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Diarrhea like cough and flu happens to us all a few times a year. As you have probably experienced, it is the frequent passing of loose liquid bowel movements. After digestion, the fluids were not reabsorbed by the intestine hence it is passed out of the body in a loose or watery form.
I was surprised to find out that women experienced up to six times more diarrhea than men. It is important as women and mothers we know how to treat these common ailments without harming our health with pills.
How Do I know It is Diarrhea?
The frequency of toilet visits for it to be classified as a loose motion is set at having three (3) or more loose toilet visits in a day. This condition can be caused by a number of reasons such as bacteria, virus, food poisoning, a parasite, food intolerance, eating some foods such as a hot egg, etc.
For mild diarrhea, it usually goes away without medication within some hours or in less than 2 days
causes of diarrhea
You might be wondering what caused your diarrhea. I always try to look back and understand that myself. This is not always easy to pinpoint because loose stools can easily happen in the body. However, there are some known causes of diarrhea such as:
- Certain foods such as a hot egg
- Food poisoning
- Contaminated food or water
- Bacteria and Viruses
- Allergies and digestive disorders such as being lactose intolerant
- Poor food absorption
- Taking too many vitamin C rich foods (they tend to have laxative effects)
- Alcohol abuse
- Running (in some people)
- Laxative abuse
- Surgery on the digestive system etc.
symptoms of diarrhea
The main symptoms of diarrhea are watery stools, bloating, stomach cramping, nausea, stomach noises, etc. It makes the patient feel dehydrated, fatigued, discomfort, frequent urge to visit the toilet, and sometimes even fever. In babies and toddlers, it can be more dangerous because it can cause severe dehydration in just one day. So it is important to keep a close eye on a small child with diarrhea.
The main drawback of having diarrhea is the inconvenience it causes in our lives. It tends to come unexpectedly and disrupts our activities forcing us to stay in one place until it is over. Contracting diarrhea while traveling to a new place is actually common because your body needs to adjust to the new place and its food.
Dysentery or diarrhea: which is yours?
It is common to think you are experiencing diarrhea when it is dysentery and vice versa. Though diarrhea happens more often than dysentery, dysentery also occurs fewer times a year for most people.
The difference between diarrhea and dysentery is that dysentery is an intestinal inflammation; especially the colon which can lead to severe diarrhea with mucus or blood in the stool while diarrhea is the frequent passing of loose or watery stool without mucus or blood.
You can read more about their differences and similarities here. Understanding their difference is important in finding the best remedy for the condition.
We will discuss ways of putting a quick stop to diarrhea with home remedies and fast action. For fast relief from diarrhea, it is important to combine the use of remedies with some helpful habits such as:
The body is losing water fast with every toilet visit which is why dehydration is one of the most concerning effects of diarrhea on the body. Beyond just water, electrolytes are also lost. These are important minerals such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. Babies, children, and older adults are the most vulnerable to dehydration and its harmful effects on the body.
A popular electrolyte solution is the ORT which is a solution of salt and sugar dissolved in water. This has been used for generations in my country safely and effectively for dehydration during especially severe diarrhea and dysentery.
How to make:
Dissolve 6 teaspoons of sugar with ½ a teaspoon of salt in a liter of clean boiled, filtered, or bottled water.
Use this solution as part of your drinking water throughout the day and not all at once because that may worsen your condition.
Just sip it throughout the day. A liter of this solution is enough for one person in a day.
The electrolyte solution is better for the body than just simple regular clean water because it helps in replenishing some of the salt lost from the body, water for dehydration, and sugar for energy.
This is because often, fatigue and weakness is an expected side effect of diarrhea and dysentery.
Eating safe Bland foods
Oily foods, spicy foods, dairy, sugary foods, and snacks, etc. all need to stay far away from you and your stomach. To soothe the stomach and firm up the stool, eat:
- Plain bread with no butter, egg, or sauce.
- Plain rice, with little oil and salt no pepper, or with some plain soup
- Plain soups
- Cooked oat cereal without milk or sugar and if you must use sugar, use very little.
- Boiled/baked potatoes with a plain soup
- Weak black tea with no milk or sugar. Use honey instead.
Foods to avoid:
- Spicy foods
- All dairy foods
- Raw vegetables
- Sardines and other canned fish
- All citrus fruits
- Soda and other carbonated drinks
- Fried, fatty and greasy foods
- Beans etc.
I think from this small list, you can understand the types of food to eat and what to avoid if you want to quickly get out of this situation. Let us move on to the actual remedies that stop diarrhea in its tracks.
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Our favorite antibacterial and antimicrobial food is here to save the day again. Honey has always been one of the first remedies I knew for diarrhea and it works so well. Honey and papaya alone can cure you of diarrhea in less than 24 hours.
I mainly use honey to soothe the stomach especially when it is cramping or making noises. It is best that you get the best quality of honey you can get for fast effect.
It has been scientifically proven through numerous research findings that honey is a very good natural remedy for diarrhea. The studies reported that honey has caused a reduction in the duration, occurrence, and severity of diarrhea.
The finding also showed that honey also acts as a good substitute for glucose. This is helpful in replenishing the sugar and water that is lost with every toilet visit.
