What is diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea involves loose, watery stools (poo) and often a change in the usual number of daily bowel movements.

Acute diarrhoea is diarrhoea that lasts a short time. It usually lasts about one or two days, but if it lasts more than a few days it may be a sign of a more serious problem.

What causes diarrhoea?

The most common causes of diarrhoea include:

  • Harmful bacteria from contaminated food or water
  • Viruses such as norovirus, or rotavirus . Rotavirus is the most common cause of acute diarrhoea in children
  • Parasites, such as giardia found in contaminated food or water
  • Medicines such as antibiotics that upset the balance of protective gut bacteria
  • Medications used for oncology patients
  • Antacids containing magnesium
  • Food intolerances and sensitivities (eg lactose or gluten intolerance)
  • Diseases that affect the gastrointestinal system such as Crohn’s disease
  • Conditions that affect the colon function such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

How to treat diarrhoea?

The most important step in the management of diarrhoea is to prevent dehydration.

  • For adults, replace lost fluids and electrolytes with water and/or a rehydration solution available from the pharmacy. Avoid drinks containing caffeine, because it causes fluid loss.
  • Children with diarrhoea should be given a oral rehydration solution to replace lost fluids and electrolytes
  • In some cases, you may need medicines to stop the diarrhoea or treat an infection. Ask you healthcare professional for advice
  • While recovering, try and eat ‘bland’ food

Start with three simple steps

  • .


    The REMOVE PHASE is all about eliminating any factors that may be inhibiting your gut to health. The key in this phase is to be open to change and to start new habits.
  • .


    When our gut is in a poor state, it may need an extra helping hand to REPAIR. Key nutrients will aid to help the healing process along.
  • .


    This is the final step you can take to start to take control of your gut health. REINFORCE exercise, prioritising sleep, regulating a healthy, balanced diet will reinforce your gut flora and digestion.

Prevention is always a better option than treatment, but sometimes we need a little extra help to restore good gut health.

You’ll find the following NC products a great way to get started.