Diarrhea is a common and uncomfortable digestive disorder characterized by loose, watery stools that cause frequent need to defecate (usually at least three times a day). It can be acute or chronic. Acute diarrhea typically lasts a day or two and resolves on its own. Chronic diarrhea usually lasts longer than a month and may be a sign of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or malabsorption problems (the poor absorption of certain nutrients).
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
Diarrhea typically causes symptoms such as:
· Abdominal pain
· Frequent loose, watery stools
In adults, temporary diarrhea in itself usually isn’t harmful, but it can sometimes signal more serious problems. In part because of their smaller body volume, children can suffer serious consequences from prolonged diarrhea. Patients should see the doctor if they experience any of these symptoms:
· Blood or pus in the stool
· Black, tarry-looking stools
· Diarrhea that lasts longer than three days
· Fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
· Severe abdominal or rectal pain
· Signs of dehydration
Causes of Diarrhoea
The most common causes of diarrhea are as follows:
· Bacteria: Various types of bacteria may be responsible for causing diarrhea. These bacteria are usually present in contaminated food and water.
· Parasites: These can cause infection in the digestive system when they enter the body through food and water.
· Intolerance to Certain Foods: Some individuals cannot digest the components present in certain foods. Lactose allergy is one of the most common food allergies.
· Medications: The intake of certain medications can result in adverse reactions in the body. Many individuals react in this manner to antibiotics or medications used to treat hypertension.
· Diseases: Conditions that affect the intestine such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease usually trigger diarrhea.
· Bowel Disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome and other conditions that hamper the functioning of the intestine commonly cause bouts of diarrhea.
· Hormone Disorders: Conditions that arise due to hormonal imbalances such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes can also lead to diarrhea.
· Cancer: One of the symptoms of bowel cancer is diarrhea.
Home Remedies for Diarrhea
Both acute and chronic diarrhea can greatly affect your day-to-day activities. To get rid of the symptoms associated with diarrhea, you can try some simple home cures.
Sugar and Salt Solution
This solution works in two ways. It keeps you hydrated, which is the base of most good home remedies for diarrhea. Second, it contains sugar and salt. These two ingredients will balance your electrolytes, which are often imbalanced after a bout of diarrhea. · Boil 1 cup of water. Allow it to cool to room temperature. · Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water. Stir until both sugar and salt are dissolved. · Drink. Repeat as desired throughout the day.
Due to the high mucilage content present in fenugreek seeds, they are considered a useful natural cure for diarrhea. Fenugreek seeds will bulk up your stool and thereby significantly improve the severity and discomfort of diarrhea.
· Swallow one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds along with one tablespoon of yogurt.
· You can also mix one-half teaspoon of ground fenugreek seeds in a little water. Drink this solution for immediate symptom relief.
· Another option is to mix one-half teaspoon of powdered fenugreek seeds in a glass of water and drink it.
NOTE: Remedies with fenugreek seeds are not suitable for small children suffering from acute or chronic diarrhea.
As ginger is simply good for your overall digestive health, it is always a good option for treating diarrhea.
· Mix one teaspoon each of dried ginger powder, cumin powder, cinnamon powder, and honey. Consume it three times a day.
·You can use dry ginger or fresh ginger to make a cup of ginger tea as well. Drinking ginger tea two or three times a day will help ease cramps and abdominal pain that sometimes accompany diarrhea.
· Another option is to mix equal amounts of ginger juice and lemon juice and add some crushed pepper to it. Have this solution at least three times a day to get rid of diarrhea quickly.
NOTE: Those suffering from high blood pressure should not use ginger remedies for diarrhea.
Bananas can also help solve the problem of watery stools. The pectin present in bananas is a kind of soluble fiber that helps absorb liquid in the intestines, thereby reducing the amount of liquid in the stools. At the same time, the high level of potassium present in bananas helps replace electrolytes that may be lost while experiencing diarrhea.
· Mash one ripe banana and add one teaspoon of tamarind pulp and a pinch of salt to it. Mix it well. Eat this mixture twice daily to settle an upset digestive system.
·It is always a good idea to have one or two ripe bananas with your breakfast to maintain digestive health.
· Yogurt has many health benefits that can naturally and safely stop your diarrhea.
· Buy plain yogurt. Avoid yogurt with fruit or fruit flavors, as fruit can make diarrhea worse.
· Eat 2 to 3 cups of yogurt every day to restore the balance of your intestinal flora and stop diarrhea.
Chamomile is often used to treat various intestinal problems, including diarrhea. The antispasmodic property along with the high amount of tannins present in chamomile can provide great relief from diarrhea symptoms.
Make homemade chamomile tea for this treatment or you can also make chamomile tea using pre-packaged tea bags.
Blueberries contain elements called anthocyanosides which have antibacterial as well as antioxidant properties. Blueberries also contain a high amount of soluble-fiber pectin that can help ease diarrhea symptoms.
·The best option is to chew dried blueberries several times a day. This will help kill the germs causing the diarrhea.
· You can also make tea by boiling crushed dried blueberries in one cup of water for about 10 minutes. Drink this tea several times a day.
· You can also make soup with dried blueberries.
Orange Peel Tea
Orange peel tea is an old folk remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to stop diarrhea. Keep a couple oranges in your home for whenever diarrhea strikes.
· Remove the entire peel from an orange and chop the peel into small pieces. Put the orange peel pieces into a small pot. Pour 1 pint of boiling water over the orange pieces. Cover the pot and let it stand until the water is completely cooled.
· Strain the orange peel pieces out. Pour the tea into a cup and add honey to sweeten.
Potatoes are another starchy food that can be used to combat diarrhea. · Frequently eating plain, boiled potatoes will help restore lost nutrients and comfort your upset stomach. ·Another option is to cook white rice and potatoes together in plenty of water until it becomes thick in consistency. Add a little salt and eat it. You can have this simple dish for lunch or dinner. When suffering from diarrhea, do not eat French fries or other fried and spicy potatoes because they can make your condition worse.
White rice is an excellent bland food recommended for diarrhea. It is high in starch and easy to digest. So, you can have plain boiled white rice but without any spices or sauces. Start by having small amounts of rice and gradually increase the amount as your condition improves.
In addition, drink plenty of water. You can also have clear fluids and starchy liquids such as rice water, coconut water, fruit and vegetable juices.
While this entry in our list of home remedies for diarrhea is not the tastiest, it is definitely effective. Flour thickens liquids, so it will work in your intestines by thickening stool.
· Pour one cup of water into a glass. Put a large pinch of flour in the cup. Whisk it until the flour is mostly dissolved. Add a small pinch of salt and stir.
· Drink in one gulp.
For most people, one or more of these remedies will provide relief from various symptoms of diarrhea. However, if your condition persists or gets worse, consult a doctor.