Diarrhea is a very common health complaint that almost everyone experiences at various times in their lives. In the majority of cases, diarrhoea only lasts for a few days and will typically resolve on its own. However, if diarrhoea becomes chronic it can be a sign of a more serious underlying health problem.
Caution: During bouts of diarrhea, you must be careful to avoid dehydration caused by fluid loss, and the loss of electrolytes, which are ionized salts in the body, such as sodium and potassium, that are essential for proper functioning of the body. If not addressed, severe loss of electrolytes can cause death. If diarrhea persists for longer than three days, seek professional medical attention. Diarrhea in young children (under six years old) should be called to the attention of your physician. This is particularly the case if blood is present in the stool.
Types of Diarrhea
There are two primary types of diarrhea – acute and chronic. Acute diarrhea is usually not serious and normally lasts no longer than one to three days. Chronic diarrhealasts much longer, is often recurring, and sometimes alternates between diarrhea and constipation. Chronic diarrhea, especially if it develops without any obvious causes, always requires a health professional’s attention.
A third type of diarrhea, known as traveler’s diarrhea, occurs as a result of travel to new environments and is usually related to eating and drinking new and unusual local fare while traveling. Traveler’s diarrhea is another form of E. coli, transmitted from unsanitary drinking water and ice. Raw fruits, and leafy vegetables can be contaminated as well, which is why, when traveling in certain foreign countries where the water systems might be infected, it is best to not eat raw produce, and most importantly, to not drink or brush your teeth with local water.
The most common symptoms of diarrhoea are loose, watery stools and a frequent need to go to the bathroom and eliminate stool. It can often be accompanied by abdominal pain and cramps, as well as flatulence.
There is a notable difference between the occasional loose stool and diarrhoea. Eating spicy or hot foods, or eating a copious quantity of a certain food, could soften the stool temporarily. If you have ever eaten loads of apricots during apricot season you may have experienced this phenomenon, which is a natural cleansing experience; nothing to worry about.
Diarrhoea is often no more than the body’s attempt to rid itself of an excessive buildup of toxins or a reaction to invading pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and/or viruses. Diarrhoea can also result from food poisoning, drinking contaminated water, or it can be the body’s allergic reaction to a certain food. Many people who are lactose intolerant, for example, experience diarrhoea following consumption of milk or dairy products. Ironically, dehydration and/or lack of electrolytes, both of which can occur as a result of diarrhoea, can also cause it. Other factors that can cause diarrhoea are anxiety, stress, and pharmaceutical drugs, as well as travel (traveler’s diarrhoea). Eating aggravating or unhealthy foods, especially those that are highly processed, or contain artificial sweeteners and/or other additive chemicals, can also cause diarrhoea.
Among the drugs that can cause or exacerbate diarrhoea are: Accutane, Alka-Seltzer Antacid and Alka-Seltzer Pain Reliever, Anturane, Genuine Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Plus Aspirin, Bayer Regular Strength Enteric Aspirin, Bufferin Analgesic Tablets and Caplets, Ceptaz, Clinoril, Cuprimine, Ecotrin Enteric Coated Aspirin, Feldene, Ilosone, Lamprene, Leukine for IV Infusion, Lopid, Marplan, Meclomen, Novantrone, Paraplatin, Piroxicam, Prokine I.V. Infusion, Retrovir, Rynatuss, Supprelin Injection, Suprax, Ticlid, Tolectin, Toradol IM Injection, Trecator-SC, Trilisate, and Voltaren. Most antibiotic drugs can also provoke diarrhoea attacks.
Taking high dosages of vitamin C can cause diarrhoea-like symptoms once you reach the maximum amount of vitamin C your body can tolerate (known as a bowel-tolerance dose). In such cases, symptoms will quickly pass once the dose is reduced. Generally taking vitamin C to bowel tolerance is a purposeful act, used with the intent of purging the body, and is quite effective and valuable as a self healing natural cure.
During the initial stages of diarrhoea, you should abstain from eating solid foods, especially fruits.
Consume plenty of fluids, such as pure, filtered water, barley water, rice water, and/or vegetable broth and juices.
Link to this: To prepare barley or rice water, follow these simple steps:
Take one cup of organic brown rice or whole barley of any variety. Rinse well and allow to drain in strainer while bringing six cups of pure water to a boil. Add the grain of choice and allow to reboil. Turn down flame to the lowest possible temperature after one minute and allow to simmer for one hour. Strain off the water for drinking. You can discard the grain or store it in a container for up to three days to add to a quick muffin or bread recipe.