How to use:
- Dissolve a tablespoon of honey in about a cup of very clean water
- Give to the diarrhea patient to sip gradually
- Repeat the remedy after every 5-6 hours or after every toilet visit for best results
Where to get it:
There are many types of honey and they all have the situations and methods they are used best.
Fresh ripe papaya with its high water content is a popular remedy for upset stomach, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, etc. This is because the papaya fruit contains a naturally occurring enzyme papain that helps digestion, cleaning, and balancing the stomach and the digestive system.
How to use:
- Cut half of a medium-sized papaya into pieces
- Take the entire half of the papaya fruit in one seating
- Keep the other half and take it about 4-6 hours later if you are yet to be completely cured
The common guava fruit is packed with many useful nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C and fiber which firms up stools and aid digestion.
They are an excellent source of soluble fibers that help bulk up the stools. Guavas are also used to prevent constipation and keep a healthy gut environment.
How to use:
- Eat 2 medium-sized ripe guavas at a time. Do not eat more than 3-4 guavas in 24 hours
- Drink plenty of water afterward.
I know this herb is very popular both in the kitchen and for medicinal purposes. Well lucky us, it is also a good remedy for stopping diarrhea whenever it appears.
Fresh basil leaves are easily available in the markets and many gardeners also plant them in their gardens. It is easy to grow and is known for its fragrance.
This is the most effective remedy for diarrhea that I know.
A few days ago, my sister had diarrhea and she only took the basil once (previously, she visited the toilet more than 3 times). The diarrhea completely stopped without even taking a second dose.
How to use (Adult dose):
- For fast action, wash a single handful of the leaves
- Blend the herb alone with about a cup or 1/2 a cup of water
- Take the basil smoothie and don’t eat anything else except water for at least an hour
- If the diarrhea is severe, repeat the recipe about 6 hours after the first dose.
- That should be enough for almost any diarrhea
Are these remedies suitable for children and toddlers?
Yes. These remedies are very suitable for children as most of the remedies are everyday foods that we eat.
For the basil, children of about 7 years and above should take half the adult dose of the herb. This means that they should take half a single adult handful.
Teenagers from 13 years and above should take the adult dose. It is safe for them.
For 3-7 year-olds, 1/4 of a handful should be adequate. As for 1-2 year-olds, 2-4 pieces of the leaves should be enough to stop diarrhea.
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12-Hour diarrhea elimination plan
This is the treatment plan that I usually use when I have diarrhea and it usually gets cured within 12 hours. This what you need to do immediately after noticing the diarrhea. You have The following choices;
Basic diarrhea treatment
- If you have basil, just use the basil remedy described above to get rid of it quickly and almost effortlessly.
- If you don’t have the diarrhea, take the papaya/guava while using the honey remedy every 3-4 hours or after every toilet visit.
- Take adequate water throughout the day especially after every toilet visit
- Stick to plain foods for at least 6 hours before resuming your normal foods
- If the diarrhea is severe, repeat the basil remedy 6 hours after the first basil dose
- Remember to take the honey and water solution as described above for hydration or use the ORT remedy.
- Avoid all foods listed above that are not good for your stomach and stick to plain and bland foods for at least six hours after noticing the diarrhea. Ideally, you should wait 12-18 hours depending on the severity of the diarrhea before slowly resuming your normal diet
- If you don’t have any basil at home, First, Use the honey remedy
- Then about an hour later, eat the papaya or guava fruit but not the two within at least 6 hours
- You can now eat some bland food of your choice such as plain bread, plain rice, plain oatmeal, crackers with some plain black tea etc. Avoid all the foods that are labeled in the above to be avoided during diarrhea
- Take the honey remedy after every toilet visit
- Repeat this process after 6 hours. So, you will eat two bland meals, eat a fruit twice and take the honey remedy in 12 hours.
This treatment plan is the same one that I used during my last diarrhea episode and it still works. I hope it works for you as it does for me
When to visit the doctor
While trying to remedy your diarrhea, once you begin to:
- Notice weight loss,
- Notice blood in your stool,
- Have excessive thirst,
- Feel extreme weakness,
- Have fever,
- Notice the stool is dark or black,
- Have severe and continuous stomach ache,
- Have persistent diarrhea for more than 2 days,
Then, it is time to immediately visit the hospital because it looks like your condition has become quite serious.
Keep in mind, common diarrhea lasts for about 2-4 days at most and it will take at least 4-6 hours before your diarrhea clears when you use the above remedies. When I say your diarrhea clears, I mean it is now safe to resume your life as before.
So don’t rush and be patient with your body. You can also wait it out as some doctors recommend and let your body readjust itself while eating the proper foods as indicated above without any medication or remedy.
Unfortunately, it can take up to 3-4 days for that to happen which is not something most of us are willing to wait on.
Remember, it is not encouraged to immediately reach out for a pharmaceutical drug at the onset of diarrhea instead, it is either you wait it out to stop on its own or use safe and easy home remedies.
Some of these drugs can lead to other unpleasant conditions such as worsening the dysentery to constipation which is an equally uncomfortable problem.
Medical intervention might be needed in the case of frequent or severe diarrhea and dysentery. See a doctor as soon as possible if that is your case for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
I hope these effective remedies for diarrhea worked for you as we know everybody’s system is different. I wish you the best on your health and have a nice day.
Please rate this article and let me know if these remedies worked for you in the comments below.
Until next time.