How to manage diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a common issue. However, it can be treated quite easily, even if the most serious cases require medication. Find out how to manage diarrhea.
Although diarrhea is common and not severe in most cases, it is still a serious annoyance that can cause a lot of discomfort in people who suffer from it. Though, treating mild diarrhea at home is quite easy, mainly through diet. In some cases, taking medication is possible but it must be supervised by a health professional.
The most common medical management - Hydration
In most cases, diarrhea lasts between three to four days. Thus, it could improve on its own and then naturally disappear. However, there are simple remedies to more quickly alleviate the symptoms.
Most of all, you must think about getting enough water intake. Diarrhea can lead to dangerous dehydration, which can even be fatal for young children and the elderly. Drink lots of water, make sure you drink small amounts.
You can also opt for rice water. This is another quick and effective remedy for diarrhea. Rice water is easy to make, just boil 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes, then strain the rice to only keep the water. This rice water will provide fluid to your body but will also reduce the duration of diarrhea, by helping your stool to get firmer and bulkier.
Sports drinks and rehydration solutions, which are available in pharmacies are also effective.
However, you should avoid alcohol, milk, citrus juices, carbonated drinks, or coffee, that can make your symptoms worse.
Hydration in diarrhea is only part of the solution, because it will not: reduce the frequency of watery or loose bowel movements or fluid loss, shorten the duration of diarrhea, or address the unbalance flora.
- Foods: You may not feel like eating during diarrhea. However, certain foods can ease your symptoms. It is advisable to consume "BWAT" foods: bananas, white rice, applesauce, and toast.
Other foods are also well tolerated such as oatmeal, potato, or skinless chicken.
- Over the counter medication
After consulting your doctor, you can take several over-the-counter medications to help you fight diarrhea, if your symptoms are not severe.
Careful, these medicines may relieve your short term symptoms but will not treat the cause of your diarrhea and can lead to side effects such as constipation. Therefore, be careful and consult a doctor, especially for young children and the elderly.
- Probiotics: Bacteria that will promote a health benefit, take part in the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system, by protecting it against infections. When your body is modified by antibiotics or inundated by bacteria or attacked by a virus, you can get diarrhea.
Probiotics are these good bacteria, that help create a healthy bowel environment. These are living microorganisms that exist in certain foods naturally, such as cheese, green olives, sauerkraut, dark chocolate or even yogurt. Or it can be found in powder format in pharmacies.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is a great example of a bacteria probiotic that reduces the diarrhea symptoms.
What to do when diarrhea lasts more than a few days?
If your diarrhea lasts more than three or four days, your abdominal pain is very intense, or your stools are bloody, you must consult a doctor. He will be able to establish the causes of your diarrhea and, if need be, suggest suitable medication.