Diarrhea occurs during a cold because your body is trying to rid itself of the viruses, but it has an easier time doing it if you’re not fighting it in the first place.
Cold viruses don’t reproduce as well in your body and can’t be passed from person to person. If you have a cold, your immune system will eventually clear the viruses from your body.
However, while you may clear the viruses, the viruses themselves are still there, making it difficult for your body to eliminate them. That’s why you may have some diarrhea along with the cold.
It’s a good idea to make sure you’re not getting sick from something else along with your cold.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
You may not be able to tell if you have diarrhea with a cold because it’s not something that you usually experience.
However, if you’ve already had diarrhea, you may be more likely to have the symptoms of a cold along with it.
- Loose, watery stools
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than a few days
- Abdominal cramps
You should contact a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. They may be related to a serious condition and require medical attention.
How is diarrhea with a cold treated?
Most of the time, diarrhea associated with a cold is treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
You can take OTC medications if you have diarrhea with a cold:
- Loperamide (Imodium)
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol)
- Lactic acid (Lactaid)
OTC medications are available over the counter and may be more effective than prescription medications.
If you don’t take OTC medications, you may want to talk to a doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing. They may be related to a serious condition that requires treatment.
What causes diarrhea with a cold?
Most of the time, diarrhea associated with a cold is caused by the virus itself. If you have diarrhea with a cold, you may notice that you get a lot of loose, watery stools.
In some cases, your stools may be more frequent than normal. You may also experience:
- Colitis, which is inflammation of the colon
Diarrhea that lasts more than a few days
These may be symptoms that your body is trying to rid itself of the virus that’s causing you to have diarrhea.
If you’ve had diarrhea with a cold before, you may notice that you experience more frequent stomach cramps than usual.
The vomiting that occurs with a cold is usually watery and mild.
It’s not considered a medical emergency and does not require medical care.
How long does diarrhea with a cold last?
Most of the time, diarrhea with a cold lasts for a few days. However, diarrhea can last for months in some cases.
When to see a doctor?
If you have diarrhea with a cold and experience a fever, chills, stomach cramps, or persistent vomiting, contact a doctor.
They can diagnose the cause of your diarrhea, determine what’s causing it, and treat it accordingly.
These conditions may be serious and require immediate medical attention.
What is the outlook for diarrhea with a cold?
Most of the symptoms associated with diarrhea associated with a cold will resolve within a few days.
However, in some cases, it can last for months. It’s also possible that the diarrhea may return.
If your symptoms get worse, contact a doctor to determine what’s causing them.
Outlook for diarrhea with a cold
It’s possible that diarrhea with a cold will resolve on its own without treatment.
However, if you have diarrhea with a cold and get a fever, chills, or stomach cramps, contact your doctor.
They can diagnose the cause of your diarrhea and determine what’s causing it.
They can also determine how severe your condition is and recommend a treatment plan that’s best for you.
What is the best way to get diarrhea with a cold?
You can try to deal with the symptoms of a cold by practicing healthy eating habits and getting plenty of rest.
Here are some other things you can try:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids such as water, juice, and tea can help relieve diarrhea caused by a cold.
- Eat healthy. Eating healthy foods may help relieve your symptoms.
- Take OTC medications. OTC medications such as OTC loperamide (Imodium) can help relieve your symptoms.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make diarrhea worse.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can irritate your stomach and cause diarrhea.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for good health.
- Rest. Aim to rest your body and your mind by spending time in a quiet room.
- Try probiotics. Probiotics may help relieve diarrhea caused by a virus.
It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations. If you have diarrhea with a cold, they may prescribe you a medication to treat it.
They may also recommend a treatment plan that includes the following:
- Medications to relieve your symptoms
- A prescription for anti-diarrhea medication such as loperamide (Imodium)
It’s essential that you follow the treatment plan your doctor recommends.
Your doctor may also recommend that you take OTC medications to alleviate your symptoms.
They may also recommend a prescription medication to treat the diarrhea.
How to prevent diarrhea with a cold?
You can prevent diarrhea associated with a cold by following the tips listed below:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids such as water, juice, and tea can help relieve diarrhea caused by a virus.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy foods may help relieve your diarrhea.
- Take OTC medications. OTC medications such as OTC loperamide (Imodium) can help relieve your diarrhea.
If you’re experiencing diarrhea with a cold, you can also try the following:
- Drink extra fluids. Drink extra fluids to help prevent dehydration.
- Eat foods that help with your symptoms. Eating foods that help with the symptoms of a cold should help relieve the symptoms of diarrhea as well. Examples of foods that can help with symptoms include bananas and apples.
- Try probiotics. Probiotics may help relieve diarrhea caused by a viral infection.
The bottom line
Diarrhea is common when you have a cold. It occurs because your immune system is trying to keep you healthy. It can help the virus from spreading to other people.
However, diarrhea with a cold is usually treatable with OTC medications. If the diarrhea is severe, a doctor may need to treat it.
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