How to Treat Diarrhea

09 January, 2020
Diarrhea is when you have watery or loose stool. While there are many possible causes, the most common culprits are viral infections or food poisoning.

Diarrhea is one of the most common digestive disorders and has multiple symptoms, including stomach pain, dizziness, and a swollen abdomen, according to information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. While it usually lasts two to four days, some methods can help stop the symptoms more quickly.

Why does diarrhea occur?

Diarrhea is simply the term for watery or loose stool. Although it has several causes, the main ones are viral infections and food poisoning.

Food poisoning is the most common. The problem usually comes from eating something that has gone bad, or eating too much at meals. The same thing can happen if you consume too much alcohol.

If diarrhea lasts longer than a week, it’s considered chronic. In that case, it’s crucial to see the doctor because you could be dealing with a serious infection. Even if your issues are less severe, it’s always a good idea to talk to a specialist to make sure you get the proper treatment.

A woman on the toilet with diarrhea.

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How can you alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea?

You should pay special attention to the side-effects of diarrhea. Take care to avoid dehydration, which is very common. The Madrid Medical Service in Spain recommends drinking plenty of water to counteract the loss of fluids through diarrhea.

Specialists tend to recommend diets that include:

  • Mineral water or fruit juices without pulp.
  • Lemonade or jello.
  • Sports drinks.
  • Vegetable broth.
  • Sugar-free sorbet.

You should try reintroducing solid foods little by little. For example, a good option is to try eating bananas, rice, applesauce, or toast. Avoid fatty foods or foods with fiber because they can make diarrhea even worse.

It’s also a good idea to avoid coffee, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners for a few days.

Be sure to get plenty of rest. This will help your body better fight the virus or disorder that caused diarrhea in the first place.

Home treatments for diarrhea

To complement the treatment that your doctor recommends, you can try certain natural treatments for the symptoms of diarrhea. The most effective ones are the following:

1-Chamomile tea

These small flowers have medicinal properties that have been used for centuries to treat stomach problems and stop diarrhea.

According to a study from the Camaguey Medical Sciences University (Cuba), chamomile is antispasmodic, so it can help reduce intestinal inflammation. Usually, people consume chamomile in the form of tea.

A woman with a circle of vegetables in front of her belly.

2-Carrots

Carrots have a lot of wonderful properties. For example, they have high water content and can help you avoid dehydration. They are also useful for restoring balance to your gut flora, according to a study from Penn State University (United States).

They can also increase the levels of certain minerals in your body, like sodium, potassium, calcium, and sulfur.

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots
  • 4 cups of water (1 liter)

Preparation

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into small pieces.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan with a little salt, and add the carrots.
  • Cook until they are tender.
  • Process in a food processor or blender until you get a creamy soup.
  • Drink it as warm as possible.

We recommend you read: Easy, cleansing carrot smoothies

3-Rice water

Rice water
In addition to the rice itself, people often recommend drinking rice cooking water. It may have some beneficial health properties, like being able to help calm stomach pain and cramps.

Rice water is also rich in starch, which protects your mucous membranes, reduces irritation, and stops diarrhea, according to a study by Dr. Verny E. Huertas-Franco.

It’s so easy to make:

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of rice (70 g)
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)

Preparation

  • Add the rice and water to a saucepan.
  • Cook the rice until it is tender (you might need to add some extra water).
  • Remove the rice but do not discard the liquid.
  • Allow it to cool and sip it throughout the day.

4-Lemon

According to a study from the University of Berlin, lemon is a powerful antibacterial and digestive aid.

Lemon also has astringent effects that prevent the loss of fluids and normalize the flow of acids in your digestive system.

A woman juicing lemons.

Ingredients

  • Lemon juice.
  • 4 cups of water (1 liter)
  • 1 pinch of salt (2 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda (10 g)

Preparation

  • Squeeze the lemon juice into a pitcher.
  • Add the water, salt, and baking soda.
  • Stir well.
  • Drink this in small servings, four times a day.