Do you want to know how to stop diarrhea fast? Diarrhea can show up as an uninvited guest and can destroy your day. It is a common condition that can lead to watery stools, dehydration, abdominal pain, and cramps. It can also cause blood in the stools or may worsen at times. Mild diarrhea usually lasts for a few days. It can also extend to weeks if there is an underlying issue that may be causing your diarrhea, such as infection or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The usual causes of diarrhea are viral or bacterial infection, food poisoning, contaminated water, or antibiotic use. Many Pakistanis experience diarrhea from eating unhygienic food from restaurants or street food. Antibiotic use may also lead to an upset stomach too. Luckily, diarrhea is treatable through simple home remedies. Keep reading to know more about them.
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How to Stop Diarrhea Fast
Following is a list of home remedies that can help get rid of diarrhea:
1. Change your diet
Certain dietary changes can help ease the symptoms of diarrhea. Few foods can improve your condition, while others may worsen it. Try a BRAT diet when you have diarrhea. BRAT diet stands for
- B – Bananas
- R – Rice
- A – Applesauce
- T – White bread
These foods are bland and easily digestible. It can help you recover from diarrhea as it is low in fiber and may help bulk up your stool. Studies suggest that other foods with lower fiber or high potassium can also soothe your symptoms, including apple juice, broth, crackers, and boiled potatoes.
It is also crucial to your recovery to avoid foods that can trigger diarrhea. Spicy and oily foods can worsen diarrhea. Carbonated beverages and caffeine can worsen diarrhea, so limit their intake.
2. Take probiotics
Foods with probiotics, such as yogurt, kimchi, miso, pickles, etc., can help enhance gut health and fasten your recovery. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can increase good bacteria in your gut and boost gut health. It can help fight digestive infections and make you recover faster.
You can also take probiotics in the form of supplements and consult a doctor before deciding which supplements to take. Poor gut health can also cause infections that lead to diarrhea, so probiotics improve gut health and help combat diarrhea.
3. Try over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
OTC drugs can help treat acute diarrhea. Anti-diarrheal medicines, such as Pepto-Bismol and Imodium, are available in the market.
Talk to your doctor before taking any medication for chronic diarrhea, as it may occur due to an underlying disease. A doctor may suggest antibiotics if the diarrhea is severe and caused by an infection. Consult a doctor before giving any medicine to an infant or toddler.
4. Rehydrate yourself
Diarrhea can rapidly deplete water out of your body, which may lead to dehydration. It may also decrease your electrolytes, such as sodium and chloride, which can lower your energy. Drink plenty of fluids when you are experiencing diarrhea to replace the fluid deficit in your body.
Sports drinks and fruit juices can also provide the necessary electrolytes for recovery. Avoid drinks that can irritate your stomach, such as caffeinated drinks, hot drinks, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. You can also make a DIY oral hydration solution at home.
To make the solution add six teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt in one-liter water. It can help balance the electrolytes in your body and support recovery from diarrhea.
5. Use ginger
Ginger is a widely available ingredient, and a household essential. Ginger can be effective in treating diarrhea because it contains phytochemicals that may be beneficial for your body.
It can lessen the urge to pass a bowel movement and can relieve pain that occurs due to diarrhea. It may also help treat other digestive problems too.
You can take ginger tea or ginger ale, which can relieve diarrhea. To prepare ginger tea, add one of two teaspoons of grated or chopped ginger into boiling water. You can add lemon and honey to make it taste better.
6. Avoid exercising
Diarrhea can eliminate water from your body quickly. Doing strenuous exercises leads to sweating which can also cause dehydration. Exercising can fasten the speed of hydration and exacerbate diarrhea symptoms. It is essential to rest to recover from diarrhea.
Taking proper rest can support your recovery and get you up and running in no time. Tiring your body may have devastating effects on your body, as your body already lacks energy.
7. Drink herbal tea
Several kinds of herbal teas can be effective in treating diarrhea. Using herbal teas may help with diarrhea, such as chamomile, fennel, and peppermint tea. Chamomile tea has a relaxing effect on your stomach muscles and may help cure diarrhea.
Fennel tea is also known to be an effective remedy for curing diarrhea. Peppermint tea can also soothe your stomach muscles and provide relief from diarrhea. Drink these teas in moderation, as drinking too much can make diarrhea worse.
8. Take proper rest
Your body requires rest and not getting enough rest can hinder your recovery. Take time off from work or school and stay at home for at least forty-eight hours after the diarrhea starts. Take naps often and sleep, as sleeping can help fight infections and speed up your recovery
Diarrhea may be unavoidable at times, but taking steps to prevent it can reduce your chances of getting it. Here are some ways that may aid in preventing diarrhea:
1. Practice good hygiene
Dirty hands on your face or mouth can transmit infections. Make it a daily practice to wash your hands after they come in contact with dirt or germs. Make it a habit to wash your hands before and after touching raw food. Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds to make them germ-free.
2. Store food properly
Pay attention to how you store your food. Store foods at their required temperatures, or they may rot. Ensure that you keep raw and cooked food separately. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables. Cook food thoroughly, as uncooked food can lead to diarrhea from food poisoning.
3. Get vaccinated
Vaccines are available for rotavirus and cholera, infections that can cause diarrhea. The cholera vaccine is available for adults only. The rotavirus vaccine is given in the early months to prevent rotavirus.
4. Take precautions when traveling
When traveling to another country, take the necessary precautions to prevent diarrhea, especially in underdeveloped or developing countries. Below-par hygiene conditions in these countries can cause stomach issues. Be careful of what you eat. Avoid eating from street vendors. Drink bottled water, avoid dairy products, and eat thoroughly cooked food. Pack your medicine just in case you get sick.
5. Strengthen immunity
A strong immune system can save you from many illnesses, including diarrhea. Breastfeeding babies can boost their immunity. Adults should take supplements or incorporate immunity-enhancing foods in their diet. Lowering stress levels, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising can boost your immunity and prevent diarrhea.
Complications of diarrhea
In most cases, diarrhea may resolve itself in a few days, but it can lead to complications too. Diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration, which can be lethal. Drinking electrolytes and fluids are critical in cases of diarrhea. If dehydration worsens, a doctor may suggest fluid replacement therapy.
It is done by injecting intravenous (IV) fluid into the body to replace the loss of electrolytes. You should consult a doctor if you have a fever or other signs that may signal that your condition is worsening.
Diarrhea is a common issue in Pakistan, among other digestive health issues. It is not risky for your health, and simple home remedies can cure them. Increasing your intake of fluids and electrolytes is critical to your recovery. Try OTC medicines, ginger, and herbal teas for relief from diarrhea.
There is no definitive way to prevent diarrhea, but taking precautions can help keep diarrhea away. Keeping your hands free of germs and good hygiene habits can prevent diarrhea. Handling food with care and storing it at the correct temperatures can also help you stay away from diarrhea. Diarrhea is usual in kids and can be unsafe for them.
Breastfeeding for at least six months can improve their immunity and prevent diarrhea. Vaccinations can also help in fending off diarrhea in children. Diarrhea can be critical if it does not go away after a few days. Severe dehydration from diarrhea can also be a serious health issue that may require medical attention.
Everyone gets diarrhea at some point in their life. It may not be life-threatening at most times, but you should not ignore it. If diarrhea persists even after trying the remedies or shows up with other symptoms, you should get in touch with your healthcare practitioner.