If you’re an average American, you’ll probably have one or two unpleasant episodes of diarrhea this year. Fortunately, diarrhea will normally pass within a couple of days, and if it doesn’t there are natural remedies, which will usually help.
The most common, and milder, form of diarrhea, known as “acute diarrhea” or “non-inflammatory diarrhea", is usually caused by a bacterial or viral culprit, such as those found in contaminated food or water. Symptoms may include watery bowel movements, stomach cramps, abdominal pain, gas, nausea and vomiting.
Acute diarrhea can also be caused by:
- Extreme fatigue
- Stress and anxiety
- Antibiotics and other medications
- Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks
- Large quantities of vitamin C and/or magnesium
- Nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies in niacin and folic acid
- Improper food chewing
- Putrefied food in the stomach
- Lack of stomach acid and digestive enzymes
- Pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables
- Sugar substitutes
- Laxative overuse
- Dishwashing detergent
In some instances, diarrhea can linger and become "chronic diarrhea", which can result in serious health complications, especially among the young, elderly or chronically ill. Chronic diarrhea is usually an indication of a more serious underlying condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, hyperactive thyroid, celiac disease (gluten intolerance) or other food allergy.
If the cause of prolonged diarrhea is not known, get a professional diagnosis in order to identify and address the underlying condition.
Less severe diarrhea can usually be treated successfully by:
- Eliminating causes such as those listed above
- Letting the diarrhea run its course for 6-12 hours to rid the body of toxins
- Drinking plenty of fluids, especially those that replenish your electrolytes (minerals). Try a good natural sports drink (click here for a recipe).
After the diarrhea has passed, begin replenishing lost nutrients with easy to digest foods. When stools begin forming, reintroduce solid foods and a bland diet that contains little or no fat, such as the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apples and Toast).
Potatoes are also good. Potato soup is often used as a diarrhea remedy. Other good dietary items include applesauce, cottage cheese and other mild cheeses, rolled oats, and brown rice. Be sure to chew everything thoroughly to get the digestive enzymes going. Also, begin rebuilding intestinal flora by introducing beneficial probiotics such as acidophilus.
If diarrhea persists or symptoms become too unpleasant, natural remedies such as the following may help:
- Grate an apple and let it stand at room temperature for several hours until well darkened, which will let out the pectin that is the main ingredient in most common diarrhea medications.
- Try one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (preferably organic) in a glass of water with each meal and at mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and at bedtime.
- Take activated charcoal or white clay to absorb toxins in the system. Actually, activated charcoal is a powerful adsorbent that attracts toxins to its surface, as opposed to absorbing them.
- Put cornmeal into a hot skillet and stir till it is completely parched (medium brown). After it cools, eat about two tablespoons (drinking as little water as you can). It is sand-like and not very pleasant tasting, but this old traditional remedy can help stop diarrhea in only 2-3 hours.
- In a food blender mix a handful of chopped red radishes, 1 cup of cold milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch. Drink slowly. This remedy can stop diarrhea in less than an hour. Repeat in 4 hours if needed.
Among the many other items which have been used for diarrhea are: raw organic honey, lemon juice, carrots and carrot juice, MSM, black pepper, cayenne, carob flour, blueberries, blackberries, garlic, cinnamon, and various herbal teas.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group S.A N.E.Vax. Inc which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group Oleander Soup and he serves as a consultant to the Utopia Silver Supplement Company.
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