The objective of treatment is to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through diarrhea. Depending on your condition, you may be given fluids by mouth or through a vein (intravenous). Antibiotics may shorten the time you feel ill.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an oral rehydration solution that is cheaper and easier to use than the typical intravenous fluid. This solution of sugar and electrolytes is now being used internationally.
Severe dehydration can cause death. Given adequate fluids, most people will make a full recovery.
- Severe dehydration
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if :
- You develop severe watery diarrhea
- You have signs of dehydration, including:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- “Glassy” eyes
- No tears
- Rapid pulse
- Reduced or no urine
- Sunken eyes
- Unusual sleepiness or tiredness
Review Date : 2/21/2009
Reviewed By : George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.