Popular home remedies to treating diarrhea
Diarrhea is a common type of gastrointestinal condition which causes excessive, frequent, and abnormal passing of watery stools. Symptoms lasting for a couple of days indicate acute diarrhea whereas week-long symptoms can be a case of chronic diarrhea. The most common causes of diarrhea include bacterial and viral infections, toxins, parasites, and food allergies. One of the major risks associated with diarrhea is dehydration as it makes the body lose a lot of water and minerals such as sodium.
Acute diarrhea which lasts for a couple of days might be treated at home, but chronic diarrhea would need medical intervention. There are some home remedies and treatments that can help ease the symptoms of diarrhea. These include:
- Eat bowel-soothing foods that are easy to digest
Eat light. Eating oily foods in excess makes it harder for the digestive system to process the food. Hence, it is advised to eat small amounts of food throughout the day. Opt for bland foods such as apples, bananas, whole grains, and rice for the first few days as they act as binding agents to firm up the watery stools. Studies have also shown that flaxseeds reduce the duration of diarrhea. Hence, top your meals with the same to get maximum benefits. Some patients use raw honey and ginger in herbal tea which helps soothe their stomach.
- Avoid dehydration
It is critical to drink enough water when the patient is losing too much water in the stool. With bowel soothing foods, it is recommended to drink at least 15 ounces of water every hour. Homemade bone broth provides additional nutrients and herbal teas such as ginger, peppermint, oat bark, fennel, and non-caffeinated pomegranate tea can also help in soothing the stomach.
- Use essential oils
Several studies have shown that peppermint oil can soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation due to diarrhea. It also helps in reducing loose stools as the active ingredients present in peppermint oils blocks calcium channels and soothe intestinal muscles.
There are several supplements present in the pharmacy that can assist in improving digestive health and overall gut health. Supplements such as probiotics, digestive enzymes, and glutamine powder help in fighting the diarrheal infection, recolonize the gut with healthy bacteria, and repair the digestive tract.
Stopping diarrhea in infants
Children, especially infants are susceptible to diarrhea due to dehydration. They could also suffer from some form of allergies or illnesses of which diarrhea is an underlying symptom. In such cases, it is recommended to breastfeed the infant. However, it is important to remember that sugary drinks and juice can worsen the symptoms. Most pediatricians recommend electrolytes for infants experiencing diarrhea to make up for the sodium content lost due to frequent bowel movements. If the baby has developed diaper rash due to frequent bowel movement, be very gentle and use a soft washcloth and warm water to clean them. Avoid using soaps with harsh chemical components and let the skin air-dry.