Sometimes when you gotta go, number 2 starts feeling a bit like number 1. Regardless of what you call the affliction; the trots, Hershey squirts, runs, scoots, or as my poker buddies prefer, water butt, two facts remain: the first is that your toilet hates you; the second is that your poor torn up ass is on its knees begging you to figure out how to treat diarrhea. Who can blame it? Diarrhea is among the more debilitating ailments one can suffer. Aside from the associated abdominal pain that often leaves people doubled up on the couch in a fetal position, when you’ve got diarrhea you don’t dare do anything. Leaving the house is simply out of the question. The last thing anyone needs is the embarrassment of a dropping a nice juicy shart while at the gas pump.
While there are a number of causes of diarrhea, you’re more than likely sitting there peeing out of your butt because of a simple case of viral gastroenteritis. Viral gastroenteritis is, you guessed it, a viral infection of the intestines. And yes, its most prominent symptom can be extraordinarily unpleasant. However, it’s also quite necessary. Diarrhea is your body’s most effective way of flushing out those intestinal toxins. Luckily, in most cases, diarrhea only lasts for two to four days. And because I happen to have entirely too much experience in dealing with the suckiness of those two to four days, I’ve put together this little article on the treatment of diarrhea and diarrhea relief.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
- frequent watery stools
- lightheadedness from dehydration
- abdominal cramps
- rectal urgency
- rectal pain
Causes of Diarrhea
If you suffer from diarrhea symptoms frequently, your diarrhea may be a symptom of a more serious condition such as:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
- food poisoning
- internal parasites
- intestinal cancer
- colon cancer
- inflammatory bowel disease
- traveler’s diarrhea (usually E.coli)
- lactose intolerance
Best Ways to Get Rid of Diarrhea
Hydration. Because of the severe risk of dehydration (especially for children and infants), this is the main treatment for diarrhea. If you consider everything you’ve blasted into the toilet since your diarrhea began, it makes sense. It’s not just water you’ve been losing either. It’s also vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Aside from drinking plenty of water, adults should also be drinking sports drinks and vegetable juices. Children should be given Pedialyte, CeraLyte, and/or Infalyte. Child or adult, make sure to sip your beverages slowly throughout the day.
What not to eat. Your body is obviously having enough trouble already. Don’t exacerbate the problem. At times like these, people tend to reach for comfort foods to make themselves feel better. Don’t. Most of the time people’s comfort foods involve fatty, greasy foods that will only make treating diarrhea more difficult. Aside from avoiding those greasy, fatty comestibles, you should also refrain from ingesting dairy products, sweets (cake, candy, cookies, etc.), and spicy foods. Also avoid drinking anything with caffeine, anything alcoholic, and anything with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and sorbitol.
Things you can and should eat. When most people have diarrhea they don’t feel like eating anything at all. What goes in must come out, right? Right. Well too bad. You need to eat. Remember all that stuff I was saying earlier about expelling vitamins and minerals? If you expect your body to make itself healthy, you need to replace them. When treating diarrhea you should concentrate on eating bland, starchy foods such as plain boiled potatoes, plain rice, toast, soda crackers, cooked carrots, bananas and the like. For protein, eat boiled eggs and plain baked chicken with the skin removed. For children, implement the B.R.A.T diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast.
Give your body the rest it deserves. When using what you’ve learned about how to stop diarrhea, do not neglect this step. Providing your body with the rest it needs to combat viral gastroenteritis is essential. If you’re not well rested, your immune system will simply be unable to perform as well as it should. This means the time it takes your body to cure diarrhea will be lengthened. Luckily, with the exception of frequent visits to the can, getting rest is usually a pretty easy thing to talk yourself into.
When to see a doctor. Because severe diarrhea can be both dangerous in it’s simplest form or be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem (see below), never be afraid to go see a doctor about it. If you are experiencing diarrhea that lasts longer than four days, signs of dehydration, severe pain in the abdomen or rectum, high fever, black stools, bloody or mucousy stools, go see a doctor right away. If your diarrhea symptoms started during or after a trip to a foreign country, go see a doctor.
OTC Diarrhea Treatments
As I have mentioned before, diarrhea is your body’s way of exorcising toxins from your intestines. While it may be unpleasant to be tethered to the toilet all day, it is a necessary part of the process. For this reason, I recommend that you let your body do it’s thing, let the diarrhea run it’s course, and do not take any remedies for diarrhea. That is, of course, unless you have to. As you well know, life doesn’t come to a screeching halt just because you have to poop. Sometimes it’s not possible to get out of work, that trip to the grocery store, or that family gathering. In cases such as these, yeah, get yourself some Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, what have you. Any of them will help relieve diarrhea symptoms. I can only urge you to discontinue use as soon as you can and allow your body to resume control of the situation.
Diarrhea Home Remedies
Plain yogurt. This is the one dairy product diarrhea sufferers should be encouraged to eat. The live cultures found in yogurt can help to replenish the healthy bacteria naturally found in your guts. This can lessen both the severity and the duration of diarrhea.
Saccharomyces boulardii.This is one of the more interesting diarrhea remedies. Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic yeast. This means that it helps to support the growth of the natural flora of your intestines. While it is unknown as to why the stuff works, it is thought that it reduces intestinal inflammation and may encourage an increase in your bodies natural immune responses. When you get right down to it…who cares. This stuff has been used for years as a cure for diarrhea and is reported to work quite well. In fact, you can find Probiotic pills over at Amazon for just this purpose.
Psyllium fiber. The taking of psyllium is my own preferred remedy for diarrhea. This fiber, which can be taken in powder mixed with water or in capsule form, readily absorbs water without going overboard and causing constipation. And when you’ve got the squirts, something that can do that makes life easier.
Chamomile tea. Aside from the fact that drinking chamomile tea will provide you with some much needed hydration during times of excess poopers, chamomile has both anti-inflammatory properties and anti-spasmodic properties that will lessen the severity of your diarrhea symptoms. We’d recommend Tazo Calm Chamomile sold at Amazon.