Diarrhea never shows up at a convenient time, and when it does, it can turn us into a Mission Impossible operative, spying out every bathroom within sprinting distance. This is the reason why both over-the-counter and prescription medications were developed…..to stop diarrhea fast.
What you may not know, is the effects these over-the-counter and prescription anti-diarrhea medications can have on your body. For starters, you should optimally only use OTC and prescribed medications, for severe and chronic cases of diarrhea. This may be the case, when you are experiencing diarrhea as a side effect of chemotherapy, or if you suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). However, this does not mean that you wouldn’t benefit from one of the remedies listed below, so why not give them a try, before layering your body with more drugs. That being said, for short-term diarrhea, which is what most people experience, when you take an OTC or prescribed anti-diarrhea medication, you are only giving the virus more time to multiply in your bowel, and lengthen the time of your symptoms and suffering. Drugs may stop the unpleasantness of diarrhea, but it also halts your body’s process of ridding itself of the unwanted substance, that is obviously harmful to your health. This is not to say that there is not a time and place for medications, but for most short-term episodes of diarrhea, you can effectively remedy yourself of the diarrhea, without upsetting your body’s natural processes, all by using products of Mother Nature.
Stools that are watery, loose and without consistency is considered diarrhea. The primary reason we experience diarrhea, is because our body is needing to immediately purge itself of an unwanted substance. The two groups of people that should be watched especially closely when experiencing diarrhea, are young children and adults over the age of 65.
What Are The Most Common Reasons For Diarrhea?
Bacteria in Food or Water
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Artificial Sweeteners (most especially sorbitol, mannitol, lacitol and Splenda)
Excessive sugar consumption
Excessive or prolonged use of aspirin, ibuprofin or acetaminophen
Hydration Is Critical!
When you are experiencing diarrhea, you lose large volumes of much needed fluid. It is absolutely imperative that you replace this lost fluid with water. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks at all costs. You also want to avoid replacing fluids with broth or soup, because contrary to popular belief, many people actually experience aggravated symptoms when consuming broth and soup. To help replace electrolytes that you are losing, add a small pinch of sea salt to your water. Do NOT us regular table salt. Only sea salt has the vital minerals your body needs.
A Simple Trick To Help Increase Your Energy, Without Further Upsetting Your Bowels.
It is common to feel our energy drained during bouts of diarrhea. To help maintain your energy stores, every few hours suck on 1-2 hard candies. Hard candy is mostly digested by amylase in your mouth, and is then destroyed by your stomach acid. So sucking on a hard candy every-so-often will help you keep your energy up, without further upsetting your bowels.
Things To Avoid During Diarrhea Episodes.
Carbonated Beverages (the gases in carbonated drinks can cause your diarrhea to become explosive)
Cold Drinks (cold beverages of any kind, cause stomach contractions, which will further aggravate your symptoms and discomfort)
Heavy Eating (though you most likely won’t want to eat too much)
Sugary Foods and Drinks
Home Remedies To Ease Your Diarrhea
* Grated Apple – First peel the skin of an apple. You can use any variety apple. Grate the apple meat, and let stand at room temperature until it turns brown. This usually takes 10-20 minutes. It must be brown before consuming. Once it is browned, simple take as much as your stomach can tolerate. This brings rapid relief of symptoms, and the chemical change that occurs during the oxidation process (apple meat is exposed to the air), creates the same compound that the popular pink OTC liquid uses. It is safe to consume every 1-2 hours as needed, and is also a very safe remedy to use for toddlers. Just be sure to mash up the grated apple well, and feed to your toddler just like a chunky applesauce. Store bought applesauce will not produce the same benefits.
*ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) – ACV can bring the same rapid relief to your diarrhea. You will want to take 1-2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar (preferably organic, and absolutely NO white vinegar) with 8-10 oz of WARM water. You may add a smidgen of honey, if this helps you to get this lightly pungeunt liquid down. Just like the grated apple, you can take ACV every hour as needed. The added benefit of using ACV, is that it also helps replace vital potassium and magnesium lost by diarrhea. This remedy is not recommended for younger children however.
* Green Bananas – Consume 1 GREEN banana every 2-4 hours for relief of symptoms.
* Ginger Tea – Ginger stops cramping and pain, as well as makes your stools less watery. Drink a warm cup of ginger tea every hour.
* Brown Rice – Brown rice vs. white rice, has a large amount of dietary fiber. This fiber will help bulk-up your stools, and allow for their easy passing, while reducing your stomach cramping and pain.
* Dry Toast – Eat plain. Do NOT put any butter, jelly, peanut butter, cream cheese or any other spread on your toast. A high fiber variety is the best choice.
* Molasses and Baking Soda – In a mug of HOT water, combine 1/4 tsp of baking soda with 1 TBSP molasses. The added benefit is that like ACV (apple cider vinegar), black strap molasses is loaded with essential minerals to replace what your body is losing due to your diarrhea.
* Fresh Blueberries – Eat 1 Cup of not too chilled fresh blueberries. They contain a compound that effectively fights off the culprit bacteria found in most common cases of diarrhea.
* Buttermilk – Buttermilk aids diarrhea, by getting rid of the harmful flora in your intestinal tract. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt (NO regular salt) to each glass, and consume 4 times throughout the day.
* Lemon Juice – In a glass of warm water, add 1 TBSP of fresh lemon juice, and consume 3-5 times a day. Lemon juice kills off the pathogens that cause diarrhea. And to use as a preventative measure if there is a case of diarrhea “going around”, consume 1-3 times a day.
* Pureed Carrots – Boil and puree carrots, and consume 1 large TBSP every 15 min. This relieves symptoms fast, is super at healing the inflammation in your intestines caused by the diarrhea, and is safe to use with toddlers.
* Charcoal Capsules – Charcoal absorbs toxins in our body. It will absorb anything that is harmful in your body. Activated charcoal relieves diarrhea symptoms fast, but is NOT for regular or everyday use. Never take any medications within 3 hours of taking activated charcoal, as it will be expelled right out of your body, along with the toxins that get pulled out. If you can’t find activated charcoal, burn 2 pieces of white toast, and then scrape the blackened areas into a mug of hot water and drink.
So the next time you or someone in your family gets hit with a case of diarrhea, simply turn to one of these safe home remedies for quick relief.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews