Although diarrhea is usually not that serious, it can throw you off your game. Many people get it a few times a year. It can last for a couple of days. Diarrhea is most likely caused by a virus in your gut. In layman’s terms, it is called ‘stomach flu.’
People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may get loose motions more often. For others, it may be caused by a couple of different factors. Let us take a closer look at some of the causes.
Causes Of Diarrhea
1. Bacteria and parasites
Contaminated water or food could transmit bacteria into your body. If you get diarrhea while traveling in under-developed or developing countries, then it is commonly referred to as a traveler’s diarrhea.
2. Lactose intolerance
Lactose is a type of sugar that is commonly found in dairy products. Some people who have difficulty digesting lactose get it when they consume dairy products. They are called lactose intolerant. This condition can increase as you age as the enzymes that help with digestion slow down.
Viruses can also cause it. Some of the viruses are viral hepatitis, Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, etc. Rotavirus is one of the common causes of acute diarrhea in children.
Fructose is a type of sugar found naturally in fruits and honey. It is also added as a sweetener instead of sugar. Some people can have trouble digesting fructose. It may lead to this disease. So if you are unable to figure out what is causing you to run to the bathroom, consider fructose as being a possibility.
Certain medications, especially antibiotics, cause diarrhea. Antibiotics destroy bacteria, good as well as bad. This often disturbs the balance of bacteria in the intestine. Antacids with magnesium and other cancer drugs may also cause diarrhea. Inform your doctor if the prescribed medicines are causing loose motions.
There are other factors such as artificial sweeteners and surgery, which may cause loose motion as well. In some cases, chronic diarrhea may be caused by celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, etc.
Natural Cure For Diarrhea
Diarrhea can cause cramps, nausea, headache, dehydration, and so much more. This basically means that your plans for the day go straight out of the window. Instead of waiting for it to get over, you can take the following measures to stop the loose motion and recover quickly.
1. Hydrate yourself
One of the main reasons that people with diarrhea end up in the emergency room is due to dehydration. Diarrhea makes one lose a lot of water and electrolytes. Electrolytes like calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, are needed for the proper functioning of various organs.
Dehydration can become dangerous in children and the elderly. One of the best ways to combat this problem is by taking Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). The ORS varies for children. You can also drink electrolyte-rich drinks, broth, soup, clear juice, etc.
2. Eat a bland diet
It may not help you to strictly follow a diet when you have diarrhea. However, refraining from heavy food and choosing some healthier alternatives does help. Low-fiber food helps to firm up the stool. So rice, toast, and applesauce are helpful. Bananas help to restore the lost potassium in the body.
Stick to oatmeal, baked potato, soup, and chicken breasts. Keep your diet bland until the loose motions stop. It is recommended that you take a light diet, especially if you have stomach cramps or feel nauseous.
3. Take probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria or yeast. They help the digestive system. Taking it in the form of food or as a supplement can be helpful to those suffering from diarrhea. Probiotics can quickly replace the lost microorganisms and restore normal bowel system.
Although dairy products should be avoided, yogurt is good for you. It is full of probiotic bacteria. You can also try fermented food like kombucha, miso, aged soft cheese, etc.
Diarrhea is pretty common. But it should not be ignored. You should always keep ORS on you, especially if you are traveling. If the mentioned remedies do not help, then you should see a doctor. Over-the-counter medicines also tend to help.
If it is a child or an older person that has prolonged diarrhea, then you should waste no time and take them to the doctor. There are medicines for kids as well that you could try. The most important thing is to hydrate the patient, so the condition does not worsen. The information we mentioned above will help you deal with diarrhea and take the right steps.