How to get rid of diarrhea is a question that people ask themselves more often than we think. It is at least once a year that we found ourselves having an upset, rumbling stomach, impatiently searching for the nearest bathroom.
Having diarrhea for few days in a row can be described as an embarrassing and draining experience that is putting a person’s whole life on halt. There is nothing worse than having digestive discomfort on a business trip or while in school with the whole day ahead of you, packed with obligations and responsibilities.
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Fortunately, there are plenty of little life hacks and tricks on how to stop diarrhea fast out there in the world. Some natural remedies for diarrhea may even help you fight the very cause of your digestive problem. Keep on reading and you might just find the right solution to your health concern.
Diarrhea: Symptoms and Causes
Diarrhea occurs when an individual has frequent, loose or watery stools due to improper functioning of digestive system. When a person has diarrhea, bowel movements become more frequent, and the need for bathroom breaks increases. Diarrhea forces people to relieve themselves three or more times per day, which can be a draining and exhausting process. Increased frequency of going to the bathroom is not the only draining aspect of having diarrhea.
Take a look at this list of symptoms associated with diarrhea:
- Bloating of the belly
- Stomach cramps
- Thin or loose stool
- Watery stool
- Sudden urge to have a bowel movement
- Nausea and vomiting
More serious symptoms of diarrhea may include:
- Blood or mucus in stool
- Weight loss
Here is a list of most common causes of diarrhea:
- Viral infection referred to as “stomach flu” or “intestinal flu”
- Bacterial infection, usually caused by contaminated water or food
- Allergies to certain foods
- Consumption of foods that easily upset stomach
- Intestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease etc.
- Use of certain medications that disrupt intestinal microflora, for instance, cancer drugs and antacids containing magnesium
- Abuse of laxatives
- Overactive thyroids (hyperthyroidism)
- Running may cause diarrhea in some people
- Some types of cancer
- Surgery on digestive system
- Having difficulty absorbing certain nutrients (malabsorption)
- Stress and anxiousness can cause stomach upset
When to see a doctor?
Some causes of diarrhea, for instance, short bowel syndrome, prevent small intestine from absorbing water and electrolytes, which leads to dehydration, a number one complication of diarrhea. Loss of fluids leads to more complicated signs of bodily distress, especially in children that get dehydrated more easily than adults. Signs of dehydration include nausea, dizziness, palpitations, muscle cramps, lack of energy and loss of appetite.
So, when should you seek medical attention when having diarrhea?
You should visit a doctor when/if:
- you have blood in your stools or have black, tarry stools
- you have a fever above 101 F or fever that lasts more than a day
- you have diarrhea lasting more than 2 days
- vomiting impedes your ability to drink water and other liquids
- have severe pain in the abdominal and rectal area
- you develop diarrhea after coming home from a foreign country
- the signs of dehydration appear, for instance, dark urine, reduced volume of urine, rapid heart rate, dry skin, headaches, irritability and mental confusion.
How to get rid of diarrhea fast?
- Over the counter anti-diarrheal medicines
If you are wondering about how to get rid of diarrhea in an hour, over the counter anti-diarrheal medications may provide the right solution to your question. Anti-diarrheal medications tend to relieve the symptoms of mild stomach upset within 15 to 20 minutes when used correctly.
To make your medication work in an appropriate manner, follow the usage intentions printed on packaging precisely. Sometimes anti-diarrheal medicines don’t show any improvements but rather worsen the digestive problems. If this happens, stop using medication, and if your health state worsens, seek medical attention.
If you are considering giving your child anti-diarrheal medications to alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea, do it only with the approval of the doctor.
- Prevent dehydration
Dehydration can complicate even simplest case of diarrhea, and to prevent that from happening, it is recommended to follow a clear liquid diet. This diet lessens the strain on the digestive tract and provides the body with sufficient amount of fluids and electrolytes.
Simply have 5-6 small “meals”, or more likely snacks, throughout the day and sip on fluids every few minutes or according to the tolerance of your body. You can keep your body hydrated by drinking water, fruit juice without pulp, tea, and vegetable juice or by sucking on ice chips if your system cannot bear a sudden intake of other beverages.
- BRAT diet
Diarrhea can make drinking feel like running a marathon let alone eating a proper meal. If your upset stomach has turned against you and refuses to accept usual foods you eat while healthy, try giving a so-called BRAT diet a try.
BRAT diet slowly introduces solid foods to the system, foods that are bland and low in fiber. The acronym BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, and tea. These foods practically build the whole diet. Additional foods that fall into simple, low-fiber category also include crackers, mashed potatoes, and noodles. Eat the listed foods in small portions and avoid pairing them with spicy or salty condiments.
Yogurt is a great natural remedy for diarrhea because it contains probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help people establish healthy gut flora and restore health of the whole digestive system.
