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Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools that occur more frequently than usual. This condition is more common during summer, as heat speeds up food decomposition. Symptoms of diarrhea usually last a couple of days, but sometimes it can last for weeks. In these cases, diarrhea can be a sign of a serious disorder (such as inflammatory bowel disease), or a less serious condition (such as irritable bowel syndrome).
Symptoms and Causes
Some of the main symptoms of diarrhea include:
- frequent, loose, watery stools
- abdominal cramps,
- abdominal pain,
- blood in stools,
- and bloating.
Diarrhea occurs when food and fluids pass too quickly and/or in too large an amount through your colon. Your colon absorbs liquids from the food you eat, leaving a semisolid stool. However, if the liquids aren’t absorbed, the result is a watery bowel movement.
Common causes of diarrhea include:
- bacteria and parasites (from contaminated food or water; common bacterial causes include campylobacter, salmonella, Shigella and Escherichia coli; diarrhea caused by bacteria and parasites can be common when traveling in developing countries and is often called traveler’s diarrhea),
- medications (the most common are antibiotics),
- lactose intolerance,
- artificial sweeteners (sorbitol and mannitol),
- surgery (some people may experience diarrhea after undergoing abdominal surgery or gallbladder removal surgery),
- and other digestive disorders (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis and irritable bowel syndrome).
Most cases of diarrhea clear on their own in a couple of days without treatment. If you have tried lifestyle changes and home remedies for diarrhea without success, you should see a doctor. He will probably recommend you medications or other treatments.
Meanwhile, you can try the following changes in your lifestyle to help you to recover from diarrhea:
- drink plenty of liquids (at least 8 glasses of water, broths, and juices) every day to stay hydrated,
- avoid caffeine, alcohol and certain foods, such as dairy products (except yogurt), fatty foods, high-fiber foods or highly seasoned,
- eat brown rice and carrots (fresh carrot juice or carrot purée, several times a day),
- add semisolid and low-fiber foods gradually as your bowel movements return to normal (soda crackers, toast, eggs, rice, and chicken),
- consider probiotics (they may boost the number of healthy bacteria present in your digestive tract; beneficial bacteria may be found in yogurt).
- and get rest.
Some ways of preventing diarrhea are the following:
- wash frequently and lather with soap for at least 20 seconds,
- use hand sanitizer,
- serve food right away or refrigerate it,
- thaw frozen items in the refrigerator,
- wash work surfaces frequently.
- 2 bowls yogurt.
- 1 banana (optional).
- Eat 2 bowls of yogurt a day.
- Add or eat a banana with your yogurt for added benefits.
- 1 stick of cinnamon.
- 2 cups water.
- Boil the stick of cinnamon in the water for 3 minutes.
- Drink this tea throughout the day.
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger (if it is not available, you can use powdered ginger).
- 1 teaspoon honey.
- 1 cup water (depending on the recipe).
- Grate a piece of ginger.
- Add one teaspoon of honey.
- Eat the mixture to improve your digestive process (and avoid drinking water immediately after eating it).
- You can also make a ginger tea and drink it 2-3 times a day. Add one small piece of ginger to one cup of water. Boil the water for a few minutes, strain it and add some honey.
4. Apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
- 1 glass water.
- Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Drink the solution with each meal.
5. Chamomile tea
- 1 tea bag of chamomile tea or 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers.
- 1 teaspoon peppermint leaves.
- 1 cup boiling water.
- Steep the chamomile and the peppermint in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes.
- Drink 3 cups a day.
- Also, the tannins in ordinary black tea have an anti-diarrheal effect.