How To Treat Diarrhea

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
How Is Diarrhea Treated?

In most instances diarrhea clears up without treatment within 48 hours. You may experience other symptoms such as headaches and weakness which is a sign of dehydration. Drinking extra fluids will help resolve this problem. Babies and children with severe diarrhea should however be treated quickly by a doctor because they can become rapidly dehydrated. For the purpose of this article, we focus on treating diarrhea in adults.

When Should I Call a Doctor?

A bout of diarrhea is generally not harmful - most chronic (sudden) cases are just the body's way of expelling unwanted bacterial and viral infections quickly. However, do call a health care provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

• Diarrhea for more than 2 days.
• Severe abdominal or rectum pain.
• A fever of 102 degrees or over.
• Stools which contain blood or are black in color.
• Signs of severe dehydration such as fainting, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and urinating less.

Should I Take Imodium?

If you think your diarrhea is caused by a bug (via something you ate or drank for example), avoid over the counter diarrhea remedies like Imodium, Lomotil and Lonox. They will only prolong your infection by slowing down the rate offending bacteria are expelled from your body.

8 Home Remedies For Diarrhea

1. Stay Hydrated
Drink 15-20 glasses of boiled or bottled water a day during an attack. You know you are drinking enough when your urine is clear and not dark. Additionally sip on a rehydration drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade which are designed to replace fluids and minerals lost by diarrhea and vomiting.

2. Pau D'Arco Herbal Remedy
Pau d'arco is a herbal supplement that helps to naturally kill bacteria and other harmful organisms. Take 2 to 3 capsules a day during an attack of diarrhea.

3. Grated Apple
Grate an apple, leave it for an hour to go brown and then eat it. Browned apples are very binding and speed up the rate at which the bugs are expelled from your body. Green unripe bananas have the same effect (studies show they may also help with dyspepsia and peptic ulcers).

4. Natural Yogurt
While it is best to avoid dairy products if you have diarrhea (in case it is an allergic reaction to lactose), natural 'live' yogurt is an exception. This product contains 'live' good bacteria which will help to restore balance to your bowels.

5. Camomile Tea
Drink 4 to 5 cups of camomile tea during an attack. It has been used for hundreds of years as a gentle way of curing diarrhea. Black tea and fennel tea are alternatives.

6. Eat Fiber
Yes, eat fiber! It may sound strange because fiber is usually a remedy for constipation, but it also helps to control diarrhea by increasing stool bulk. For example, eat a vegetable stir fry with some brown rice. Munch on apples, mangoes, pineapple, figs and peaches.

7. Avoid Coffee
Caffeine in coffee and cola drinks has a laxative effect, so they are best avoided for a few days.

8. Charcoal Tablets
Charcoal tablets help treat diarrhea. The charcoal binds to toxins produced by the infecting bacteria which are then excreted with a bowel movement. You can buy charcoal tablets in most health stores. Pregnant women, breastfeeding women or children should avoid it. If you are taking medications, always talk to your doctor about possible interactions before taking a natural remedy.

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• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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