The Dreaded Diarrhea

Ugh, the dreaded diarrhea. I’m sure at one point in your life, you have experienced it.

Diarrhea is a loose, watery bowel movement occurring more frequently than usual. This also means that the transit time is too fast. The stool is being eliminated too quickly causing insufficient time for water from it to be reabsorbed in the body, resulting in runny stool. The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) stated that diarrhea is the most common reported ailment in the United States (second to respiratory infection).

It is important to note that diarrhea is not a disease; it is a symptom. The most important step is to find out what is causing the diarrhea to determine the proper treatment.

There are two types of diarrhea: acute and chronic. Most cases are acute or short-lived. This is just your body’s self-cleansing mechanism to eliminate an irritant. This can be a good thing! Thank your body for being intelligent enough to remove the undesirable substance. Most acute cases can be left to run its course, but if it becomes severe or bloody, accompanied by pain, medical intervention can take place.

Below are some tips for acute diarrhea:

  • Refrain from solid foods.
  • Drink water and electrolytes.
  • Avoid dairy products.
  • Use bulking agents to improve consistency of stool.
  • Re-establish intestinal flora with probiotics.
  • Take glutamine powder to help with irritation.

Chronic diarrhea lasts longer than four weeks and is usually driven from a food allergy. Diarrhea is also a frequent side effect of antibiotics. Other medications such as NSAIDs, antacids, antihypertensives, antibiotics and antiarrhythmics can also lead to diarrhea.

Lastly, parasitic intestinal infections can also lead to chronic diarrhea. This includes contaminated water or food with the most common being campylobacter, salmonella, shigella, and Escherichia.  Parasites can be treated with a lot of natural compounds. Berberine-containing plants (goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape) and pancreatic enzymes can help treat parasites.

I know. I know. That’s a lot of information!  I’ll leave you with one final option that may help. Activated charcoal tablets may be taken every hour with water (read the directions on the label as well) until symptoms subside. This dates back to ancient Egypt and over the years has helped become a natural absorbent of gases and toxins in the digestive tract. This should not be taken regularly or taken within two hours of taking medicine or supplements or meals since it can absorb nutrients and supplements that are beneficial as well.

Again, when determining where a bout of diarrhea is coming from, look at your food intake, any over the counter drugs you have taken recently, or any lifestyle occurrences that could have contributed.

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