Unfortunately, everyone suffers from some type of diarrhea at some point in their lives. We all know that this can have a major impact on our daily activities and leave us feeling weak, and sometimes even embarrassed. A better understanding of the disease and knowing how to treat diarrhea can help lessen its impact on your life.
Causes of diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, your stools are very loose and watery and you may also experience abdominal pain and nausea. You may need to go to the bathroom more often during the day.
Diarrhea is caused because your digestive system is not working properly. Some of the reasons for experiencing an upset stomach are:
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Poisoned food
- Take antibiotics
- Anxiety and / or stress
Usually, a bout of diarrhea that has been caused by one or more of these symptoms and will only last a few days. However, diarrhea can sometimes last for several weeks and can be a sign of a more serious digestive disorder.
The Dr. Thomas Lamont, a professor of medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard, says that chronic diarrhea is when a person has three or more loose stools per day for at the least 4 weeks. The reasons for chronic diarrhea can be:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Food intolerance
- Intestinal infections
If you suffer from chronic diarrhea, you should always consult your doctor, as it requires more professional management to relieve symptoms.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to treat diarrhea if it comes on suddenly. There are many natural, home remedies to ease the symptoms of diarrhea and get rid of it faster.
Methods to treat diarrhea
It generally takes 2 to 4 days for the symptoms of diarrhea to disappear completely, depending on the intensity of the problem. But you can combat diarrhea with a variety of folk and home remedies that you surely have in your pantry.
1. Natural yogurt
The natural yogurt is a great help when it comes to problems with diarrhea, but not just any yogurt. You need to eat a live bacteria and common yogurts generally lack them, so natural yogurt is the most suitable, but you must be careful if you have lactose intolerance, because this remedy can be counterproductive.
These live bacteria help restore the “good” bacteria in the intestine, producing lactic acid and thus help destroy the “bad” bacteria that cause diarrhea. Two glasses of yogurt a day can provide quick relief. You can add or eat a banana with yogurt for more benefits.
Ginger is used in the treatment of food poisoning; it can also help you get rid of cramps and abdominal pain caused by diarrhea.
Grate a small piece of ginger and add a teaspoon of honey. Eat the mixture to improve the digestive process. Avoid drinking water immediately after eating.
Add a small piece of ginger to a cup of water. Boil the water for a few minutes, you can add some honey to it before drinking it. If you don’t have a way to get fresh ginger, use powdered ginger anyway.
3. Brown rice to treat diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, the most effective solution to avoid or stop it too, is to eat brown rice. Brown rice contains B vitamins, which help control the various symptoms of it.
- Boil half a cup of rice in three cups of water until smooth. Then, add a banana and you can already enjoy a delicious and healthy brown rice.
- Soft brown rice will help you flush toxins from the body. The pectin present in bananas will absorb excess water and give you quick relief from diarrhea.
4. Bananas and foods that contain soluble fiber
Bananas have many health benefits, and they are another natural ingredient that can help you get rid of diarrhea faster. This is because bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber that is good for digestion.
Many people associate fiber with making stools looser and helping it move through the digestive system. However, Dr. David Goldstein, a gastroenterologist, says that soluble fiber absorbs excess fluid and can help harden stools.
Therefore, foods that contain soluble fiber can help stop diarrhea. Other foods that contain soluble fiber that may be good if you have diarrhea include:
- Citric fruits
Carrot soup has been shown to have an antidiarrheal effect on infant diarrhea, which is one of the most common illnesses in infants and young children.
Make a carrot soup. Cook 500 g carrots under pressure with 150 ml of water for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, dilute the whole pulp with up to a liter of hot water, and add a little salt. Eat this soup fresh daily for a few days when you suffer from diarrhea.
It is important to remember to only eat small portions and simply “listen” to your body. You can also take it in the following ways to treat diarrhea:
- Drink fresh carrot juice several times a day to replenish the vitamins and minerals lost from diarrhea. You can add a few drops of lemon juice and a little sugar or honey to sweeten the carrot juice to your liking.
