Everyone has experienced diarrhea at some point in their lives. Moreover, frequent stooling can be stressful and embarrassing. That said, there are home remedies you can apply to relieve you from the symptoms.
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a digestive problem that causes watery and loose stool at frequent intervals. It is mainly caused by contaminated food and water, viral infection, and medication.
What Are the Causes of Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is caused by diseases and health conditions, such as the following.
1. Contaminated Food and Water
Bacteria, parasites, or infected human beings can contaminate food and water when they are in direct contact with the food. People then become infected when they ingest contaminated food or water.
2. Viral Infection
Viruses mainly cause diarrhea in children. The viruses that cause diarrhea include the Norwalk virus and viral hepatitis. Other viruses that are accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms also cause diarrhea.
Certain medications may have diarrhea as a side effect. For example, antibiotics are the major type of drugs that cause diarrhea. Other types of medicines that cause diarrhea include antacids and medications for treating cancer and diabetes.
4. Other Common Causes of Diarrhea
- Lactose intolerance
- Chron’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Malabsorption, which occurs when the body can’t absorb certain nutrients
- Substance abuse
- Ulcerative colitis, and more.
What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?
Diarrhea doesn’t occur alone most times. It is usually accompanied by symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea, which are also symptoms of stomach flu. These symptoms help to determine what caused diarrhea.
Other symptoms of diarrhea include:
- Loose stool
- Frequent bowel movement
- Abdominal cramp
When to Visit a Doctor
Although you can relieve diarrhea with simple home remedies, it is vital to visit the hospital if the symptoms persist for more than two days.
If you experience the following symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
- Black stools
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bloody stool
- High fever of 1020F+
Home Remedies for Diarrhea
People with diarrhea lose lots of fluids, and the best way to regain lost fluid is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is vital to stay properly hydrated. It would help if you added a small amount of salt or sugar to the water to increase its effect.
Why it Works
The intestine absorbs fluids effortlessly when you take water that contains sugar or salt. That said, you have to drink enough water to make up for lost fluids if you wish to recover quickly.
How it Works
Hydration works magic when you combine water with salt or sugar, take sports drinks, and other fluids, such as weak tea, clear broth, or gelatin.
Types of Drinks to Avoid
It is essential to stay hydrated, but certain fluids might irritate your bowels. They include:
- Carbonated drinks
- Dairy products
2. BRAT Diet
The BRAT diet consists of bland foods like toast, bland crackers, apple sauce, and so on. It contains very low fiber, which helps to solidify your stool. Don’t use this combination longer than two days, mainly because it’s not a balanced diet.
Because nausea and vomiting are diarrhea symptoms, food intake may not be convenient. That said, it’s better to take bland foods to relieve you of both symptoms.
The word BRAT stands for
B – Banana
R – Rice
A – Apple sauce
T – Toast
These foods digest very quickly. So, it’s advisable to take several smaller portions of meals a day to complement the BRAT diet.
Ginger is a medicinal root used for treating nausea. You can use it to prepare tea, or you may chew it raw, depending on your preference.
Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, on blood thinners, or if you have an underlying health issue before you take ginger. This home remedy is oft-used for many curative purposes.
Although ginger doesn’t do much for diarrhea, it helps to subdue its symptoms.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Why it works
Apple cider vinegar (also called ACV) contains antibacterial properties that help combat diarrhea-causing bacteria in the body.
How it works
ACV works best when mixed with water to avoid irritating your bowels. The side effects are not known yet, but it works efficiently.
How to use
- Put a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water
- Take the solution twice every day till you are relieved of diarrhea.
Probiotics are present in some yogurts, kimchi, cottage cheese, green olives, and more. It contains healthy bacteria that greatly benefit the digestive system. They are also in the form of supplements and have no side effects.
Why it works
There are good and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Probiotic is beneficial because it supplies good bacteria in the intestinal tract. It also ensures a functioning gut system and protects the intestines from infections.
How it Works
Probiotics contain lactic acid bacteria that help relieve diarrhea effectively. That said, it is advisable to take probiotics with lots of fluids for better results.
How to Use
Probiotics exist in different forms in certain kinds of foods. Also, it exists in powdery form and as supplements. Figure out what will work for you better and use it to eliminate diarrhea quickly.
How to Prevent Diarrhea
A wise man once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To prevent diarrhea, you need to stick to hygiene rules.
If you follow the steps below, you will avoid the symptoms of diarrhea altogether.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- If you can’t wash your hand, use a sanitizer.
- Ensure that your children are vaccinated against rotavirus
- Eat healthy and well-cooked foods. If you are eating out, ensure that the restaurant is hygienic with their meal preparation.
- Drink bottled water or water from a clean source.
- To avoid traveler’s diarrhea, meet with your doctor for prescribed antibiotics to protect your system.
On a Final Note
Diarrhea is a common ailment that usually goes away on its own with the application of some home remedies or over the counter pills. But if it persists for more than two days, it is advisable to visit the doctor.