Does drinking a lot of water give you diarrhea?

First of all, find out just how much water you’re drinking.

You may find that you’re taking in much more than you really need to.

Don’t mindlessly guzzle water to the point of frequently feeling bloated and making endless trips to the toilet.

You may be overestimating what “eight glasses a day” really should be. One glass is eight ounces. A tall glass is more than eight ounces.

Eight ounces = one cup, like a standard coffee cup. Two of these can fit into a typical tall glass.

To ensure you’re getting “eight glasses” a day (and certainly, nobody ever got sick by drinking only six glasses of water a day), fill a pitcher with the precise amount every morning.

Then drink your water entirely out of that pitcher. This way you won’t have to keep track of anything throughout the day. See if this helps calm your diarrhea.

If eight glasses (64 ounces or one gallon) of water on a daily basis continue to give you diarrhea, you should see what happens by cutting back a glass or two.

Fill the pitcher with six, maybe even five cups’ worth. Give this plan several days to kick in.

Another Tactic to Try

“If one is experiencing loose stools due to high volume but not unreasonable water intake, try soluble fibers such as Benefiber/FiberCon, etc., to absorb some of the liquid,” recommends Andrew Black, MD, Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine & Gastroenterology who practices with GI of Norman in Oklahoma.

If diarrhea continues, maybe it is not water intake that’s causing it. You may have irritable bowel syndrome, microscopic colitis (a benign condition characterized by messy diarrhea) or some other condition.

Diarrhea may also be from very high fiber intake, but it should not be happening on a frequent basis.

Dr. Black has presented many GI-related research papers at national conferences. He is an active member of Norman Regional Hospital, and West Norman Endoscopy Center.