Diarrhea is usually a digestive issue, and it can occur when you have a virus or food poisoning. If it’s caused by a specific food (such as sashimi, sushi, or raw clams), it’s called a food-borne disease.
However, it can also be caused by other factors, such as a parasite. If you’re allergic to a certain food, you may also experience diarrhea.
If you’re not sure of the cause, you should see your doctor.
What you can do about it?
Diarrhea is uncomfortable, but it isn’t usually dangerous.
You can try these home remedies to help prevent or relieve your diarrhea.
Take a probiotic
Probiotics help keep your gut healthy. They’re also known to help restore your gut flora after a bout of diarrhea.
Some probiotics include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Saccharomyces boulardii
You can take them in capsule form or in a drink.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can also take your probiotics with a meal to help restore your gut flora.
Use ginger tea
Ginger is a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. It’s been shown to improve digestive health.
You can use ginger to make a drink by soaking 10 to 12 pieces of fresh ginger in hot water for 10 minutes. Then, strain the mixture and drink it up.
Use a stool softener
A stool softener can help manage the consistency of your stool. If you have diarrhea, you may also benefit from using a stool softener.
You can purchase over-the-counter (OTC) stool softeners. However, these don’t always work for everyone.
You may need to try different products to find the best fit for your dietary needs and symptoms.
Try a stool softener that’s been specifically formulated for diarrhea. This can help it pass more easily and avoid hard stools.
Ask your doctor about taking an OTC stool softener.
You can also try a natural stool softener, such as psyllium.
Drink more water
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can make your diarrhea worse.
Your doctor may ask you to take a stool test to check for dehydration. You’ll need to drink as many cups of water as you can in a day.
If you’re experiencing diarrhea, try to drink about four cups of water, three times a day.
Be mindful of foods
Certain foods can make diarrhea worse. These foods can affect the way your stool moves, which can lead to constipation.
- Raw vegetables, such as raw eggplant, raw spinach, or raw cucumber
- High-fiber foods, such as whole wheat, whole-grain products, or oatmeal
- Raw fruits, such as kiwi, melon, or pineapple
- Raw shellfish, such as clams, oysters, or mussels
- Hot peppers
- Alcoholic beverages, such as fruit juices, beer, or red wine
- Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea
- Spicy foods, such as hot peppers or hot chili peppers
You may also be able to avoid some foods that slow down digestion. These include:
- Fatty foods, such as meat and fish
- Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose
Try an OTC product
If OTC treatment isn’t working, you may want to try an OTC product.
You may be able to use a stool softener for diarrhea. However, you may need to try a different product each time.
You can also try a stool softener that’s specifically formulated for diarrhea. This can help it pass more easily and avoid hard stools.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
What’s the long-term outlook?
Diarrhea is typically a temporary condition. This means that it’s temporary and can go away on its own.
However, you may experience it more often if you’re dehydrated or have a weak immune system.
You may also experience it more often if you’re pregnant, if you’ve recently lost a lot of weight, or if you have a chronic illness.
If you’re overweight or have a diet that’s low in fiber, your stools may become hard. This can make diarrhea worse.
Your doctor can help you determine whether or not you need to lose weight before you try to treat the diarrhea.
It’s also important to note that diarrhea is most often a result of a viral infection.
However, it can be a sign of a more serious condition if it lasts more than a week or if you have bloody stool.
If you have diarrhea for more than a week, or if you have blood in your stool, see your doctor.
Diarrhea is a common condition. You may want to learn more about what causes it and how to treat it.
You can also talk to your doctor about any diet and lifestyle changes you can make, including:
- Eating less salt
- Eating a high-fiber diet
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages
- Taking a probiotic
- Taking a stool softener
- Avoiding food that slows digestion
If your diarrhea lasts more than a week or has bloody stool, you may want to see a doctor.
When to see a doctor?
It’s important to see your doctor if you have diarrhea for more than a week or have blood in your stool.
Talk to a doctor if you have:
- Bloody stool
- Black or tarry stools
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- A loss of appetite
- Persistent diarrhea
A doctor can help you determine whether or not you have a more serious condition.
Take a stool test
You may be able to use OTC stool softeners to help pass your stools. However, you may need to try a different product each time.
You can also use a stool softener that’s specifically formulated for diarrhea. This can help it pass more easily and avoid hard stools.
The bottom line
Diarrhea is uncomfortable. But it usually isn’t harmful.
You can try some home remedies to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of diarrhea.
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