the large bowel.

How Acute Diarrhoea and Stomach Pain Develop

Diarrhoea happens due to either having lots of fluid entering the intestine, from reduced absorption of fluid from the intestine or rapid passage of stool through the intestine.

This process happens with jerky movements of the bowel muscles (spasms), and allows gas to collect inside the bowel – causing pain.

When you experience diarrhoea, your body loses Fluids, Salts, and Calories from food and liquids that you would typically digest and absorb.

Losing fluids and salts have a more severe complication: dehydration – a state where you have insufficient fluids in your body for its needs.

Dehydration can lead to serious kidney injury or death if it develops and you don’t treat it quickly.

If you are pregnant or unwell with other health problems like heart disease, pre-existing kidney disease or diabetes, it’s essential to treat diarrhoea carefully. Young children and older people can be at higher risk of serious illness if diarrhoea is not handled correctly.

Speak to a doctor for advice if someone in any of these categories develops diarrhoea.

Preventing The Spread of Acute Diarrhoea

When you have diarrhoea, don’t forget these useful hygiene tips to protect your friends and family:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food
  • clean the toilet, including the handle and the seat, with disinfectant after each bout of diarrhoea
  • avoid sharing towels, flannels, cutlery, or utensils with other household members

Acute Diarrhoea And Stomach Pain Treatment

Some simple practices can help reduce the risk of dehydration, so let’s look at them next.

1a. Fluids To Take

It’s essential to replace the fluids you are losing from diarrhoea. If water is all you have, then start with it.

After every loose stool, drink some water – at least half a cup, aiming for at least 8-10 cups of water in 24 hours.

You are better off taking small, frequent sips of water than trying to gulp large quantities at a time which further irritates your stomach/bowels.

In addition to water, your body also needs salt and sugar to replace what’s lost.

Avoid anything too sweet or fizzy, as they can further irritate the sensitive stomach/bowels. In this group, we also include protein-containing fluids which your bowels will struggle to digest and absorb at the time.

Other fluids you can have:

  • Diluted fruit juices
  • Soft drinks that are caffeine-free and diluted with water
  • Weak, decaffeinated tea and coffee

1b. Fluids To Avoid

Fluids you should avoid in diarrhoea and stomach pain treatment:

  • sweetened and fizzy drinks, including soda, fruit juices
  • caffeinated drinks
  • drinks with artificial sweeteners like Sorbitol (you may find these in ‘light’ or ‘calorie-free’ drinks
  • milky or yoghurt-containing drinks

A fluid that is also important in treating diarrhoea if you are at risk of dehydration or dehydrated is rehydration therapy – or oral rehydration salts.

In most places, you can buy these over the counter in a chemist or pharmacy without a prescription – it makes sense to keep a box in your home medicine cabinet to be available when you need it or buy your own pharmacy blister pack supplies and make your own rehydration pills that way.

Home-made fluid replacement therapy

You could also make up a batch of your (home-made) fluid replacement therapy:

Mix half a small spoonful of salt and six-level small spoons of sugar dissolved in one litre of clean/boiled/bottled water to make up a batch of rehydration salt you can use over 24 hours.

A key sign that you are taking enough fluids is that you will pass urine which should be a light yellow colour.

2. What To Eat With Acute Diarrhoea

You may not feel like eating much when you have diarrhoea – this is ok for a short period, but you should eat solid food as soon as possible.

  • Going for a low-fibre diet may help decrease cramps and gas and may help you manage and control diarrhoea.
  • Avoid heavy, large meals, spicy or oily foods, sweet foods and those made with sugar-free substitutes.
  • Stay away from very hot or very cold foods and drinks which cause diarrhoea or stomach cramps to worsen. These could also happen with Dairy and high protein-containing foods.

Some examples of foods you can eat are potatoes (without the skin), rice, bananas, crackers, dry toast, and plain pasta.

Cereals like cornflakes or Rice Krispies are also helpful but watch the milk and sugar; avoid cabbage, cucumber and onions that worsen gas.

Salty foods help the most.

You don’t need to eat if you’ve lost your appetite, but you should continue to drink fluids and eat as soon as possible.

3. Pain relief in Diarrhoea

Firstly, you feel unwell with acute diarrhoea and stomach pain that happens when your bowel muscles are cramping more than usual or bloating from accumulated gas in the bowel.

Gas accumulates with the fast movement of fluids in the bowel and is the major reason for the painful spasms that happen with bouts of diarrhoea.

As the excess amounts of gas move around the bowel, they stretch the tissues causing pain.

At the same time, if a bout of diarrhoea is due to infection, the toxins or poisonous material created by the germ contributes to bloating and more pain.

Secondly, you also get tired very quickly because you lose fluid and calories.

You can treat stomach cramps with the following:

  • simple painkillers like paracetamol or acetaminophen are taken when you can drink plain water.
  • using a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag could relieve painful cramps
  • avoid using any anti-inflammatory medicine like Naproxen and Ibuprofen.
  • watch what you eat and drink as you recover – some food types could worsen the pain.

When Will You Start To Get Better After Acute Diarrhoea?

In adults, most forms of diarrhoea from infections usually improve within 2 to 4 days, although some can last a week or more.

Stay at home until at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea to prevent spreading any infection to others.

If you are not getting better after a few days or start to feel worse – speak to your doctor.

Hopefully, you got some useful points for managing any bouts of mild or moderate diarrhoea.

Till next time, stay well.

More Reading:


Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
To discuss your condition, please get in touch with a health practitioner or reach us directly through

Image Credits: Canva

Share this blog article

On this page

Let us know what you think

Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more

Access over 600 resources & our monthly newsletter.

Askawayhealth 2023 grant recipient from European Union Development Fund

Askawayhealth, 2023 Award Recipient

Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

Askawayhealth symptom Checker tool image

Utilize our complimentary symptom checker tool to gain more information about any uncertain symptoms you might have.