As your symptoms start to ease up, you can reintroduce homemade organic broths and soups, especially freshly made organic vegetable, chicken or miso soup.
Once you are ready, if you are not lactose intolerant, you can try eating plain, unsweetened yogurt. Steamed and mashed or pureed starchy vegetables such as carrot, red potatoes or yams are also good. Bananas are slightly binding, so they are a common post-diarrhea food that may work for you. If you crave toast or crackers, choose an organic whole grain variety, and chew well to insure easier digestion. Avoid beets, as they can make symptoms worse, as can too many combinations of foods at one time. Best to choose one food and eat your fill, waiting at least 3 hours before eating another food.
Once symptoms completely pass, slowly return to eating solid foods, emphasizing organic whole foods, and continue to drink pure, filtered water throughout the day. Avoid milk and dairy products other than a small amount of plain yogurt, and all foods to which you may be allergic or sensitive. If you are unaware of your food allergies, consider being tested by a specialist in food allergies and/or environmental medicine.
As your strength and appetite return, move on to adding more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and organic free-range protein sources from meat, such as lamb and bison, poultry, and/or wild caught fish.
For overall health, the following foods should also be avoided: all commercially processed foods, sugars, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, as well as alcohol, coffee and other caffeine products, sodas, and commercial non-herbal teas.
Take Fivelac – one packet three times a day.
Digestive enzymes www.qnhshop.com
Organic apple cider vinegar – 1tsp with each meal
Allicin C – 2 capsules three times a day
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Stress Reduction: Stress reduction techniques, such as biofeedback and hypnosis, are recommended for diarrhoea brought about by anxiety or stress. Stress reduction techniques are also very helpful for dealing with emotions such as anger, depression, and hopelessness that can exacerbate diarrhoea symptoms.
Holistic health practitioners help their patients accomplish stress reduction through the use of various mind/body medicine techniques, such as biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and relaxation exercises.
Meditation is another form of stress management that can be highly effective. There are many ways to meditate. Here is one of the easiest ways (link to following) One of the easiest is simply to sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed as you focus on your breathing. Do this for five or ten minutes twice a day and gradually extend each session to 20-30 minutes. To enhance your efforts, concentrate on mentally repeating a peaceful phrase each time that you inhale and exhale, allowing all other thoughts to arise and pass without becoming involved in them. At first, this may seem difficult, but with committed practice you will eventually find yourself able to do so while experiencing greater degrees of calm and peace.
Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
Foods that cause diarrhoea: ibdcrohns.about.com/od/diarrhea/tp/fooddiarrhea.htm
Sugar substitutes and the links to diarrhoea: www.womentowomen.com/healthyweight/splenda.aspx
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Diarrhoea: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tRcf8mCpBs
Home remedies for diarrhoea: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGZIeIoOQNY
Acupressure points for controlling diarrhoea: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xd7IRNRNYE
Herbal treatment for diarrhoea: www.ehow.com/video_7462827_herbal-treatment-diarrhea.html
Sweetener Sorbitol linked to diarrhoea www.naturalnews.com/023469_sorbitol_diarrhea_patients.html
Vitamin supplements could save children from diarrhoea deaths: www.naturalnews.com/030932_vitamin_A_measles.html
Cleaning water at household is better than source for preventing diarrhoea: www.naturalnews.com/020489_water_diarrhea_household.html
Gastric acid suppressants linked to diarrhoea: www.naturalnews.com/020424_diarrhea_infection_community.html
Further Information (links and books)
Healing benefits of Ume Plum www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/umeboshi.html
Healthy Digestion the Natural Way: Preventing and Healing Heartburn, Constipation, Gas, Diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel and Gallbladder Diseases, Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and More, Dr Lindsey Berkson; The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body by Andreas Moritz :
Digestive enzymes, Univase
www.rockyforkformulas.com (800) 630-4534
Probiotics, Freddie’s Blend Probiotics
www.therawfoodworld.com (866) 729-3438
Charcoal Capsules, Source Naturals
Ume Plum Paste, Eden Organics
www.edenfoods.com (888) 424-3336
Robert’s Formula and Licorice Root Tea, drink together
www.diagnose-me.com (877) 396-3266
Amino Acid Therapy, Amino Acid T L-Glutamine
www.twinlab.com (800) 645-5626
www.allergyrearchgroup.com (800) 545-9960
Vitamin C, Catie’s Organic Vit C Plus
www.energyessentials.com (888) 456-1597
www.1-800homeopathy.com (800) 466-3672
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.