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DIARRHEA

Diarrhea is that loose and very watery bowel movement you can have from time to time. You can refer to it as Diarrhea when you have bowel movements of loose or watery unformed stools that repeats more than three to four times a day.
Diarrhea is also called 'loose motions' and is one of the more common diseases.
The small intestine normally gets more than ten litres of liquid per day which comes from your diet and from secretions of the stomach, liver, pancreas, and intestines. In the case of diarrhoea, water is not absorbed in the small intestine or is excreted in excess. It is then passed to the colon where water-holding capacity is limited and this is the cause for the frequent urge to defecate.

Causes for Diarrhea:
There is a long list of causes for Diarrhea and following are the more common ones: Food poisoning, Overeating, Antibiotics, stimulant laxatives and other drugs, Viruses, bacteria and parasites, Heavy doses of vitamin C, a nerves attack and even food intolerance to certain substances as common as eggs , milk, sea foods and wheat.
Another good way to get diarrhea is a rich meal of wine, high in fat main dish, creamy desserts plus all the trimmings. It is usually too much for the body to process and it rejects the whole bundle and pass it all out as a loose bowel movement.

Diarrhea is not a terminal illness and in most cases they do clear up without the need of any type of special treatment. The main side effects are that your body looses a lot of fluids and salts that make you weak and pale due to loss of energy.
First thing to do is to replenish your body with fluids by drinking a lot.

You should also know that statistically Diarrhea is not discriminative and it develops the same between man and women and between all races.

Note: Diarrhea in infants is serious! If your child has five or more watery stools a day, assume it is diarrhea and take action right away. It is recommended to see your doctor for advise since prolonging the process may lead to dehydration and other complications.

Reasons to seek Doctor advice

You must seek doctor advice immediately if you have any one of the following symptoms:

  • Your diarrhea recurring or lasts longer than a week.
  • You have fever above 38°C (101.5°F).
  • You have bad abdominal cramps.
  • You have blood, mucus or pus in your stools.
  • You suspect you have become dehydrated (you have dry lips and mouth and didn't urinate for eight hours).
  • You recently visited a foreign country or were in close contact with someone who did.
  • You recently drank water directly from a stream, river or lake.

First rule: To protect your loved ones while you are suffering from diarrhea, do not prepare food for others and wash your hands thoroughly.

What to do when you have the "Runs"

  • Refrain from solid foods for twelve to twenty four hours. If it is a mild diarrhea than just avoid whole-grain cereals, fruits and vegetables.
  • As mentioned earlier, diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Good drinking choices include water, herbal teas, sports drinks, and diluted vegetable and fruit juices.
    Note: Full-strength undiluted fruit juice and milk can aggravate diarrhea.
  • If you do decide to eat than choose cooked fruits and vegetables, specifically cooked carrots and apples. Bananas and low-fibre grains will help you recover faster.

Sound weird, but yes, specific bacteria will help you with this situation
One of the bacteria usually found in the intestines is Lactobacilli. Research has shown that ingesting some strains of lactobacilli will assist in preventing diarrhea and also improve recovery from diarrhea caused by the rotavirus virus.

The Lactobacilli bacteria function as follows:

  • preventing the undesired bacteria from clinging to the intestinal lining by taking its place.
  • strengthening local immune response in the gut.
  • stimulating white blood cells.

These bacteria can be ingested when you eat active-culture as yogurt, Kefir or yakult (a yogurt drink).
Make sure that it does contain active culture.

Buttermilk

This is one of the better and more effective home remedies when treating diarrhoea. Buttermilk is actually what left from milk after the fat has been removed from curd by churning. The buttermilk fights germs and bacteria.

Typical dosage: drink 34 cup three or four times a day (may be taken with a pinch of salt)

HERBAL REMEDIES

Agrimony

This herb has a drying action in the bowel due to the astringents contained in it.
Agrimony tea - put one teaspoon of dried leaves in 14 litre of hot water for ten minutes and strain.

Typical dosage: 1 to 3 cups of tea per day ().

Fenugreek

The leaves of this herb are useful in treating diarrhoea and helpful in alleviating stomach ache.
Boil one teaspoon of seeds and then fry them in butter. Mix the fried seeds with a cup of buttermilk.

Typical dosage : one cup twice a day.

Blackberry and Raspberry

Same as with the Agrimony herb mentioned earlier, The roots of these berry plants act as astringents to help relieve diarrhea symptoms.
Berry tea - put two teaspoons of dried leaves in 14 litre of hot water for ten minutes.

Typical dosage: around 3 cups of tea per day.

Ginger

Dry or fresh ginger is very helpful in cases of indigestion related diarrhoea. Ginger will bring quick relief by being a carminative (reduce gasses) and aiding digestion by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract.
Ground into powder a piece of dry ginger with a small piece of crystal of rock salt.

