In this article we hope to provide you with some of the best natural diarrhea remedies. Learn about this digestive system problem and the natural diarrhea treatments that may prove beneficial.
Diarrhea is described to be a condition where one’s stool is loose and watery. This condition is symptomized through the passing of loose, watery stool three or more times a day. In acute diarrhea, the person may experience this problem for a day or two and usually is self-correcting and will disappear on its own, while chronic diarrhea lasts much longer (could last for a month or more) and is much more severe. Chronic diarrhea can be continuous or may come and go.
A person with diarrhea may suffer from dehydration because of the fluid and electrolytes that they are losing. The electrolytes that could be lost are sodium, chloride and potassium. These electrolytes are vital for all human beings and are required to help the body function properly. Loose stools do contain more fluids and electrolytes compared to normal solid stools.
What causes diarrhea?
- Bacteria. People that have consumed contaminated food or water can acquire this condition. Bacterias that causes this are Campylobacter, salmonella, shigella and E. coli.
- Viruses. Viruses are the most common cause of diarrhea for children. Rotavirus, norovirus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and viral hepatitis are the most common viruses.
- Parasites. This cause can enter the body through the food and water settling in the digestive system.
- Functional bowel disorders. Such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- Intestinal disorders. Disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
- Food sensitivities. Some people have problems digesting certain ingredients in food such as lactose (sugar found in milk and milk products). If there are excessive amounts, diarrhea may occur. Commonly called, lactose intolerance.
- Reaction to different medications. Antibiotics, antacids containing magnesium and certain cancer drugs.
- Travelling. People who vacation to foreign countries may get “travellers diarrhea.” This is due to the food and drinking water in that certain country that the person might not be used to eating and drinking. Usually in developing continents and countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and Carribean.
- Surgery. Diarrhea may occur after a stomach surgery because the digestive system isn’t working properly.
Signs and symptoms:
- Cramping of the stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Urgent need to go defecate (pass stool)
- Loss of bowel control
- Dehydration – loss of electrolytes and fluids which are vital to the body. This could be a great danger if not managed at earlier stages because serious health problems may occur such as damage to organs, shock and even coma (a state where the person seems to be in a sleep-like state and not conscious)
Signs and symptoms of dehydration:
- Person doesn’t urinate as much as usual
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry skin
- When skin is pinched, skin goes back to normal state slowly
Signs of dehydration in infants and young children
- Dry mouth
- Tears may appear less than usual or none at all
- Less diaper changes due to less urine
- Sunken eyes and cheeks
- Soft spot in the skull
- High grade fever
If there are signs of dehydration, make sure that you seek your healthcare professional as soon as possible before more serious complications arise.
How diarrhea is properly diagnosed?
If the diarrhea is considered acute (lasting only 2 days or so) diagnostic procedures are usually not needed since it is self-limiting. But if diarrhea is considered chronic, doctors may need to perform tests to know about the underlying cause. The following are diagnostic procedures that may be employed:
- Medical history and PE (physical examination). Your healthcare professional will be asking you questions about your eating pattern and medications that you might be using. They will also perform a PE of your body to check for signs of dehydration.
- Stool culture. A sample of your stool will be needed to check for foreign invaders that may be causing the disease.
- Blood tests. This test could be helpful in diagnosing certain diseases.
- Fasting examinations. To rule out if the person has food intolerance or allergies that causes diarrhea, the doctor may ask to avoid certain foods (carbohydrates, lactose, wheat etc) to see if change in diet is the cause.
- Sigmoidoscopy or colonscopy. These examinations are used to diagnosing internal ailments. They can provides the doctor with the capability to view the entire colon.
Here are the best and effective natural diarrhea remedies known:
- Salt and sugar. Here is a very popular way in curing diarrhea naturally. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar in a quart of water. By drinking this, you will be replenishing the fluid and electrolytes that are lost.
- Ginger tea or capsules. Here is a natural way to cure diarrhea. You can buy ginger tea or ginger capsules at any herbal store. Drinking this 3x a day will help in prevent cramping or pain. (Also a natural remedy used for flatulence)
- Ginger ale or carrot juice. Take one of the two and your stools will be less watery.