Good bacterial cultures such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus acidophilus found in the yogurt will help you fight the bad bacteria responsible for your digestive health concerns. The suggested amount of yogurt a person should consume to alleviate the symptoms of moderate diarrhea is two cups. It is recommended to eat natural yogurt without artificial flavorings and additives, however, you can always elevate the taste of your yogurt with chopped banana that will help you establish BRAT diet as well.
Ginger and its main component called Gingerol can help you treat the symptoms of diarrhea and even cure the cause of your digestive problems. Ginger treats indigestion, nausea, malabsorption, bacterial infections as well as food poisoning.
Simply grate a little bit of fresh ginger and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Mix both ingredients thoroughly and eat the created concoction. The taste may feel unpleasant and too strong at first, however, it is not recommended to flush the remedy down the throat with water because it may dilute the healing effects of ginger and honey.
Another great way to incorporate a ginger into your diet is to drink ginger tea two to three times per day. Simply place a fresh piece of ginger into water and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Strain the infused water in a mug and add a little bit of honey to it. Drink the created tea.
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar and its acidity can help you fight bacterial infections and parasites introduced to the body through contaminated water.
To put the healing properties of this natural remedy to use simply add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink the solution 1 to 2 times a day until you see the improvements in your health.
Bananas are a part of BRAT diet but due to their powerful healing attributes, they deserve a separate paragraph solely dedicated to them. Ripe bananas contain high amounts of pectin, which is a water-soluble fiber known for reducing the symptoms of diarrhea. This tropical fruit is high in potassium and electrolytes, which will help you fight dehydration as well. Simply eat few ripe bananas a day and let the natural nutrients within the fruit subside the symptoms of your digestive condition.
- Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea provides calming and soothing effects to the body. The sedative nature of chamomile tea relaxes muscles and lining of the intestines, helping you consequently cure your stomach ache. Sedative nature of chamomile tea comes in handy also when upset stomach prevents you from falling asleep.
Additionally, antibacterial properties of chamomile tea will help you treat diarrhea and manage irritable bowel syndrome as well.
Simply steep a teaspoon or chamomile flowers and a teaspoon of peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water for approximately 10 minutes. Strain your tea and drink it few times per day. This way, you will not only fight the symptoms of diarrhea but also keep you body well hydrated.
- Black seed oil
Black seed oil contains powerful active ingredients known as Thymoquinone, Thymohydroquinone and Thymol. These organic components give the oil valuable and effective healing properties suitable for the treatment of various gastrointestinal illnesses. Black seed oil will help you treat diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain. It will help you fight bacterial or viral infections within your system as well.
To exploit the beneficial attributes of this natural remedy simply add a teaspoon of black seed oil to a cup of plain yogurt. Eat the enriched yogurt twice a day until your diarrhea completely vanishes away.
Peppermint is a natural carminative and analgesic agent. It provides relief from stomach discomfort, cramping and bloating by promoting the movement of gas through the body. Peppermint also encourages healthy bowel movement and treats indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Make yourself peppermint tea. Simply steep a few fresh, clean sprigs of mint in hot water for a couple of minutes. Drink the tea when it cools slightly.
- Get plenty of rest
Sleep is a natural aid for different health conditions including diarrhea. Rest will keep your immune system robust and ready to fight the cause of your upset stomach without any treatments. A good night sleep will allow your body to settle down and prepare for a self-recovery process. It is recommended to get an 8-hour sleep, however, if you are still feeling nauseous during the day, make your body a priority, wind down and take a nap.
Last tips on how to stop diarrhea fast
Diarrhea surely is an embarrassing and draining health concern, however like most other bodily dysfunctions, it can be treated with a number of over the counter drugs and homemade remedies. Sometimes, a singular diet change and an 8-hour sleep are sufficient for the recovery.
While in most cases, diarrhea self-regresses within a day, it is still possible for the symptoms to last much longer. If your digestive problems seem suspicious, are abnormal or last more than two days, seek medical attention.
The question “How to get rid of diarrhea fast” has already been discussed, however, there is always room for more advice. Here are 8 last tips on how to stop diarrhea fast:
- Avoid eating high-fiber foods when you have diarrhea because they may cause excessive production of gas. You should know that high-fiber foods are good for digestion and bowel movement in long run, so if you are affected by diarrhea frequently, try introducing fresh vegetables, fruits, and beans to your regular diet.
- Avoid eating fatty and greasy foods, such as margarine, fried foods, whole dairy products, processed food and fast food.
- Avoid eating dairy when you have diarrhea. If you notice that your digestive problems occur whenever you eat dairy products you might be lactose intolerant.
- Avoid drinking caffeine because it may worsen your upset stomach, gas production, and cause dehydration.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Avoid eating foods containing fructose, artificial sweeteners, and other additives until your diarrhea is cured.
- If you have difficulty eating solid foods because they worsen your stomach ache, try liquidizing your meal with a food processor. Well-blended food will put less strain on your stomach.
- Use painkillers when treating abdominal pain with cautious and according to prescription directions. Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause damage and irritation to stomach.