Diarrhea has many causes, from parasites to food poisoning to medications (iron, laxatives, excessive magnesium) to irritable bowel disease to inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
Essential in any diarrhea situation is attention to hydration.
- The younger (and smaller) a person is, the more easily he/she can get dehydrated quickly. The very young and the very old have higher risk of complications in a diarrheal illness.
- Urine output is key. When the amount of urine or frequency of urination decreases, there is a degree of dehydration.
- If the tongue and mucous membranes of the mouth are not moist, dehydration is significant.
Hydration by mouth is usually successful, and products such as Pedialyte are designed to provide balance of salts (electrolytes) and sugars.
Feeding a person in a diarrheal state has the following cautions:
- Milk products can prolong diarrhea from any cause, so milk is avoided during diarrhea plus approximately 3 days past the last diarrheal stool.
- Starvation diarrhea can result from going too long without food, so while hydration is of first importance, especially in children it is best not to go over 1-2 days without some food, with the exception being if fever is present. (children won’t tolerate much food if there is fever – this requires practitioner’s diagnosis and advice).
- Broth provides the most easily absorbable protein, such as chicken, beef, or fish broth. BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) are bland substances generally tolerated by tummies.
- “Bowel rest” is the term used to leave the disturbed tummy alone, so keeping foods simple and light provides the bowel rest that leads to recovery.
Dress the lower extremities warmly, as the blood returning from the limbs goes into the disturbed abdomen. Limb circulation is related to health of the abdominal organs. Being chilled slows healing.
Homemade electrolyte mixture: for two quarts of healthy liquid (eg frozen organic juice with extra water added to total 2 quarts), add approximately 3 tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, Sucanat, or organic cane sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of salt (sea salt preferred for better mineral balance). Drink for hydration, as Pedialyte would be used.
If vomiting is part of the picture, cold liquids or ice chips are tolerated better, and the electrolyte mixture can be chilled or frozen. Small amounts are tolerated best, eg 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon orally every 15 minutes to gradually hydrate without stimulating vomiting.
It is generally best not to suppress bowel movements because they are eliminating toxins, but remedies with absorptive substances can mildly and safely decrease the frequency of bowel movements.
Uriel powder Carbo Chamomilla is excellent for diarrhea, for adults use 1/4 tsp orally after each loose bowel movement.
This contains birch charcoal and kaolin.
Probiotics (and fermented veggies if the diet tolerance is ready) restore balance, and if used in larger-than-recommended amounts, may decrease frequency of bowel movements. Patients with Crohn’s disease should not use probiotics without the guidance of the gastroenterologist.
True Botanica Gut Restore (good yeast) for adults one capsule or more daily orally.
True Botanica Triple Strength Probiotics (good bacteria) for adults one capsule or more daily orally.
Diagnosis is important for any diarrhea lasting in excess of two days or excessive in amount or accompanied by abdominal pain, fever, or vomiting.
See a healthcare practitioner if you have blood in the stool, or see worms in the stool
If you are dizzy, you need to go immediately for medical care. Avoid delay in treatment, as illnesses may require more invasive treatment by waiting longer to get care.Print This Post