Few things are as annoying as having diarrhoea. We’ve all been there. It attacks you at the most inconvenient times. It’s unpleasant, embarrassing, and the worst part – it can be painful. In fact, it’s the most common reason for seeing cartoonish speed streaks behind people running towards the toilet. Luckily, if it’s not caused by an underlying condition, there are many ways to speed up the recovery relying on fluids, some types of food, herbs, and anti diarrhea medication.
Diarrhoea may be caused by viral or bacterial infections or parasites present in foods or liquids we consume. It can also occur as a side effect from a medication, especially antibiotics, or some dietary supplements; and as a result of an allergy, food intolerance, alcohol consumption or food poisoning. In some cases, running can cause diarrhea, usually after harder runs or longer distances. In babies, diarrhea can sometimes be caused by teething.
Unlike acute diarrhoea, that only lasts for several days, chronic diarrhoea persists for at least four weeks. If you experience more than 3 bowel movements per day, and it lasts a few weeks, you should consult your doctor, since it may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as celiac disease, or some types of cancer.
How Can You Stop Diarrhoea?
· Take OTC Medicine for Diarrhea and Dietary Supplements
Even though acute diarrhoea can go away on its own, not treating it may be very disruptive for your day to day life. Fortunately, the irritating symptoms can be relieved by medication for loose stools. There is a variety of over-the-counter anti diarrhea medication, as well as various dietary supplements you can buy.
Loperamide is an active ingredient contained in many of the diarrhea medicines for adults. It helps different types of diarrhoea. It works by slowing down the activity of the intestines, thus providing the food with more time to pass through. This helps your body absorb more water and electrolytes, and results in firmer and less frequent stools.
Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are helpful for the digestive system, however strange it sounds for bacteria to be friendly. In fact, in our bodies naturally live many bacteria, both bad and good. There is a variety of probiotic sold as dietary supplements. They work by helping your organism communicate better with the microorganisms, or, in other words, they provide more good bacteria to fight the bad bacteria that disbalances your stomach. Probiotics are especially recommended as a remedy for diarrheoa when it is caused by antibiotics, but they can help even when that’s not the case.
3. Vitamins and Herb Based Supplements
Vitamins are very important for our bodies because they help with many essential processes, such as supporting our bones and organ, and helping with healing, repairing, strengthening the immune system etc. Vitamin C, B complex, B3 are some of those that can help the body heal from diarrheoa. Besides vitamins, there are many herbs that are believed to help ease diarrhoea, like chamomile, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, aloe vera, and many others. You can consume them as teas or dietary supplements.
Electrolytes are a number of minerals – such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium –, that, like vitamins, are vital to our bodies. They provide protection and play a role in many functions in the body. Electrolytes replacement are beneficial when your organism is fighting diarrhoea, as well as other ailments, since they balance the pH levels in the body, balance the blood pressure, regulate muscle and nervous system function, and most importantly, keep you hydrated.
· Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Diarrhoea also dehydrates your body. This means that hydrating is one of the most effective ways to help your body fight the symptoms. Naturally, you should drink a lot of water when you are losing so much fluid. But water is not the only thing you can drink. In fact, some fluids, in addition to helping with your recovery, can sooth your stomach and alleviate symptoms. Choose chamomile tea, fruit juice without pulp or yogurt. Even some sport beverages are a good choice, since they provide electrolytes. Sip small amounts of liquid, and drink a cup of fluid after every bowel movement.
Note: In case you are experiencing traveler’s diarrhoea, water can actually be the problem. To prevent getting diarrhoea, or to ease the symptoms, you should only use bottled water, since it may actually be caused by the tap water consumed in the area, even if it’s potable, since your body isn’t used to it.
· Eat Light
Your diet not only can help you stop diarrhoea, in some cases it can even prevent it, as – among all other benefits your body gets from eating healthy – balanced diet is key to a healthy stomach. However, if it’s already too late to think about preventing diarrhoea, and what you actually need is to fight it, there are many food options that will help your intestines to get better.
Even when you are using diarrhea treatment medicine, healthy food is of extreme importance to ease the symptoms and eventually stopping it.
One of the recommended diets for an upset stomach is a diet called BRAT, which stands for banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods are bland and low in dietary fiber, which makes them less irritating for your stomach, while at the same time helping the digestive tract to produce more solid stools.
Besides these, your diet should include other light, bland foods, such as potatoes, carrots, saltine crackers, yogurt. You can also eat chicken, turkey or fish. And, most importantly, clear broths, and vegetable soups. Not only are they going to provide you with healthy substances, but they will also help your body fight the dehydration caused by the diarrhoea.
Of course, many food ingredients can worsen diarrhoea. Avoid any food that can irritate your stomach in any way. Avoid fried, greasy, fatty and spicy foods. Also, vegetables that can cause gas, such as beans, peas, broccoli, leafy vegetables etc.
Furthermore, you should skip your morning coffee for a day or two, since coffee, and any other caffeinated beverages are your enemy while you are having diarrhoea. Like coffee, alcohol can dehydrate you additionally, since it’s a diuretic. So, seeing that it can actually cause diarrhoea, drinking it when you already have it, is definitely not a good idea. Milk and other dairy products can make diarrhoea worse as well, so they should be avoided, with the exception of yogurt, since yogurt is a healthy, natural source of probiotics.