Tackling digestive health myths: The facts vs. fiction

Let’s face it — when you’re not feeling well, going about your daily routine can feel downright miserable. Yet unlike many common ailments, digestive upsets can often be treated effectively with over-the-counter treatments — so there’s no need to suffer! Here, Dr. Habal, Gastroenterologist and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto dispels some of the most common myths surrounding medication and gastrointestinal upsets.

MYTH: The infection will stay in my body longer if I take medication to treat my diarrhea

FACT: This is false! Anti-motility drugs (for example, Imodium) help to slow down the movement of fluid and nutrients in the intestine, which can help prevent dehydration and help you feel better faster.

MYTH: It’s better to let diarrhea run its course rather than treat it with medication.

FACT: This myth is untrue! If you don’t have a fever, bloody diarrhea or severe cramps, taking anti-motility medications is fine and will help you feel better. These medications provide relief from your symptoms and help prevent dehydration. That means fewer trips to the bathroom allowing you to feel better and function better.

MYTH: Medication can help with the diarrhea itself, but it doesn’t do anything to help with other symptoms like gas, cramps and bloating.

FACT: The truth is that anti-motility drugs like Imodium Advanced provide relief of diarrhea and related symptoms including gas, bloating and cramps.

MYTH: If I use medicines for diarrhea too frequently, my body will become used to it, and limit the efficacy.

FACT: False. When used as directed, there is no evidence that the body develops a tolerance to anti-motility drugs such as Imodium. You can feel confident using it for even your mildest bouts of diarrhea.

MYTH: I’ll become constipated if I take medicine to help my diarrhea

FACT: Not true. In reality, anti-motility drugs rely on an active ingredient that helps intestines to function normally again, giving your colon more time to absorb water and nutrients. There’s no need to worry about constipation!


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