The most common cause of acute diarrhoea is infection–viral, bacterial, and parasitic. Bacteria also can cause acute food poisoning. Another cause of acute diarrhea is starting a new medication. Causes of chronic diarrhoea can be IBS, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, Chron’s or Ulcerative Colitis, Coeliac disease, colon cancer, fat / sugar malabsorption, endocrine diseases like an overactive thyroid or laxative abuse.
- Stay hydrated. This is important as you’ll loose lots of water and natural salts, vitamins and minerals through diarrhoea. Drink plenty of water.
- Eat bananas, marzipan (if not allergic to almond nuts) and dark chocolate in moderation. My doctors in the hospital told me NOT to eat these as I was suffering with constipation. They said these things will bind you up and make your stools more solid. So if you’re the other way and you need to solidify those stools break out the bananas and cover in yummy chocolate sprinkles! 😉
- Eat probiotic live yogurts with natural bacteria to bring your gut flora back into balance.
- Avoid milk, cheese and dairy products as these make you go more regularly.
- Avoid lots of fruits and veggies as these make you regular and stools soft. Avoid fruit juices!
- Avoid caffeine, its a stimulate and will kick start your bowels into moving! Drink herbal teas, warm broths and warm water with lemon in it.
- Avoid greasy fried fatty foods, rich indulgent foods and hot spicy foods. These will upset your gut.
- Potatoes and gluten free bread, soups, rice, dry crackers, chicken and carrots are gentle and kind to your tummy during periods of diarrhoea so use these ingredients to create your meals. Generally look for cooked starchy foods as these are your friends in times of diarrhoea.
- Rest. Your tummy needs to settle and calm down. Sometimes stress, trauma, anxiety and nerves can make us have diarrhoea. I know before important uni exams I would need to visit the bathroom 3 times in an hour! If you can stay at home, sleep and keep warm and do gentle activities like reading or light yoga to relax they should help.
- Wrap up warm. You may have gotten a chill from being too cold or sitting outside on damp grass for a while, which can also give you diarrhoea.
- Drink chamomile tea for its anti intestinal inflammation and antispasmodic properties, drink peppermint tea to calm the digestive system and black tea to help bind your stools.
- Avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol.
- Boil brown rice, eat the rice and drink the water. This helps to bind the stools and contains lots of vitamin B.
- Consider getting Dioralyte sachets, they are usually blackcurrant flavoured and available from chemists. You mix the powder with water and it basically replaces all the minerals and fluids in your body that you have lost through diarrhoea. Great for when going abroad and they are individually wrapped into 1 serving size.
- If you have quite severe diarrhoea try Imodium tablets or ask your pharmacy for other alternatives to help you.
I’d be happy to answer or discuss any questions you might have in the comments section below. 🙂 These herbal remedies are to help ease temporary diarrhoea. If your problem is chronic and lasts longer than a couple of days then you must see your doctor for other underlying problems.