Of all the ailments you can contract, diarrhea is one of the most uncomfortable; not to mention embarrassing.
Diarrhea is a condition that causes the stools to become extremely watery and loose. You have an increased need to evacuate your bowel movements, which leads you to constantly run back and forth to the bathroom. As such, you are either left confined to your home or at the very least, you have to make sure that you are in close proximity to a toilet.
Diarrhea is extremely common. In fact, most people get it about once or twice each year, and it usually lasts for about 3 days. Typically, it isn’t a serious condition; however, there is no denying that it is unpleasant. It’s associated with stomach cramps, which could become painful, increased gas, and of course, frequent trips to the restroom. It could also lead to dehydration and the development of hemorrhoids, another unpleasant condition. In some cases, diarrhea can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of diarrhea. Most often, it is caused by a virus that infects the gut. Other causes include food poisoning, allergic reactions, alcohol abuse, excessive use of laxatives, reactions to certain medications, hyperthyroidism, malabsorption, and intestinal diseases.
If you are suffering from frequent bouts of diarrhea that last for more than 3 days, or you develop other symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor. However, you can find some relief with one of these 10 home remedies.
1. Eat more bananas
If you have developed diarrhea, stock up on bananas. This fruit is one of the four foods that make up the BRAT diet – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast – a fiber-rich and highly nutritional diet that is said to ease the symptoms of diarrhea. The reason why bananas are a part of this diet is that, of course, because they contain soluble fiber, which absorbs excess fluids in the intestines, thereby firming up the loose stool. Additionally, bananas are loaded with potassium, an electrolyte that your body loses when you have diarrhea.
2. Give the rice a try
As the second food in the BRAT diet, rice can also be an effective way to ease the symptoms of diarrhea; specifically, white rice. A carbohydrate, rice binds food together, which helps to make your stool more solid.
It’s also rich in selenium, folate, manganese, iron, niacin, and thiamine, all nutrients that can help to ease the effects of diarrhea, and nutrients that the body loses when you suffer from this condition. Plus, rice is also very soft, so it’s easy on the digestive tract, which is extremely sensitive during a case of diarrhea.
3. Try some applesauce
The third component of the BRAT diet, applesauce is high in pectin, an element that helps to bind the stool, making it firmer. Applesauce is also high in soluble fiber, which, as mentioned, helps absorb excess water in the digestive tract, helping to firm the stool even more.
And, applesauce contains natural sugars that replenish the energy your body loses during a bout of diarrhea. Applesauce is recommended over apples because it is easier on the stomach and therefore won’t lead to more gas and pain.
4. Toast can help, too
The last part of the BRAT diet, toast, is very effective for treating diarrhea. Because it’s a carbohydrate, toast adds bulk to the stool, which is important when you have diarrhea, as this condition is characterized by loose, watery stools.
Like the other elements of the BRAT diarrhea, toast is also easy on the stomach, so it’s easy to digest and won’t complicate the symptoms that are associated with the condition, such as gas, bloating and nausea.
Any type of bread can be used, but make sure that you avoid adding anything to your toast, such as butter, jelly, or jam, as these toppings can compound diarrhea.
5. Drink plenty of water
It may seem counterproductive to drink more water when you have diarrhea, as your stools are watery and loose when you have diarrhea; however, drinking a lot of water is extremely important when you have this condition.
Contrary to popular belief, water will not compound the symptoms of diarrhea; what it will do, however, is replenish the fluids that are lost.
One of the complications that can arise as a result of diarrhea is dehydration. Your body will lose a tremendous amount of fluids, so it’s important to replace them. Drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
6. Yogurt is highly effective
Yogurt is another highly effective remedy for diarrhea. It contains both lactobacillus acidophilus and bifid bacterium, which are healthy bacteria for the gut.
They can actually replace the bad bacteria that flood the gut and cause diarrhea in the first place. Additionally, these healthy bacteria line the walls of the intestine and help you absorb more vital nutrients.
When you have diarrhea, your body is not able to absorb important nutrients, so this characteristic of yogurt is important.
Plus, yogurt is easy on the stomach, so it’s easy to digest.
7. Increase your oat intake
Oats are high in soluble fiber, which absorbs excess fluid in the intestines and adds more bulk to the loose stools that are associated with diarrhea. They are also gluten-free, and gluten can contribute to this condition. Oats also pull waste and toxins from the digestive tract as they make their way through.
They can also contain enzymes that can aid in the absorption of vital nutrients that you lose when you have diarrhea.
Various studies have proven that oats are a highly effective remedy for diarrhea.
8. Give ginger a try
Ginger root is yet another home remedy that could prove to be an effective remedy for diarrhea. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which are important for diarrhea, as the walls of the intestines become inflamed when diarrhea occurs.
Ginger also antibacterial properties that kill off the bad, diarrhea-causing bacteria that lead to diarrhea. Lastly, ginger has an analgesic effect that can soothe the symptoms associated with diarrhea, such as cramping and nausea.
To get the benefits of ginger, grate some of the roots and steep it in boiling water to create a tea. Strain the ginger and mix in some honey before drinking.
9. Fenugreek seeds can be beneficial
Fenugreek seeds are a natural remedy that is used to treat a variety of ailments, such as stomach aches, decreased appetite, conditions that affect the kidneys, and of course, diarrhea.
These seeds contain a high mucilage content, which has been found to ease the symptoms associated with diarrhea, including loose, watery stools, and stomach cramping.
You could simply eat a teaspoon of these seeds on their own for diarrhea relief. Or, you can mix them into yogurt.
10. Apple cider vinegar can be helpful
Another home remedy that can provide relief for diarrhea, apple cider vinegar contains several compounds that can ease the symptoms of this condition. It has a high malic and acetic acid content, which can be useful for treating a wide range of ailments, including diarrhea.
Like applesauce, apple cider vinegar also contains pectin, which has been found to add bulk to stool and reduce inflammation of the intestines.
However, it should be noted that using too much apple cider vinegar can actually make diarrhea worse. Limit your intake to one tablespoon mixed with a large glass of water twice a day to ease the symptoms of diarrhea.