Diarrhea Can have Variety of Causes
Find Yours and Feel Better
Diarrhea refers to an increased frequency, volume, or fluidity of stool and is a common symptom of many conditions. Diarrhea is usually a mild episode lasting just a few days and is a way for the body to cleanse itself of irritants. However, it can also be an indication of a serious underlying condition.
Diarrhea can be due to a variety of causes including infections or overgrowth of bacteria, viruses, or parasites (sometimes secondary to antibiotic use); the use of laxatives or medications causing increased motility; inflammatory bowel disease; malabsorption; emotional stress; and food allergies.
The main dangers of diarrhea include dehydration and mineral or electrolyte imbalance, malabsorption, weight loss, or the presence of a more serious underlying condition.
Below are some general recommendations to control diarrhea. If diarrhea lasts for more than a few days, is severe and acute, contains blood or pus, or is associated with a high fever, weight loss, listlessness, severe cramping, or vomiting, the cause must be determined and treated.
Fast for 36 hours (a night, a day, and a night). Drink plenty of liquids-dilute fruit and vegetable juices and filtered water to maintain hydration.
Foods to avoid:
- Milk and milk products: butter, cheese, ice cream, etc.
- Sweetened fruit juices
- Sugar, including honey
- High protein foods: meat, eggs, nuts, seeds
- Fats: especially fried or greasy food
- Any gluten containing grains: wheat, rye, barley, oats
- Artificial sweeteners: mannitol, sorbitol, aspartame
Foods to eat:
- High fiber diet
- Ripe mashed bananas
- Rice bran
- Raw foods
- Yogurt (unsweetened)
- Oat bran
- Carrot soup
- Rice or rice cereal
- Papaya juice
- Applesauce or grated green apples
- Soured products: yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, etc.
- Barley water: Use 1/2 cup barley in 2 cups water. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain and take the water.
- Carob and amaranth powder (rich in pectin): Mix 1 tablespoon carob or amaranth powder in 1 cup of applesauce or water.
- Carrot and cabbage juice
- Powdered cinnamon: Use 1/4 teaspoon in applesauce or as a tea
- Green drink: Celery or watercress with Cabbage or parsley. Blend together with a little water. Strain. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Sauerkraut and tomato juice: Use equal parts. Take 1 tablespoon of each every hour or 2-4 ounces for each stool passed.
- Toasted Rye Flour: Toast rye flour in the oven until lightly brown. Use 1 teaspoon rye flour mixed with 1 tablespoon yogurt or applesauce as needed.
Electrolyte loss is a potential problem with severe and/or prolonged diarrhea. Electrolyte replacement is an important therapeutic goal and can be accomplished orally using solutions available over the counter such as Pedialyte. For most mild cases, broths such as miso or chicken stock along with water and dilute vegetable juices will suffice. Intravenous rehydration may be needed in severe cases. Remember, diarrhea is a symptom and you should see a physician to determine the cause.
World Health Organization Rehydration Formula
1 quart purified water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon lite salt (contains potassium and sodium chlorides). Sip 2 – 3 tablespoons every 15 minutes to 1 hour (adult dose).
Recharge: electrolyte replace drink founding the health departs of food stores or health food stores.
Don’t wait to get the help you derive to gain control of your bowels. Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Brown to find balance in your day.