Diarrhea is a condition in which an adult (or a child) passes more stools during a day than normal. The stools also do not hold form like when normal and are watery and loose and may be accompanied by severe abdominal cramping. Typically, 3 stools a day is considered normal although some people do not need to pass stools more than once a day. The following list of best remedies for diarrhea includes remedies to correct intestinal disorders leading to diarrhea and also to keep the patient form losing fluids and getting dehydrated.
1. Eat mild food
Eat soft food that has been pressure-cooked or steamed and is lightly seasoned with salt. You could also have dry toast and crackers. This is one of the best remedies for diarrhea. Avoid black pepper, cayenne pepper and any spice or condiment that irritates the stomach lining. Also avoid fried food and meat.
2. Have soups and plenty of water
Have your favorite vegetable soups or clear soups made of chicken or other broths. You can also have a bit of rice cooked with plenty of water. Increase intake of warm water. This is also one of the tried and tested best remedies for diarrhea.
3. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol
If you are suffering from diarrhea and dehydration, carbonated drinks might make it worse. Alcohol causes massive dehydration and will prove detrimental when you are already suffering from diarrhea.
4. Do not drink milk or milky tea/coffee
Avoid milk until all your symptoms subside. Try not to drink milky tea or coffee (black coffee is alright) at least until you see slight improvement in your condition. Although in fluid form, the protein in milk is hard to breakdown and hence it is a strict rule not to consume milk when you have any digestive disorders however minor.
5. Avoid gassy food and food high in insoluble fiber
Avoid beans, oats, corn, chickpeas and other foods that can cause flatulence or are high in insoluble fiber. This will only make your diarrhea worse and healing would take much longer. The abdominal pain might also increase causing intense discomfort.
6. Use probiotics for faster relief
Buy live probiotic powder sachets from the pharmacy or consume at least 2 cups of yogurt every day until the symptoms subside. Avoid sugary or flavored yogurts as far as possible. Plain homemade yogurt is best.
7. Avoid fruits and fruit juices
Fruits have fructose and fiber that can irritate the already fragile intestine and colon and prolong the healing process. Avoid all fruits and fruit juices when you are suffering from diarrhea. If you are not quite there, that is if you suspect an impending diarrhea but haven’t passed more than 3 stools in a day, you can snack on apples but if you are already suffering from diarrhea every and any fruit is a strict no-no.
8. Have black tea or coffee
Sip small quantities of black tea or strong black coffee during the day. However, do not drink green tea. Strong black coffee (without milk) is one of the best remedies for diarrhea.
9. Use a heat pack for cramps
If you have abdominal pain, use a heat pack over layers of clothing to relieve pain. Use it only for a few minutes at a time to avoid burns.
10. Avoid acidic food
Do not eat acidic food like lemons, tomatoes, rhubarb, fried foods, baked goods, coffee, and of course alcohol. Do not consume artificial sweeteners or MSG through drinks and food either.
11. OTC medication
Some over the counter medication like gels and chewable tablets are helpful to stop diarrhea. However, if you have more severe symptoms like fever, vomiting, and bloody stools do not use the OTC medication and consult a doctor immediately. Also, in many cases, it is best to let the body run its natural course. Diarrhea is often a sign that the body needs to pass out the waste naturally. So avoid taking any medicines unless it is very severe.
Homeopathic medication is highly effective in treating digestive disorders and when prescribed by a trained homeopath can give fast (almost instantaneous) relief.
13. Chew food well until you naturally swallow
The salivary glands in the mouth not only generate saliva when you chew the food and help making the bolus, they also signal the stomach what food to expect. The stomach then secretes the appropriate digestive juices. Incomplete chewing and forcefully swallowing food deprives the stomach of this signal and digestion is adversely affected.
Scientifically, diarrhea is caused by the inability of the colon to absorb the water from the digestive waste. That happens for several reasons such as incomplete digestion, inflammation in the intestine, over active intestinal muscles and so on. The above list of 13 best remedies for diarrhea can also provide relief from vomiting, loose stools, dehydration, and pain in the abdomen, headache or other minor symptoms of diarrhea. If you know a good acupuncturist, you can try acupuncture which often provides quick relief from all these symptoms but if you are prone to chronic diarrhea, these best remedies for diarrhea might just be the mantra for you to lead a healthier life. It is important to find out the underlying cause of chronic diarrhea for long term prevention.