Take fiber. Fiber pill supplements or a powder mixture that contains psyllium (like Metamucil) can help some people with IBS control their diarrhea. “Some individuals may use a fiber preparation, which some people find useful to bind and increase the bulk of the stool for those that have diarrhea,” recommends Gilinsky. He also notes that fiber is more likely to be effective in those who experience stress-related diarrhea.
Take an anti-diarrheal. Try taking an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication, like Imodium, as Gilinsky suggests. If you’ve got a situation coming up that you’re nervous about, try a dose of medication to see if it can settle your stomach.
Avoid trigger foods. If you notice that dairy products have you running to the bathroom, cut them out of your diet — particularly before an event or activity where you can’t be interrupted. Some other common triggers of diarrhea include fried and fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, and carbonated drinks.
Eat foods that can help solidify your stools. Include foods like bananas, rice, whole-wheat breads and other whole-grain products in your diet. These “bulking” foods might help ease diarrhea if you eat them regularly.
Manage stress. Stress is impossible to avoid, but can be managed in a variety of ways. Exercise is a great stress reliever — particularly types that allow for focus and meditation, like yoga. Even just taking a walk, or going for a bike ride or a run, can help relax your mind and body. Deep-breathing techniques and meditation are also good methods of managing stress and promoting relaxation.
Try therapy. Hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to help some people manage diarrhea caused by IBS. These methods work on controlling fears and changing the way you think about your disease in order to prevent the body from responding with diarrhea.
Ask your doctor about medications. Anti-spasmodic medications, antidepressants, and other medications can offer some IBS patients relief from their diarrhea.