Typical dosage: a 14 teaspoon of the powder mix should be taken with a small piece of jaggery.

Apples

The apple peels contain large amount of Pectin that is quite common as a diarrhea remedy and also is a popular ingredient in few over-the-counter medicines.
Pectin is actually a soluble fibre that sucks fluid and by doing that, reduces the looseness of the bowels.
It is recommended to cook the apples with the peel (since it contains most of the Pectin) first and then eat them or make an apple sauce.

Caution: Stay away from apple juice (it will worsen your stools)

Grapefruit Seed Extract

The extract helps in fighting both bacterial and parasitic infections. As its name, it is made from the seeds of the grapefruit.
Research shows that they can kill or inhibit growth of vast range of bacteria species as the Salmonella, Shigella, Cholera, Candida and Giardia.
It is also taken as a preventive medicine for people traveling to areas where drinking water are dubious.
It is sold in liquid or tablet forms.

Typical dosage: follow manufacturer's directions.

Drumstick Leaves

Juice made of fresh drumstick leaves is also beneficial in treating diarrhoea.
Mix a teaspoon of this juice with a teaspoon of honey and a glass of coconut water

Typical dosage: two to three glasses per day.

Bilberry

This shrub's fruits contain both tannins and pectin that will assist in fighting the symptoms of Diarrhea.

Typical dosage: 2 or 3 capsules or tablets per day containing up to 25% anthocyanosides.

Pomegranate

The pomegranate is another fruit that contains astringents properties and has been proved beneficial in the treatment of diarrhoea. It should take control of the diarrhoea and reduce the number of toilette visits.

Typical dosage: Patient should drink 50 ml of pomegranate juice repeatedly during the day.

Carob

Carob is flowering evergreen shrub or tree and is a part of the pea family. It is high in protein and contains tannins. Carob provides a safe alternative for treating diarrhea in all ages.
It can be used in powder form or as chocolate substitute form.

Typical dosage: You can just add carob powder to apple sauce or any other foods that are easy on bowels.

Mango Seeds

Mango seeds can help to cure diarrhoea.
Collect seeds during the mango season and dry them in the shade. Ground into fine powder and store it for later use as required.

Typical dosage: Twice a day, one to two grams with or without honey.

Carrots

Carrot soup is another effective home remedy for diarrhoea. A study found that carrot soup actually prevented bacteria, including E. coli from sticking to the small intestines of patients with severe diarrhea.
It has numerous positive attributes as follows:

  • Supplies water to prevent dehydration.
  • It replenishes sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, and magnesium.
  • Contains pectin.
  • Coats the intestine to alleviate inflammation.
  • Prevents vomiting.

To make a Carrot Soup Cook 12 a kilogram of peeled sliced carrots in 150 ml of water until soft. Mash the carrot thoroughly. Strain the pulp by pressing the mashed carrot with a fork to retrieve as much carrot juice as possible. Add enough boiled water to make a litre of soup (You may add a teaspoon of salt).

Typical dosage: Around 34 cup of soup every half an hour.

Tea

You can usually find tea bag anywhere. Just infuse it in a hot glass of water for five minutes and drink slowly.

Sesame Seeds

Diarrhea condition can be alleviated using Sesame seeds that acts as an excellent medicine for this condition.
Lightly roast two tablespoons in a frying pan. Ground into a fine powder and mix with one tablespoon of cow's clarified butter. Divide it into three parts. Mix each part with 12 cup of boiled goat milk.

Typical dosage: Should be taken twice a day for six days.

Garlic

The garlic kills a vast range of viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Typical dosage: one or two raw garlic cloves chopped finely per day; or up to three capsules per day of 500 to 600 milligram (use product that provides 4,000 to 5,000 micrograms of allicin per day).

Turmeric

Turmeric has proved to be a very useful intestinal antiseptic as well as gastric stimulant and tonic.

Typical dosage: Mix one teaspoon of fresh turmeric rhizome juice or one teaspoon of dry rhizome powder with one cup of buttermilk or plain water.

Catmint and Peppermint

catmint (or catnip) and peppermint have antispasmodic action to assist with your intestinal cramping symptoms during your illness.

Mint Tea - infuse 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaf in 14 litre of hot water for 10 minutes

Typical dosage: 3 cups of tea per day.

Caution: do not use catmint if pregnant; do not use peppermint if you have heartburn or oesphageal reflux.

Tomato juice

Mix tomato juice with a pinch of salt and pepper to help with Diarrhea symptoms.

Typical dosage: Drink a cup in the morning.

Bananas

Bananas contain pectin and also encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria
Mash a ready to eat banana (not over-ripe) and eat with a cup of milk twice a day.