- Brown rice. One of the best natural diarrhea remedies known. Try boiling brown rice and water for around 45 minutes. You can eat the rice which contains Vitamin B. After wards, you can drink the water that it was boiled in.
- Lemons. Take 2 lemons and squeeze it into a glass. Add in a half teaspoon of baking powder. Drink it as it foams to help curing your diarrhea problem.
- Wheatgrass powder. This is one of those well-known natural remedies to stop diarrhea. Wheatgrass is great for preventing stomach cramps and diarrhea. You can buy this powder in health food stores. Mix a double or triple dose of this with water and drink it up. Take a glass of water afterwards. It may have a bad after taste but it can provide instant relief.
- Fresh Lime Juice, Cornstarch and Water. One of the best natural diarrhea treatments. Get 2 to 3 limes and squeeze the juice into a glass. Add water and 3 teaspoons of cornstarch and mix it all together. Add some sugar if you’d like to give it some flavour.
- Mango juice and ginger. Make sure to get fresh mangoes and make them into a juice. Do not use canned juice because it might worsen the diarrhea. Add a teaspoon of ginger to help out with this ailment.
- Buttermilk. One of the effective natural diarrhea remedies. This helps fight off harmful intestinal flora. The acid in the buttermilk fights the bacteria that could invade it causing diarrhea. Mix it with a pinch of salt and take it 3 to 4 times a day.
- Carrot soup. Since children like soup, this is a great natural diarrhea treatment for children. It replenishes the water in the body to prevent dehydration. It also assists in replacing the lost electrolytes. Use half a kilogram of carrots and cook it in 150 mL of water until it softens. Drain the pulp and add a liter of boiled water to it. Add three-quarter tablespoon of salt and give it to the patient every half an hour for maximum relief.
- Apple cider vinegar. Try taking a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of water around a half hour before every meal. This is best for travelers that want to prevent diarrhea in developing countries.
- Blueberries. One of the very popular natural diarrhea remedies known today. There is a certain element in blueberries that fights off bacteria. Try eating a cup of fresh blueberries.
- Activated charcoal. Since this is a very powerful adsorbent, it is great to absorb toxins that causes diarrhea. This treatment isn’t for everyday use because it could also absorb the vitamins and minerals that keeps your body health. If you can’t find activated charcoal, you can try burning white toast and scrape off the burned part into a cup of boiling water and drink it.
- Cottage cheese and sour cream. You can try combining 2 tablespoons of each and eat the mixture 3 to 4 times a day.
- Honey. One of the well-known natural diarrhea remedies. Mix 4 tablespoons of honey and 8 ounces of water to kill the bacteria causing diarrhea. If you want to try this out for infants, use smaller quantities. If you are a diabetic, be careful in taking too much of honey because it will increase your blood sugar level.
- Nutmeg. Get a dime size of nutmeg on a spoon and swallow it. This home treatment could help stop diarrhea and safe for smaller children.
- Orange juice, sugar, salt and water. Make a mixture of a half cup of orange juice, a tablespoon of sugar, 1/6 teaspoon of salt, 1 and 1/3 cups of water. You may give a half ounce of this concoction to a child every 2 hours.
- Pumpkin. Get leaves of a pumpkin and make it into a tea to help with the diarrhea problem. Boil 2 quarts of water, get several leaves and put it in the water. Cover it and remove from the stove. Steep for around 30 minutes. Drink a cup of it every couple of hours.
- Tapioca (best for infants). One of the best natural diarrhea remedies especially for infants. Dissolve granulated tapioca in water and use as an enema (the process in which liquid is injected into the rectum through the anus for cleaning)
- Wild oregano oil. This herbal treatment could be found at herbal stores. Wild oregano oil contains anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-viral properties.
These remedies for diarrhea are the most effective and safest for the natural treatment of diarrhea. Just make sure that the diarrhea isn’t too severe for home treatment. Find out if these natural diarrhea remedies could still be appropriate for you. If the condition persists consult with your health care professional.