Home Remedies for Diarrhea

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With a gurgling stomach, intense cramping, and the urge to race to the bathroom, many people are unaware that diarrhea isn’t always such a bad thing. A bout of acute diarrhea is actually a method that the body uses to eliminate harmful materials – like when you eat food that is undercooked or contaminated. While most cases of diarrhea clear up on its own, the lingering symptoms are often quite uncomfortable. When you become familiar with home remedies for diarrhea, you’re sure to feel back to normal in no time.

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What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a common condition characterized by loose and watery stool. Acute diarrhea can pass pretty quickly, but a chronic problem can produce frequent, loose stools that last for more than four weeks. It’s important to react to a long-term bout of diarrhea, especially in children, as the condition has a knack of causing dehydration. A significant loss of water and salts takes place with unruly cases of diarrhea [1].

Causes and Symptoms

The stomach flu (medically known as viral gastroenteritis) is the most common cause of diarrhea. Luckily, this mild, viral infection typically goes away within a few days without any treatment.

Other causes of diarrhea include:

  • Overeating
  • Mediations, such as antibiotic drugs
  • Excessive use of laxatives (especially those containing magnesium)
  • A nervous stomach and emotional stress
  • Parasites, germs, viruses, and bacteria
  • Food poisoning
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medical conditions (like inflammatory bowel diseases, Celiac disease, and lactose intolerance)
  • Contaminated water (commonly seen in travelers)

Joining loose and watery stools, the signs and symptoms of diarrhea may include bloating, stomach pain, and abdominal cramping. A bloody stool and fever may appear, which is an indicator that a bacterial or parasitic infection is present [2].

Diarrhea Home Remedies

Keep in mind that your body relies on diarrhea to rid the body of bacteria or viruses that may have infiltrated your system through bad food. Some people think twice before halting the process. However, if the condition lingers for several days or becomes too unbearable, consider the following home remedies for diarrhea:

a) Drink Liquids:

Intake plenty of fluids, like ginger ale, but make sure to stay away from caffeine, which actually possesses a diuretic effect. Choose cool liquids over ice-cold selections, which produces less irritation on your insides. Don’t guzzle down your drinks, but instead take frequent sips.

b) Chicken Broth:

Sip on lukewarm chicken broth, adding a little salt if none is present.

c) Heating Pad:

To relieve abdominal cramps, place a heating pad on your belly.
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d) Yogurt:

Increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut by selecting a brand of yogurt that contains live lactobacillus cultures.

e) Clear Liquid Diet:

When easing back into your regular routine of eating and drinking, start off with a diet that consists of clear liquids. Jell-O is a tasty option to consider.

f) Pepto-Bismol:

Your kitchen cabinet may have the well-known, over-the-counter remedy often referred to as the ‘pink stuff.’ Pepto-Bismol possesses a mild antibacterial effect that will also help an individual suffering from traveler’s diarrhea.
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g) Cut Down on the Sugar:

Consuming high concentrations of sugar can worsen your diarrhea. Keep in mind that the sugar found in fruit can have the same effect. Artificial sweeteners, like the Sorbitol found in sugarless gums and mints can also cause diarrhea because they are harder to digest.

h) Ginger Tea:

Ease abdominal cramping and pain by sipping ginger tea. For those that do not like the taste of ginger, this remedy comes in an easy-to-take capsule form.

i) Brown Rice:

Boil brown rice and water for 45 minutes. Eat the rice and drink the water left behind, which contains a decent amount of vitamin B.

Resources

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diarrhea/DS00292
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diarrhea/DS00292/DSECTION=symptoms

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  • Juanita S.

    Eating seems impossible with an explosive case of diarrhea, so I suggest eating foods that are already easy to digest, like soup, cooked carrots, soda crackers, rice, noodles, bananas, potatoes, and an ol favorite stand-by – toast.

  • Beth Grant

    Hi. I have chronic IBS, Type 2 Diabetes and have had explosive diarrhea for three weeks. The only think I have been able to have is watered-down cola and digestive biscuits. (NO chocolate). I hope this helps.