Diarrhea refers to loose, watery stool that occurs for a prolonged period of time. Everyone has experienced diarrhea at some point. It is characterized by frequent visits to the toilet and an increase in the volume of stool. Symptoms usually last hours to days and then subside. However, there are cases where the condition can last for several weeks. Under normal circumstances, your colon absorbs fluids from the food you eat, and this is why stool is usually semi-solid. When a large amount of foods and beverages you consume passes too quickly through your colon, diarrhea occurs. Here is a guide on how to get rid of diarrhea.
How to Get Rid of Diarrhea
Use of over the counter medication such as bismuth subsalicylate and loperamide can help reduce the symptoms of diarrhea. You should be cautious when taking the medication as some infections and conditions, both parasitic and bacterial, can be aggravated by these drugs. You should also consult your doctor before administering any medication to your child.
Apply a Heating Pad
Diarrhea can be caused by abdominal cramping. If this is the case, then it is important for you to soothe the cramped muscles up. You can do this by placing a heating pad over your stomach. But always use a layer of cloth to protect your skin from the heat.
Try Ginger and honey
Ginger is an excellent alternative for treating diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps. Ginger has properties known to soothe and regulate irritated bowels causing diarrhea.
Grate some ginger and mix with honey. Eating this promote the release of gastric juices and in turn improve digestion. Do not drink water immediately after eating the mixture.
You can also use ginger tea as an alternative. Take a small piece of ginger and slice it into tiny pieces (You can use powdered ginger as an alternative). Add the slices to a cup of water then boil it. Strain it and add honey.
Drink Chamomile Tea
The antispasmodic properties of chamomile help reduce stomach pains and intestinal inflammation. You can steep 1 teaspoon of chamomile and 1 teaspoon of peppermint in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drink the tea several times during the day. Green tea is also a wonderful alternative as it helps with the functioning of the digestive system.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of diarrhea, probiotics is a great option. They help fight germs in the digestive tract as they contain some of the healthy bacteria found in the stomach. You can get probiotic supplements at your local health store or even online. The bacteria found in probiotics can also be found in cheese and yogurt.
Follow BRAT Diet
Using the BRAT diet is one of the best home remedies for diarrhea. The term BRAT diet refers to foods that have very little acidity and contain simple sugars. They include bananas, rice, applesauce, tea and toast. They will help soothe the intestines and alleviate your diarrhea symptoms.
If the diarrhea is caused by food poisoning, you should eat burnt toast. It is believed to have the same effect as medicinal charcoal, which is used to treat severe alcohol and food poisoning in hospital.
Once diarrhea has stopped, you should avoid spicy foods, alcohol, milk and fruits until 48 hours have subsided.
Drink Enough Water
Diarrhea increases the risk of dehydration due to the excessive shedding of body fluid. This is especially so if you are also vomiting. Take frequent sips of fluid as opposed to taking a lot at a time. You can opt for water, beef or chicken broth, sodas and other rehydration solutions. Steer clear of caffeine as it is dehydrating.
When to See a Doctor
For an adult, you should see a doctor when:
Diarrhea lasts more than 2 days;
You suffer dehydration (look out for the following signs of dehydration: excessive thirst, little or no urination, dizziness, severe weakness, dark colored urine or dry mouth or skin);
You experience rectal or abdominal pain;
You pass black or bloody stool;
You experience fever above 39 degrees C (102° F).
For children, see a doctor when:
There’s no improvement after 24 hours;
They haven’t passed urine in more than 3 hours;
They have a fever above 39 degrees C (102° F);
They pass black or bloody stool;
They cry without tears and have a dry mouth;
They are abnormally drowsy, sleepy, irritable or unresponsive;
They have sunken eyes, cheeks or abdomen;
Their skin doesn't flatten when pinched and released.