Home remedies for diarrhea can work well to stop the loose stools but need to be supplemented with water and electrolytes to get the person back to normal health. Common symptoms of diarrhea include frequent, watery stools accompanied with abdominal pain, bloating and cramps.
Causes of diarrhea may be a bacterial or viral infection, food poisoning, antibiotic use or indigestion.
Here are some effective ways to manage diarrhea:
Diarrhea leads to loss of water and this has to be replaced immediately for the body to catch up. Severe dehydration can also prove to be fatal in very young children and senior citizens. Further, oral rehydration solutions (ORS) also needs to be given so that the electrolytes are also replaced. Liquids like soda, milk, coffee or alcohol must not be given as they can worsen the condition. Rehydration is not a treatment but is very important so that the body is able to withstand the condition and respond to treatment.
Probiotics are good bacteria that release enzymes and convert the food particles into absorbable nutrients in the small intestine. Diarrhea caused by indigestion or antibiotics can be controlled by consuming probiotic foods such as cottage cheese, sourdough bread, fermented and steamed idlis (rice cakes), yogurt or curd and other such foods. Yeast in sourdough is not bacteria but helps in fermentation and simplifying the food reaching the small intestine.
Some foods eaten during diarrhea can immediately bring the condition to normalcy. Foods like banana, white rice, oatmeal, baked or boiled potatoes, chicken soup, etc help not only in revival from the weakness by providing nutrition, they also help in arresting the passing of water stools. BART diet is recommended to people with diarrhea. The letters stand for Bananas, Rice, Apple and Toast respectively.
Some foods have to avoided during diarrhea as they worsen the condition. Foods like beans, berries, broccoli, cabbage, corn, milk, icecream, peppers, tea, prunes etc can be good for constipation but not diarrhea.
Some of the over-the-counter drugs like loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate) are suggested to arrest the watery flow of stools. However, they may not treat the underlying condition like food poisoning or infection.
Home remedies of diarrhea can be followed for one or two days to see if the condition subsides. Consult a physician if the diarrhea lasts for more than 2 days or any of the following symptoms are prevalent.