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March 7, 2009, last updated January 27, 2013

By Allison Burgess,
Contributing Columnist





Diarrhea.  Saying the word might give you the heebie-jeebies, but
pretty much the entire population has experienced this
uncomfortable and uncontrollable situation at least once in their life.
Diarrhea, defined as the condition in which your stool is watery or
runny, can occur with our without other symptoms such as bloody
stools, vomiting or cramps. In unfortunate cases, diarrhea can last
several days and severely disrupt your home and work life.   What
are the causes of diarrhea? What natural remedies exist to help fight
diarrhea? Are there foods you should avoid if you have diarrhea?

Causes of Diarrhea

There are many causes of diarrhea and many types of diarrhea.
Occasional diarrhea can be caused by eating contaminated food.
Chronic diarrhea is a more serious condition, and can be caused by a
number of conditions, including the following:

rare diseases (such as common variable immonodeficiency (CVID)
enteropathy,

genetic diseases (congential chloride diarrhea),

collagenous colitis (so-called non-bloody diarrhea),

Irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease,

various strains of E. coli,

Hepatitis C,

Hepatitis A,

Crohn's disease.

[Update:

Vitamin D deficiency.]

Studies have also found that, in children, being Vitamin D deficient
can increase their risk for diarrhea with vomiting and for ear
infections. A 2013 study from the University of Michigan School of
public Health, Department of Epidemiology found that as many as
10% of school children were Vitamin D deficient and another 47%
were Vitamin D insufficient. (Read more about
Vitamin D deficiency
and its effect on your health.]


In cases where diarrhea is caused by an underlying medical condition
such as hepatitis, you will need treatment for that underlying
condition in order to effectively address the diarrhea problem.  

However, the good news is that , except in the most severe cases,
diarrhea can be safely and effectively treated at home.

Listed below are a few remedies that could work for you.  You should
try:




























1.        
Clear liquids: To keep your body hydrated, make sure you
take in plenty of water, broths, and juices. That being said, make
sure you stay away from apple and pear juices. They are known to
make your diarrhea worse. Sports drinks such as Gatorade that are
enriched with vitamins and minerals can be a plus. (Read more about
the
reasons you should drink more water.)


2.       
 BRAT: an acronym for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
Ripe bananas are best while you should stay away from high fiber
bread. White bread is safest to start with.

3.        
Blueberries: A compound found in this little blue fruit has
been proven to effectively fight bacteria in diarrhea.

4.        
All Spice: An ancient remedy from the West Indies encourages
mixing a dash of allspice in a cup of warm water.

5.        
Carrots and Potatoes: Boil them up or put them in a soup.
They can help replace lost nutrients in your body and work as a
comfort food for the tummy.

[Update:

6.         
Get More Sun.  Studies have also found that, in children,
being Vitamin D deficient can increase their risk for diarrhea with
vomiting and for ear infections. A 2013 study from the University of
Michigan School of public Health, Department of Epidemiology found
that as many as 10% of school children were Vitamin D deficient and
another 47% were Vitamin D insufficient. (Read more about
Vitamin
D deficiency and its effect on your health.]

Foods you should avoid if you have diarrhea or you want to prevent
it:


6.        Caffeine and Alcohol: For obvious reasons, these both
stimulate your body in negative ways when trying to combat diarrhea.

7.        
High-fiber foods: Stay away from breads, grains, cereals, etc.
that are high in fiber. They will only put your digestive system on
overload.

8.        
Cold liquids: Keep your liquid intake cool, room temperature,
or warm. Cold fluids will irritate your stomach and go down less
smoothly.

9.        
Candy and gum: They could be sweetened with sorbitol or
mannitol which can double as an unneeded laxative.

10.        
Dairy products and fatty foods: At least for the first few
days, keep away from milk, yogurt, and any food high in fat and/or
grease.

It can be a prickly few days while you’re dealing with diarrhea, but
by watching what you put into your body, you should be able to
control a little better what comes out. Get plenty of rest, and
remember to contact your doctor if your diarrhea insists for more
than three days.




Related:  
Constipation -Causes and Top 10 Remedies / Bowel Color -
What Does It Mean? / Why Americans Read In Bathrooms-the
Hidden Epidemic of Constipation  / How Much Is Too Much Salt  / My
Aching Bones  / A Simple Diet to Lose 10 Pounds  / Exercises That
Speed Up Metabolism  / More from this Author


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A compound in blueberries can help
fight diarrhea.