- You can also cook the carrot and then eat it cooked. To make the puree, mix the cooked carrots in the blender with a little water. Consume half a cup of puree several times a day.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Another effective cure for diarrhea is to use apple cider vinegar. It acts as an effective agent against the bacteria that cause diarrhea. It is also a rich source of pectin, which helps ease an upset stomach.
How to use it:
Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink the solution with each meal until the symptoms of diarrhea decrease.
The chamomile has antispasmodic properties that can provide relief in many types of stomach disorders such as diarrhea case. It is also useful in treating intestinal inflammation.
How to use it:
Make a chamomile tea with a teaspoon of chamomile flowers and a teaspoon of mint leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink the tea at least three times a day.
You can also drink green tea to help your digestive system work properly.
Other foods that can help get rid of diarrhea
You can also eat small amounts of other foods to help relieve symptoms of diarrhea. The US National Library of Medicine recommends eating small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals. Salty foods can help restore essential salts the body needs and reduce dehydration.
Although it seems strange, some also recommend eating products made from refined white flour (although whole grains are recommended in your regular diet). This is because insoluble fiber (from whole grains) can cause looser stools to pass. Therefore, white pasta, white rice, and cereals can help. You can also eat vegetables, but you must remove the skins beforehand.
BRAT diet to treat diarrhea
The BRAT diet (eat only plain bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is recommended by pediatricians for all children with diarrhea. While foods by themselves are good to eat if you have diarrhea, for an extended period of time they will not provide all the nutritional value needed to help the digestive system recover.
Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children with diarrhea should eat a well-balanced, age-appropriate diet with a mixture of fruits, vegetables, meats, yogurt, and complex carbohydrates.
Water to treat diarrhea
One of the most serious complications of diarrhea, especially in babies, children, and the elderly, is dehydration, which can have adverse effects on the body.
When we have diarrhea to lose, not only a large amount of water, but also essential minerals and salts from the body. Therefore, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. After each bout of diarrhea, it is good to drink a glass of water and / or healthy or homemade sports drinks.
Supplements to help treat diarrhea
There are many dietary supplements on the market that can help maintain a healthy digestive system and get rid of diarrhea. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Probiotics can be used to cure diarrhea. You can also buy probiotics as a supplement and use them to restore the natural flora in the gut.
Studies have shown that taking peppermint oil capsules can help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, one of which is diarrhea. It is important to take peppermint oil only in capsule form. The capsules allow the peppermint oil to bypass the stomach and release into the small intestine.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast that can be used as a home remedy for various forms of diarrhea. Although it is classified as a yeast, it acts in the intestine in the same way that probiotics work to restore balance in your digestive system. Research on this yeast has shown that it can help treat antibiotic-related diarrhea and acute diarrhea in adults.
What to avoid if you have diarrhea
There are many ways to treat diarrhea by consuming certain natural remedies, but certain foods should also be avoided:
- Very often dairy products (except plain yogurts), fatty foods, and foods rich in fiber can make symptoms worse.
- Also, foods like beans, broccoli, plums, and bell peppers can increase gas and irritate the digestive system.
- You should also avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and sodas.
- There is also a term called “traveler’s diarrhea”. Often traveling to foreign countries where food is different and hygiene standards are lower can cause an upset stomach. Therefore, it is always a good idea to avoid drinking tap water and to avoid having ice in drinks.
- Make sure all food is cooked properly and watch out for raw seafood. If you eat raw fruits and vegetables, it is best to remove the peel before eating.
- Having a supply of probiotics can also help you get rid of traveler’s diarrhea.
When to see a doctor if you have diarrhea
If the diarrhea lasts more than 3 days in children and the elderly and 5 days in adults, you should see a doctor. Also, if the diarrhea is accompanied by fever, weakness and severe abdominal pain, or if you have blood in your stool, you should see a doctor immediately.