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Common Diarrhea: Causes, prevention and home remedies

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September 27, 2016

Diarrhea: Causes, prevention and home remedies

Diarrhea refers to bowel movements that are loose and watery. It sometimes comes with stomach ache. It is a common condition and normally not considered serious. Most people experience diarrhea no more than a couple times each year. It averages about two to three days and can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or other chronic diseases of the large intestine have diarrhea frequently.

Types of Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be classified in three groups. They are:

Osmotic diarrhea

This refers to a condition where something that has entered inside the bowels draws water from the body into the bowels. Good examples of such items include a chewing gum or dietetic candy which has various sugar substitutes like sorbitol. They fail to be absorbed and lead to a diarrhea.

Secretory diarrhea

This occurs when the body releases water and it goes into the bowel at times when it is not supposed to happen. This type of diarrhea is usually caused by infections and certain drugs used in treating various health conditions.

Exudative diarrhea

In this condition, pus and blood is found in the stool. It is caused by a number of infections and inflammatory bowel illness including ulcerative colitis and Crohns. There are also other infections that can cause exudative diarrhea and a test by a doctor will help indentify the problem.

Causes of Diarrhea

The usual reason for diarrhea is a virus which infects the abdomen. The infection normally lasts for a maximum of two days. It is also referred as stomach flu or intestinal flu and it’s quite uncomfortable, especially when far from home. Some other causes of diarrhea are:

  1. Bacterial infection — food poisoning.
  2. Infections by other organisms.
  3. Eating foods that upset the digestive system or are rough on it.
  4. Food allergies.
  5. Medications.
  6. Radiation.
  7. Intestinal diseases — Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis.
  8. Malabsorption — the body can not sufficiently absorb certain nutrients from the diet.
  9. Hyperthyroidism.
  10. Certain cancers.

In some instances, diarrhea may also follow constipation, especially for people who have irritable bowel syndrome.

Home Remedies

Listed below are some effective diarrhea home remedies:

Drink lots of fluids–

Ideally you should down two quarts of fluids daily, three quarts if you’re also running a fever. While plain water doesn’t have any electrolytes, it’s still a good option that can help you replace some of the fluid that you’ve lost. Other options include weak tea with a little sugar, sports drinks such as Gatorade, flat soda (decaffeinated is best), and fruit juices with the exception of apple and prune. Purchase an electrolyte formula such as Ricelyte and Pedialyte, or Rehydralyte which is available in local drug stores. They contain water and minerals in the right amounts to keep the body replenished.

Yogurt —

This means yogurt with live cultures. These are good bacteria that line your intestines, giving you the protection you need from the bad bacteria. If you have diarrhea, yogurt will assist in lactic acid production in the intestines and will destroy bad bacteria and enable you to get on the road to recovery more quickly.

Medicine —

You can take some anti-diarrheal medication. However, sometimes you can allow the diarrhea because your body may be trying to expel something nasty. If you do opt for an over-the-counter medicine, then look for medication that has an active ingredient called bismuth subsalicyclate. They are sold in different brand names (example: Pepto-Bismol). In addition to controlling the diarrhea, it also has a mild antibacterial effect.

Avoid Certain Foods —

This includes all dairy products except for yogurt. Also try not to consume any caffeine either. Caffeine is a stimulant and it will serve to stimulate your intestines. Then there’s sugar. A little is okay, but high doses of sugar can make diarrhea worse. So can the sugar found in fruit and last of all, avoid greasy or high-fiber foods. These are too difficult for your stomach to cope with right now. You need foods such as soup, rice, noodles, bananas, potatoes. Usually diarrhea is a condition will clear up fast unless there is a serious underlying health condition causing it. Do you know of any other home remedies that worked effectively to arrest diarrhea?

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