How to Stop Diarrhea Fast and Restore Your Digestion
Patients often wonder why we ask them about their bowel movements. Why would your esthetician, acupuncturist, massage therapist, etc. need to know this information?
Well, it tells us how your digestive tract is functioning. And as a therapeutic health spa, we want to get a holistic sense of your health so we can recommend the best treatments and at-home remedies. We know that healing often comes from within and moves outward, so making sure your digestive tract is performing normally will help us better help you!
What is a normal bowel movement?
Frequency—1 to 2 x daily
Consistency and Shape—formed (not to hard or dry) and not pellet-like or thin-long stools, or diarrhea/loose
Odor—without excessive odor
Sensation— stool should be smooth and easy to pass, without pain
What can you do at home to help alleviate and stop diarrhea fast?
Foods to Alleviate Diarrhea
There are a few things to know before you try these home remedies to stop diarrhea. First, although it might seem counter-intuitive, eating fiber can actually help with diarrhea. When eating fiber-rich foods, however, stick to soluble fibers (e.g. oats, rice). They will help absorb the extra liquid in the bowels, which will help thicken stool. Second, stick to plain, thick foods (e.g. B.R.A.T foods).
Other foods options include:
1. Sour/astringent foods—Lemon and vinegar are great options to help stop abnormal discharge of fluids.
2. Vegetables—Well-cooked, plain vegetables (without skin or seeds) are easy to digest and will soothe intestines.
3. Fruits— Soft, skinless fruits like bananas and pineapple help regulate intestines.
4. Grains—Low fiber grains, like white rice or cream of wheat, will help keep you hydrated and are easy to digest. (Try a homemade rice congee!)
5. Sodium-rich foods—Smooth peanut butter, pretzels and plain crackers can be eaten to increase sodium.
6. Meats—Low fat meats like chicken and fish will help strengthen the stomach and digestion, and are gentle enough to eat while experiencing diarrhea.
Foods to Avoid When Experiencing Diarrhea
Just as it’s important to eat certain foods when suffering from diarrhea, it’s critical to avoid specific foods as well. Here’s what to avoid when trying to stop diarrhea fast:
1. Raw vegetables—Uncooked veggies can be high in insoluble fiber, worsening diarrhea.
2. Spicy foods—The spices can upset your digestive tract further.
3. Dairy products—Lactose takes longer to digest, and your body can have a temporary sensitivity to dairy when you’re dealing with diarrhea. (And exception to this is yogurt because of its high probiotic content.)
4. Caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks—All of these can aggravate the stomach.
Drinks to Stop Diarrhea Fast
1. Water—Diarrhea is dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water.
2. Tea—Both basil and cardamon seed tea are great for soothing your intestines and provide plenty of hydration. To make cardamom seed tea, stir 1 tsp. of cardamon powder (either grind up seeds or buy pre-ground cardamon) into 1 cup water, drink up to 3 times daily.
3. Electrolyte-rich drinks—To replenish electrolytes, try these natural and flavorful concoctions. Make sure to stay away from sugary sports drinks, however.
Abdominal Treatments (Topical):
There are plenty of topical treatments to stopping diarrhea fast in addition to foods and drinks. As a therapeutic spa, we understand that most health conditions can be solved with internal and external remedies, which is why we have provided the following topical treatments:
1. Ginger—take a slice of raw ginger, place on belly button, apply a heat pad for 15-20 minutes. Ginger is great for calming an upset stomach and can be used internally or topically.
2. Castor oil—apply topically to calm the intestines and inflammation.
3. Abdominal massage—In a counterclockwise motion, “wind up” the bowels to relieve pain and soothe intestines.
4. Acupressure points massage—You can also gently massage these acupressure points associated with digestion.
5. Ileocecal valve massage—Diarrhea can sometimes be caused by an ill-functioning ileocecal valve. Read more here to help close these reflex points (or watch video instructions here).
RELATED: HOW TO TREAT CONSTIPATION NATURALLY
These at-home treatments can help you stop diarrhea fast; however, if you’re suffering from diarrhea on a consistent basis, talk to your doctor as it could be a side effect of a larger medical issue.