Diarrhea is diagnosed when at least three liquid bowel movements happen in one day. It commonly lasts for a few days and can sometimes reach one week. It often results in dehydration as liquids from the body are also released through abnormal bowel movement.
There are two type of diarrhea – absolute and relative diarrhea. Absolute diarrhea occurs when 5 or more liquids bowel movements are experienced in one day. On the other hand, relative diarrhea happens when there is an increase in the number of bowel movements compared with the normal number which is usually once a day.
Diarrhea can be acute or chronic, each having different symptoms and treatments. Some of the common treatments include testing of stool sample and intestinal x-ray.
• Abdominal pain
• Abdominal cramps
• Watery stool
• Fever that is on and off
• Blood in the stool
• Irregular bowel movement
• Viruses – Considered as one of the most common causes of diarrhea, these viruses include Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, and viral hepatitis. For acute diarrhea that usually happens in children, the main culprit is Rotavirus.
• Bacteria – contaminated water and rotten foods contain loads of parasites that can develop diarrhea once ingested by the body
• Food allergy
• Intolerance to certain food items such as milk
• Adverse reaction to a particular medicine or treatment
• Parasitic infection
Natural Home Remedies for Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a health issue that must be properly treated especially when liquid bowel movements become more frequent. Fortunately, there are many effective natural remedies that you can do at your home to prevent further complications caused by diarrhea.
Yogurt is loaded with probiotics, which is considered one of the most effective substances in treating diarrhea. Taking over the counter medicines and strong antibiotics kill bacteria and germs that cause diarrhea. However, these drugs can also decrease the number of good bacteria which is important in maintaining balanced health. Probiotics that are found in yogurt are considered as good bacteria which provides Lactobacillus GG, acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium.
Eat one cup of fresh yogurt in the morning during breakfast and before going to bed. Make sure to check the expiration date because yogurts have short shelf life. You can also take probiotics supplements that are available in tablet or pill form at various drugstores.
2. Drink Lots of Liquids
During the battle with diarrhea, you will lose lots of electrolytes and potassium which are essential in maintaining proper functions of body organs. In addition, your body will secrete loads of water which can easily lead to dehydration. Fortunately, there are various ways to combat dehydration.
First is to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day to replace all the fluids lost. Unfortunately, water does not contain electrolytes, which is why it is also recommended to consume sports drinks that are packed with energy giving electrolytes. The second way is to drink over the counter liquids that are specifically made for rehydrating the body such as Pedialyte. The third option is to consume light tea with a spoon of honey.
Aside from having antispasmodic properties, chamomile can also give instant calming and soothing effects of intestinal inflammation. Boil a few pieces of chamomile flowers for about 5 minutes. Drink a least 3 cups of boiled chamomile preferably after meals. You can also apply directly on the stomach area before going to bed.
Chamomile is also available in tea bags. Put in hot water and let it steep for a few minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and stir well. Drink chamomile tea two to three times daily until diarrhea is completely gone. Aside from tea bags, chamomile is also commercially available as oil essences. Apply directly on the stomach every morning and evening.
4. Increase Starch Consumption
Starch can effectively minimize the pain in the stomach caused by diarrhea. One common food item that is loaded with starch is rice. Eat at least 2 cups of rice per day, but avoid mixing it with food items that are high in sugar, salt, and acids – all of which can trigger diarrhea symptoms. In addition to rice, consume potatoes which are loaded with starch that help bring back vital nutrients lost during diarrhea. However, avoid eating fried fries because the oil can promote diarrhea. Instead, opt for mashed or boiled potato.
5. Orange Peel Tea
Aside from being loaded with vitamin c, orange can effectively promote better digestion. Since early times, orange peel has been used as a natural remedy for various digestion issues.
Put chopped orange peel in boiling water and let it steep for a few minutes. Wait until the mixture cools down then add one teaspoon of honey. You can also add a few drops of lemon to increase antibacterial effects. Drink 2 to 3 cups daily until diarrhea is gone.
If possible, make sure to use the peel of organic oranges to avoid consuming pesticide and other harmful chemicals which are usually present in non-organic oranges. Otherwise, just make sure to wash the oranges thoroughly under running water before using its peel.
If you are looking for a cheap but effective natural treatment for diarrhea, turmeric is the best option. Aside from giving soothing properties, turmeric is loaded with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect in warding off bacteria and germs that cause diarrhea.
Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 cup of hot water. Add a teaspoon of honey and stir well. Drink 1 cup during breakfast and another one before going to bed. You can also take turmeric supplement tablets available in drugstores.
7. Clear Juices
Clear juices such as apple juice contain anti-inflammatory properties that help minimize swelling of intestines, which usually occurs during diarrhea. However, avoid juices that are loaded with acids such as pineapple and tomato. High citrus content can further irritate already swollen intestines.
Drink 1 cup of natural apple juice with no sugar and preservatives during breakfast. Aside from clear juices, you can also sip broth soup that is cooked with minimal sugar and salt content. Aside from soothing the stomach, hot soup will provide instant relief from abdominal pains.
Honey is a universal natural treatment for a broad range of diseases and health issues such as diarrhea. Since the olden times, honey is used to treat various forms of digestive conditions. Honey is packed with antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can effectively kill viruses and bacteria associated with diarrhea.
Directly consume one teaspoon of honey with an empty stomach in the morning. After a few seconds, drink a glass of lukewarm water. You can also do these steps before going to sleep. You can also mix one teaspoon of natural raw honey with your favorite tea.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
If a bacterial infection is the cause of your diarrhea, apple cider is the best natural option. ACV is rich with antibacterial and antibiotic properties that can equal the effects of over the counter antibiotics. ACV also minimizes abdominal pain due to its soothing and calming effects.
Directly consume one teaspoon of ACV in the morning preferably after breakfast. You can also add one teaspoon of ACV to your favorite tea. To improve taste, add one tablespoon of raw honey.
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