Don’t want the toilet to be your new best friend? We all have suffered from a case of the runs here or there. Of course, there are plenty of medicines available at our drugstores which do an amazing job at halting diarrhea in its tracks… The thing is, that scares me. Diarrhea is our bodies natural defense for getting rid of something potentially harmful. Our bodies use diarrhea to rid itself of bacteria, viruses, you name it. I feel that purposefully getting in the way of my bodies natural defense is counterproductive. Yes, it will help me feel better for the moment, but it could potentially make you sicker, if you are in fact suffering from a intestinal bacteria/viral infection that your body is trying to fight. For that reason, I like to avoid over the counter stomach medicine. I like to use natural treatments that persuade my body to stop the runs, not force it!
The most important thing to remember if you have diarrhea is to stay hydrated! Diarrhea can severely dehydrate you, since its using your bodies water resources to help flush out the intestinal track. Staying hydrated is crucial to a speedy recovery. Drinking water is great, but if you feel severely dehydrated, you should go for gatorade, coconut water, or eat a banana to regain lost electrolytes and hydration. There are also specialized drinks for replacing lost electrolytes. Products like Pedialyte found in the baby food section are an excellent choice for electrolyte replacement.
Another good thing to do during periods of diarrhea as well as after, is to eat yogurt. The bacteria in yogurt is incredibly beneficial to our digestive system. It helps replace lost bacteria, and to re-populate the stomach and gut with good bacteria. If you are experiencing diarrhea from antibiotics, then yogurt is the number one solution for that! Antibiotics kill a lot of the good, natural bacteria in our digestive systems. Eating yogurt helps to restore the bacteria that was wiped out by the antibiotics, and therefore cures the cause. If you don’t want to eat yogurt, you can always get probiotic capsules, or kiefir drinks. Anything with beneficial bacteria will be helpful.Avoid these foods! Avoid all dairy products. Dairy is generally digested in your small intestine. When we have diarrhea, the problem is usually in the small intestine. For that reason, when we have diarrhea, our bodies will not process dairy very well- leading to problems! Also, do not drink coffee or tea. Large amounts of caffeine and sugar can stimulate the digestive system. When we have diarrhea, our intestines are overly stimulated- the last thing we want to do is stimulate them more by consuming caffeine or sugar! Finally, stay away from greasy, and high fiber foods. These foods are more difficult for our bodies to digest, and therefore can cause issues during times that our digestive tract is angry!
Just like in my article about treating stomach aches naturally, Having a nice cup of Chamomile tea can help ease diarrhea. Chamomile does an excellent job at calming the digestive system, and soothing any irritation and inflammation. It also has antispasmodic properties, which helps calms the over-active muscle tissue of the digestive system. Adding honey can add an extra boost to help calm and coat the stomach.
Eat Blueberries! Believe it or not, blueberries are excellent at treating diarrhea! In Sweeden, its been known that doctors prescribe a paste made from blueberries for stomach issues! Blueberries are high in Tannins, which are known to naturally combat diarrhea. Even better, you can have yogurt with blueberries on top! Or try a blueberry yogurt smoothie! Or a Blueberry Yogurt Honey Smoothie! Combine all these great ingredients, and you’re sure to cure your problem in no time!
Last but not least, I do want to mention that if your diarrhea persists more than a few days, I would recommend seeing a doctor. It can be a sign of something much worse, that may require medical attention. For that reason, please consult when necessary! Please let me know if there are any other natural treatments for diarrhea that I’ve missed!