How to Get Rid of Diarrhea Fast
Diarrhea is a condition of having more frequent bowel movements with loose, watery stools. At some point, everyone has experienced this condition. The symptoms of diarrhea typically last for hours to days before it subsides, but there are cases in which it lasts for several weeks. The stool is in liquid form because the food and beverage that was consumed pass too quickly through the colon, which absorbs the fluid from the food in the stomach. This article serves as a guideline on how to get rid of diarrhea fast.
Causes of Diarrhea
Day by day, things like foods, medications, and even stress could cause diarrhea. But sometimes, diarrhea may be a sign of an underlying condition. Among other things, the following are what causes diarrhea:
• Bacteria and Parasites – humans and bacteria normally live together in peace. However, there are bacteria that can mess with the digestive health. These tiny germs look for rich breeding grounds in eggs, unpasteurized milk, meats, and shellfish. Contaminated water or food could also transmit bacteria and parasites to the body.
Escherichia coli (E. coli), campylobacter, shigella, and salmonella are some of the common bacterial causes of diarrhea. It is common to have diarrhea caused by bacteria when travelling to developing countries. This is often called traveler’s diarrhea.
• Viruses – there are some viral infections that could lead to vomiting and diarrhea and these viral strains are extremely contagious. They easily travel from one unwashed hand to another. Contaminated food, shared drinks, and utensils can also be a free ride into an unsuspicious stomach. Sometimes, those who no longer experience symptoms or did not exhibit any symptoms could spread these viruses.
• Medications – a lot of medications could cause diarrhea and the most common are antibiotics because they destroy both good and bad bacteria. This could disturb the balance in the intestines, and could sometimes cause the bacteria called Clostridium difficile to proliferate, which could lead to diarrhea.
• Lactose Intolerance – milk and other dairy products contain a sugar called lactose. Many people find it difficult to digest lactose and after eating dairy products, they may experience diarrhea.
• Fructose – this is a sugar naturally found in honey and fruits. Fructose can be added to some drinks as a sweetener. People who have difficulty digesting it may experience diarrhea.
Diarrhea Home Remedies
A bout of diarrhea usually lasts for only a few days and goes away on its own without treatment. However, there are cases of severe diarrhea that could last for more than a few days, and this is a reason to consult a doctor because this might mean something more serious. Also, keep in mind that diarrhea treatments for adults might not be appropriate for children with diarrhea. Always check with a pediatrician before giving medication to children.
Here are some ways on how to get rid of diarrhea fast using home treatments:
1. Stay Hydrated
Home treatment could help treat diarrhea as well as other related conditions like dehydration. When you have diarrhea, your body can lose lots of fluid and salts. Even without medicine, diarrhea can go away, but you have to take frequent, small sips of a rehydration drink or water and consume tiny bites of salty crackers. Then, for about one to two hours or more, try to increase water intake to at least one liter per hour. Note: For people with heart, liver, or kidney disease who have to limit water intake, consult with a doctor first before increasing the amount of water to drink.
Some other ways to stay hydrated include:
• Sports Drinks – the sugar and salt content of these drinks make the fluids to be more easily absorbed. You can make your own sports drink by combining a quart of apple juice and a teaspoon of salt. The small amount of salt would help the body absorb the water, but it is not enough for the apple juice to taste bad. It is recommended to keep the drinks at room temperature since a warm drink is better than a cold one for someone with diarrhea.
• Stay on Clear Liquids – clear water and broth are other good choices for diarrhea treatment.
2. Avoid Food and Drinks that May Worsen Symptoms
Sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks could make dehydration worse. Since diarrhea could also cause temporary lactose-intolerance, milk and other dairy products could make the symptoms feel worse. Thus, you should avoid these for about three days after the symptoms disappear. Yogurt or cheeses with probiotics are allowed.
You should also avoid spicy foods and chewing gum that contains sorbitol.
If diarrhea lasts for more than a few days, investigate the foods you eat because some can irritate your bowel and worsen diarrhea. These include foods that are high in fiber, such as brown rice, whole grains, and bran; and greasy or excessively sweet foods.
3. Eat a Bland Diet
There is nothing to worry about having diarrhea from time to time. However, you have to be careful on what to eat when you have diarrhea so as not to make the symptoms worse. During the first 24 hours, only have clear liquids, and then slowly add bland, simple foods to your diet. Bland foods include the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
Other foods that are tolerable include:
• Plain crackers like saltines
• Boiled potatoes
• Backed chicken without skin or fat
Foods with probiotics may also shorten the duration of an episode of diarrhea. Often called “good” bacteria, probiotics can be found in some foods, including yogurt.
How Long Does Diarrhea Last?
Usually, diarrhea goes away within 48 hours, even if you do not take any medication. When experiencing a bout of diarrhea, the most important things to do are to stay hydrated and avoid food and beverages that would make you suffer more.
A lot of things could cause diarrhea, from environmental reasons to chronic conditions. Pay close attention to the symptoms and take note of the things specified in this article on how to get rid of diarrhea fast. Stay hydrated and nourished until symptoms disappear. Seek medical attention if the problem continues for more than two days.