When you have diarrhea, your bowel movements (or stools) are loose and watery. It is a common condition and usually not very serious. Beyond loose and watery stool, other symptoms of diarrhea include cramps, nausea and bloating of the belly. Diarrhea is more common in children than in adults.
Many people have experienced diarrhea at one point in their lives or the other. It normally lasts a day or two. Diarrhea that lasts for such a short time is called acute diarrhea. However, if it persists for 7 days and above, then it is called chronic diarrhea.
Causes of Diarrhea
Usually, diarrhea happens because of a virus that gets into your gut. Diarrhea caused by a virus is often called viral gastroenteritis. Rotavirus is the major cause of severe diarrhea in children.
There are so many other reasons you may experience diarrhea. They include:
- Alcohol abuse: Alcohol speeds up digestion by making the colon contract more frequently, pushing stool out faster than usual. This quickening can lead to diarrhea
- Allergies to certain foods: Some food allergies cause nutrient malabsorption which in turn leads to diarrhea.
- Lactose intolerance: People who have difficulty digesting lactose have diarrhea after eating dairy products.
- Overeating: Overeating puts stress on the digestive system, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Food poisoning: Bacterial infections caused by E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella can be picked up through contaminated food or drink.
Diarrhea can be mild or severe. If your case is mild, the following home remedies will sure help you to handle the annoyance in no time:
Diarrhea makes one to lose a lot of fluids therefore leading to dehydration. Drinking water is the first step to rehydrating. A person can also create an oral rehydration solution by mixing 1 liter of water with half a teaspoon of salt and 6 teaspoons of sugar.
Also, consuming sugar and salt with water helps the intestines to absorb fluids more efficiently. This solution more effectively rehydrates the body after a bout of diarrhea than just water alone.
2. Try Eating a Bland Diet
When dealing with a brief bout of diarrhea, you want to keep your diet bland. You may find it best to only have clear liquids for the first 24 hours. Then you can slowly add bland foods to your diet. Some bland foods include bananas, rice or bread.
At the same time, while bananas may be okay for adults, they’re not recommended for children who’ve been vomiting. Cream crackers and potatoes may offer a better alternative for both adults and children. It is important to note that if you suspect that your diarrhea is caused by a certain food, try an elimination diet — cut the suspected food from your diet until you can determine whether or not it’s a problem.
3. Try Some Over-the-Counter Medication
In most cases, over-the-counter medication can be helpful in stopping an occasional bout of diarrhea — especially traveler’s diarrhea, which may result from ingesting contaminated food or water while traveling. Speak to a Doctor on KompleteCare to get prescription on suitable medications to take to halt diarrhea.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you take pharmaceutical remedies for traveler’s diarrhea, they may make you feel better sooner, but they could keep any bacteria, parasites, or viruses in your system longer. In most cases, diarrhea will go away on its own within a few days.
Medical Disclaimer: KompleteCare™ aims to improve the quality of life for everyone with fact-based content about the nature of diseases, preventive care, behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider