Diarrhea is a common nuisance, but it is generally not dangerous for health. Many have diarrhea once to twice a year, it usually does not last more than 2 to 3 days and is treated with specific diet and non-prescription medications. There are two types of diarrhea: acute and chronic, the acute one lasting up to several days, and the chronic at least three weeks. In this article we deal with the short-term, acute diarrhea.
What Are the Causes of Diarrhea?
There are several possible causes of diarrhea, the most common of them being a viral infection. If that is not the case, consider one of the following causes:
- bacterial infection as a result of food poisoning
- infections caused by parasites
- stress, anxiety and other psychosomatic causes
- eating food that does not suit the digestive system
- allergy to a particular food
- medication whose side-effect is diarrhea
- digestive diseases (Crohn’s disease and others)
- alcoholic beverages, especially if hard liquors are mixed
When traveling, especially when it comes to destinations with lower standards of hygiene, it is possible to get traveler’s diarrhea. It lasts the first few days and is usually caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli. After a few days the intestinal flora is normalized. Places where tourists often get diarrhea are India, South America and Africa.
Cholera’s main symptom is abundant watery diarrhea that can even lead to death. It is characteristic for destitute countries with poor sanitary conditions, especially contaminated water.
So be sure to be careful when traveling to countries with poor hygienic conditions.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
The symptoms are divided into less and more severe, where the latter may be a sign of a serious disease requiring medical examination.
The less severe symptoms are:
- cramps and bloating
- soft and watery stool
- nausea and vomiting
- sudden urge to go to the toilet
- turbulence in the stomach and intestines
- dry mouth and headache as a result of dehydration
The severe symptoms are:
- blood, mucus and undigested food in the stool
- weight loss
- fever accompanied by high body temperature
How to Stop Diarrhea?
What should you eat and drink while you have diarrhea?
If you have mild diarrhea you can simply wait for it to pass without taking any medications. It is of utmost importance to drink plenty of fluids. The choice of the fluids is not as important as the very fact you drink them because diarrhea causes loss of fluids from the body. Avoid milk because it is difficult to digest.
Recommended fluids are tea, mineral water that contains and compensates for minerals, lemon water – because the lemon tightens the bowels (the same way it tightens the face while we drink it). Many people recommend Coca-Cola along with other carbonated drinks as long as they are not abundant in sugar.
IV therapy is applied in severe cases of diarrhea when dehydration occurs.
In addition to fluids, it is necessary to compensate for lost salts and minerals.
As far as food is concerned, you need to eat – do not starve yourself when you have diarrhea. Food must not be too adipose or sweet (eg. dry fruit). Biscuits, toast, bananas and rice are recommended. Salt sticks can serve as a compensator for salt.
Do not in any case drink alcoholic beverages for the duration of the illness and a for a while after.
Since the virus is the most common cause of diarrhea, antibiotics are not used in its treatment. Antibiotics can even aggravate bacterial infections, which is the case with the infection with Escherichia coli bacterium.
Medications that can accelerate healing are:
- active charcoal – it binds recrements from the intestines to itself and is excreted undigested, causing the stool to have black color
- lyophilized dairy acid bacteria (“Linex”) – they compensate for “good” bacteria that help with digestion and are lost due to the diarrhea
In addition, healing can be accelerated by acidophilic yogurt as it enhances intestinal microflora.
To Conclude »Natural Recipe for Ousting Diarrhea – Coffee with Lemon Juice
This old recipe has been used way back before modern remedies. Some still use it and they claim it is more effective than any medication.
Mix 3 teaspoons of ground coffee with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, stir with a spoon until you have a mash. When it is done, eat the mixture. Warning: The taste is bittersweet and very unsavory, but the recipe is efficient and it helps. Do not add sugar or anything else to alleviate the taste. The coffee will come out of your body in an almost unchanged form. Do not use instant coffee because your body will absorb it, resulting in a large amount of caffeine in your system; also, it will not help with the diarrhea.
If you have tried this recipe, let us know how it works.