Diarrhea is a medical condition that causes frequent and watery stools. People who suffer from diarrhea don’t absorb water properly which may lead to dehydration and create problems with electrolytes.
The top causes of diarrhea are viruses, such as the norovirus and rotavirus. However, diarrhea can be caused by bacteria (e.g. Salmonella), as well.
This condition is very common among adults and even more among children. As a matter of fact, research shows that German adults experience diarrhea at least once a year.
With that being said, knowing how to stop diarrhea could come in quite handy.
What are the Symptoms?
You can diagnose yourself with diarrhea if you had at least 3 watery stools in the past 24 hours.
Diarrhea is followed by bloating, stomachache, and cramps, but that’s not where the list ends.
Vomiting is also a pretty common symptom that many people don’t associate with diarrhea.
Diarrhea can also cause headaches, nausea, fever, and joint pain.
If you experience dizziness, that’s your body telling you that you have lost too many electrolytes and liquids. In that situation, you need to look for medical attention as soon as possible.
Medical attention is also necessary if your condition hasn’t improving after 48 hours and you are still experiencing a high fever.
What Exactly Causes Diarrhea?
There are plenty of ways you can get diarrhea. The usual causes are the previously mentioned viruses and bacteria.
Most often, people experience symptoms after they have traveled to places that lack sanitary conditions.
Other common diarrhea causes include:
- Eating food that you aren’t used to
- Gluten allergy
- Crohn’s disease
- Surgery – some people suffer from diarrhea after abdominal surgeries
What to Expect from Your Doctor
If you decided to visit your doctor, you will most likely be asked the following questions:
- Did your symptoms start suddenly or gradually?
- How frequent is your diarrhea?
- What did you eat before you got diarrhea?
- Have you taken any medications?
- Do you have chronic diseases like diabetes?
- Did you experience stomachache and vomiting?
- Have you been traveling?
The more answers you give, the better help your doctor will be able to provide.
How to Get Rid of Diarrhea
Diarrhea typically doesn’t require any special treatment. Instead, you just have to wait for the condition to end. Once you get infected, your body’s defense system kicks in and tries to get rid of the toxins that are causing your problems.
If your diarrhea doesn’t end after two days, or if your symptoms get worse, you should ask your doctor about the right treatment.
Of course, there are still things you can do to ease your problems as soon as you notice the first symptoms. Here is what you can to do stop diarrhea.
1. Stay Hydrated
Making sure that your body is always hydrated while you are experiencing diarrhea is one of the best ways of handling this disease.
Since diarrhea makes your body lose more fluids and electrolytes than it should, drinking water will immensely help your recovery process.
As a 2006 study published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition shows, water and sports drinks are incredibly effective for people with mild diarrhea symptoms.
Of course, there are drinks that you should absolutely avoid if you have diarrhea. These include:
- Other drinks that contain caffeine
2. Be Careful About What You Eat
You might have gotten diarrhea by eating something that your stomach isn’t used to or simply by eating something bad.
Either way, since your stomach suffers the most, you need to be very selective of what you eat.
Eating low-fiber food is recommended in this case.
The list of foods that are good for your stomach while experiencing diarrhea includes the following:
- Peanut butter
You will also need a source of good bacteria found in probiotics, as they can clean your intestinal tract.
Probiotics are live microorganisms found in foods such as:
- Aged soft cheese
- Dark chocolate
If you don’t have access to any of these foods right now, you can try mixing five tablespoons of sugar, one and a half tablespoon of salt, and some orange juice with one liter of boiled water. This mixture is found to be pretty successful in eliminating diarrhea.
Just like with drinks, there are foods that you should avoid while suffering from this disease. The list includes:
- Spicy foods
- Fried foods
- Fatty food s
- Other foods that could make your gas worse
3. Take Over-the-Counter Drugs
There are two popular medications recommended for the treatment of diarrhea:
- Bismuth Subsalicylate
Loperamide, also known as Imodium, allows your body to absorb more fluid. It slows down the movement of the food that’s going through your intestines.
The other medication, bismuth subsalicylate, has a similar impact as it balances the food’s movement. Some of the best-known brands of bismuth subsalicylate include Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.
In some cases, yeast tablets like Perenterol are also advised as they can help your body get rid of germs faster.
These drugs are available over-the-counter (OTC) at your local pharmacy, but they also exist in a stronger, prescription variant. Whichever of the two you’re taking, it is important to follow the dosage instructions printed on the label and the recommendations of your doctor or pharmacist.
How to Treat Chronic Diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea cases are treated differently, and they require medical attention.
The first step to getting rid of chronic diarrhea is determining its category. There are watery, inflammatory, and fatty chronic diarrheas.
Once your doctor determines the category, the next step will be to use a special diagnostic algorithm to identify the right treatment.
Your doctor might even request lab work and fecal studies.
Severe cases of chronic diarrhea may require procedures like upper endoscopy.
Now that you know how to stop diarrhea, you can eliminate the disease as soon as you notice the first symptoms. These are some of the best solutions for eliminating diarrhea. Try them out on your own and be patient.
If your symptoms aren’t decreasing, or if they are getting worse, make sure to visit your doctor.