Overview

If an individual experiences loose bowel movement, then we can say that he is experiencing diarrhea. A viral infection, bacterial infection, food poisoning, recent antibiotic use, and water contaminated with an infectious agent can contribute to diarrhea. The main objective of the diarrhea is to create disruptions in your gastrointestinal system. Common symptoms of diarrhea include

  • Watery liquid stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Increased body temperature
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Dehydration
  • The urgent feeling or need to have a bowel movement

Infectious diarrhea is caused by a virus, and we commonly have seen it in young children who are below the age of fourteen. Contaminated water present in the underdeveloped areas can cause diarrhea to travelers. People suffer from food poisoning due to bacteria from the Uncooked food or improperly stored food which is the main cause of diarrhea. The following are the best ways to get rid of the symptoms of diarrhea.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

We would advise people to stay hydrated as diarrhea due to dehydration may lead to death in young children and older adults. You can use Pedialyte an over the counter oral pediatric hydration solution to your children who are suffering from diarrhea. We would recommend this hydration solution should be given to children often in small amounts.

It has been observed in a study that taking over the counter rehydration solution and drinking sports drinks have the same effect on the people who are suffering from the mild symptoms of diarrhea. We would advise you to avoid some foods that can make your symptoms even worse. These foods include

  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cola drinks
  • Chocolate and other carbonated drinks

We would advise parents to encourage children to drink lots of water and tell them the importance of water so that they can get rid of the symptoms of diarrhea.

Probiotics

Certain foods belong to probiotics can promote good bacteria that can in your intestinal tract to create a healthy gut environment. Yogurt, aged sot cheeses, tempeh, beet kvass, sourdough bread, cottage cheese, pickles, dark chocolate, natto, green olives, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and all these foods are the great sources of probiotics.

It can also find in the form of powder or pill. Your intestinal tract should have good bacteria and it is very essential for the normal functioning of your gastrointestinal system. We are advising you to give some importance to the good bacteria as they can a crucial role and fight for your intestines against infection.

Antibiotics have the capability of affecting your gastrointestinal system and there are high chances of a person may get affected by diarrhea due to that effect. This is why we would advise people to add probiotic foods in their diet that can help you to get rid of the symptoms of diarrhea. Probiotics have the capability of balancing the bacteria in your gut.

A yeast probiotic known as Saccharomyces boulardii, even though it is not a bacterium, but it has the capability of improving the symptoms of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It can also offer you from traveler’s diarrhea. It has been observed in a study that it can keep your intestines from getting unwanted pathogens and make sure that they are absorbing the nutrients properly. For the People who are having inadequate immune systems should take the yeast with caution.

We would advise speaking with your health care professional in case you are unable to get relief from the symptoms of diarrhea. He may prescribe you some drugs and if you are experiencing any side effects let your physician know that. Your doctor may be able to suggest a medication alternative that might have fewer side effects. If you would like to take probiotic supplements, then we would advise you to have a word with your physician.

Over the Counter Medications

If you are suffering from acute diarrhea and your symptoms are not improving, then you should visit your physician then he or she may recommend you use some over the counter medications.

Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate), and loperamide (Imodium) are common over the counter medications and help you to get rid of the symptoms of diarrhea. Also, please keep in mind they don’t treat the underlying causes of diarrhea.

You are not supposed to use over the counter medication when you are suffering from chronic diarrhea. You should take your doctor’s consent before you would like to use the over the counter medications. If your problem lasts more than fourteen days, then it is considered as chronic diarrhea.

You should be very careful when your children are suffering from diarrhea. Diarrhea due to dehydration can occur rapidly in young children. Due to this reason, we would advise parents to encourage their children to drink lots of water otherwise they might get diagnosed with diarrhea. Sometimes, not drinking enough water leads to dehydration and it can be fatal. Also, to treat diarrhea in children, once should not give over the counter medications to children and you should have a word with your physician regarding your child’s condition before using it. If an infant who is under three months is suffering from diarrhea, then he/she should be taken to the physician immediately.

abdominal pain, anal discomfort, anxiety, black or ‘hairy’ tongue, clay-colored or gray-black stools, stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, confusion, constipation (may be chronic), dark urine, depression, dizziness, sores in the stomach lining, indigestion, gas, gastrointestinal bleeding, headache, Getting difficulty in sleeping, itching, loss of appetite, dark sticky feces, lightheadedness, metallic taste in your mouth, mild diarrhea, trouble breathing, and unable to concentrate on the things, are the common side effects people generally experience by the use of over the counter medications.

If you are experiencing any of the above side effects while taking over the counter medications, then we would advise you to consult your physician immediately. Your doctor may be able to suggest a medication alternative that might have fewer side effects.

Stick to low fiber foods

Eating high content fiber foods can make your condition even worse in the case of severe diarrhea. We would advise you to stick to low fiber foods when you are suffering diarrhea. Bananas, toast, chicken soup, rice, applesauce, baked chicken with the skin removed, oatmeal, and boiled or baked potatoes are the food you can consume in order to firm up your stool.

Foods to avoid

There are some foods that you need to completely avoid it when you are suffering from the symptoms of diarrhea. Because consuming fried and greasy foods at this time can make your condition worse and it will be difficult for your body to get rid of diarrhea.

Tea, alcohol, prunes, artificial sweeteners, peppers, beans, peas, berries, milk, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, ice cream, cauliflower, corn, chickpeas, and coffee are the food you need to avoid in order to speed up the process of healing.

When to Visit a Doctor

We would advise people not to ignore the symptoms of diarrhea. If your problem is due to dehydration, then it can be life-threatening. It is better to consult your physician if you don’t see improvement in your condition after trying all the natural remedies. You can see a pharmacist and can buy some common over the counter medications in order to reduce the severeness of your condition.

If your child is suffering from diarrhea, then we would advise you to take him or her to the nearest emergency care immediately.

Conclusion

Sometimes, all you need is water. You should drink plenty of water when you have diarrhea and get lots of rest. We would advise people who are suffering from diarrhea to make some changes in their diet and they should the foods high in probiotics and low in fiber. Low fiber foods can firm up your stool and following this diet can speed up your recovery faster.

If you don’t find relief by following the natural remedies or home remedies, then go to a pharmacist and buy some over the counter medications to fight against the bacteria that is causing diarrhea. If all your attempts failed to ease the symptoms of diarrhea, then we would advise you to consult your physician. He or she will rule out the problem and recommend drugs based on your condition. The drugs may come with lots of side effects and if you are unable to bear the consequences of the recommended drugs prescribed by your physician then we would advise you to have a word with your physician regarding the side effects you are experiencing due to drugs. Your physician may change the dosage of the drugs or switch you to another medication that might have fewer side effects.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448082/
  2. https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(09)00359-X/fulltext
  3. https://academic.oup.com/pch/article/8/7/455/2654213
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