Is there anything worse than having to leave your desk at work or bolt from a friend’s party because you have to go the bathroom? On top of that, diarrhea also means that you need to race to the bathroom or face the possibility of a really embarrassing accident. No question about it, diarrhea is a physically and psychologically upsetting condition to have to deal with. Luckily, there are a number of effective ways to get rid of diarrhea, or avoid it happening in the first place. Read on to find out how!
1. Grin and Bear It.
Before we offer treatment options, you do have the choice of waiting it out. We cannot dispute that diarrhea is awful, and absolutely understand why someone would want to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, diarrhea is actually quite common and usually passes within a day or two without any kind of treatment. That said, if you absolutely cannot stand it anymore, read on…
2. Over-the-Counter Medication.
A trip to your local pharmacy will reveal that there are a number of different over-the-counter remedies for diarrhea. These medications tend to tackle the problem by slowing down the internal movement of your gut.
Slowing your gut down gives your colon more time to absorb water from the stool, which helps to solidify it. That also helps reduce the number of bowel movements you have. Note that some of these medications can have side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and constipation (which is not something you want, even when fighting diarrhea).
3. Try a Home Remedy.
If you wish to avoid medication, there are various home remedies. Bad bacteria often cause diarrhea, and you can fight it by adding good bacteria into your system. A great way to do this is with yogurt, which contains live bacterial cultures like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium which will help to stabilize your insides.
4. Change of Diet.
If you think that your diarrhea is not the result of a virus, then it may be something you ate. While everyone is different, things like red meat, alcohol, caffeine, dairy products and carbonated beverages are frequently the cause of such problems. Try to reduce the amount of these substances that you consume and see if it makes a positive difference.
5. Adopt the B.R.A.T.
In this case, B.R.A.T. refers to the bananas, rice, applesauce and toast diet. All of these foods are easy on your digestive system and help to ease diarrhea symptoms.
The water-soluble fiber pectin found in ripe bananas helps to reduce those loose stools. Another way to painlessly add balk to your system is by consuming white rice. In addition to rice, you can also indulge in other starchy foods, such as boiled sweet potatoes and tapioca cereal. Avoid putting butter on the toast, however, as it can sometimes aggravate the symptoms.
6. Drink Some Soothing Tea.
Chamomile tea helps to sooth the irritated parts of the digestive system. This both reduces your discomfort and eases the symptoms.
Black tea contains astringent tannins that help lessen intestinal inflammation (if this kind of tea is not to your taste, try sweetening it with some sugar). Peppermint tea is great for easing your stomach upset and it also helps put a stop to diarrhea by similarly calming that area of your system. Whichever tea you choose, it will also help to replace the volume of liquids you have lost during those frequent trips to the bathroom.
7. Medication Side Effects.
A common side effect for many drugs is diarrhea. Think about when your bowel movement problem started and whether it corresponded with you beginning a particular prescription or over-the-counter medication. If it is the former type, ask your doctor about whether you can switch to a different kind that performs the same function. Pharmacists can provide you with that sort of information for drugs that do not require a doctor’s approval.
8. Avoid Bacteria Infections.
One way to contract diarrhea is through bacterial infection. This can occur via meat that is improperly stored or not correctly prepared. Make sure perishable food is properly refrigerated and that meat is thoroughly cooked so that bacteria are destroyed. When dealing with raw meat, be sure to also thoroughly wash your hands as you can inadvertently transfer the bacteria into your mouth or eyes.
9. Exercise Caution While Travelling.
When travelling to foreign lands, be sure to learn in advance whether the water is safe to drink. Such countries as India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Mexico do not guarantee that their tap water is safe to drink. This also holds true for every country in Africa.
While the water may be safe for locals because their systems have adapted to it, visitors may become quite ill. Water that is not properly treated contains parasites and bacteria that can cause many problems for you, including extreme cases of diarrhea. If you are unsure of the water quality where you are visiting, stick to drinking bottled water.
10. See Your Doctor.
While diarrhea is embarrassing and annoying, it can also be a sign of a more serious problem. As mentioned, it usually passes fairly quickly, but if it continues to plague you for more than two days, get checked out by your doctor. Prolonged bouts of diarrhea can lead to a dangerous level of dehydration. Even worse, it can be a sign of serious conditions like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis. If medication and dietary change are not helping and the problem is continuing, definitely play it safe and see a medical professional.
Most everyone can tell of a time when a bout of diarrhea almost caused them some serious embarrassment. Diarrhea is a lousy condition to have, but there are several effective ways to get rid of it. The problem often passes on its own, but if it sticks around for more than a couple of days, that may be the sign of a serious issue and you should see a physician to make sure your health is not at risk.