Diarrhea is basically loose, watery, and possibly more-frequent bowel movements. It is a common problem. Luckily, diarrhea is usually short-lived, lasting not more than a few days. Many people get diarrhea a few times a year. It normally lasts 2 to 3 days. There are 1001 different things that could be the cause of watery stools but some common causes are lack of fiber, bacterial or viral infections, unbalanced gut microbiota, use of antibiotics, allergies to particular foods, poor hygiene, and improper food preparation.
It may cause your digestive system to weaken and can also result in bloating, cramps, or nausea. Some people get it more often. It could be because of an underlying condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other conditions.
While the first step is to control the diet as soon as the symptoms come to sight, let’s discuss a few Indian home remedies for diarrhea which prove to be beneficial
- Hydration is the key: Make a solution with Lemon, Salt, and Sugar mixed with water and consume it 4-5 times a day. Although Oral rehydration solution is readily available in the market, it is always better to consume the good old granny’s remedy. Make sure that the person drinks plenty of water throughout the day.
- Focus on a starch-based diet: Curd rice or the humble Khichdi are some of the best food options during diarrhea. Foods that usually are well tolerated during a diarrheal illness include rice, bananas, cereal, potatoes, and lactose-free products.
- Fruits: Some fruits should be avoided during diarrhea due to the high fiber content which is difficult on the digestive system which is already weak in this condition. But contrary to this, some of them, namely- Apple, Banana, Pear, and Oranges, actually help a smooth bowel movement because of the amount of pectin that they contain, which is a soluble fibre that is well known for helping get rid of diarrhea.
- Relieving Bloating and Cramps: Asafoetida or heeng along with ghee applied to the navel helps in relieving gas and bloating issues. A heating pad or a hot water bottle can be used to calm abdominal cramps.
- Avoid Dairy: Avoid milk, cheese, and other dairy products (except yogurt, unless you don't usually tolerate it well) while you have diarrhea as well as for a week after it stops. The small intestine, where milk is digested, is affected by diarrhea and simply doesn’t work as well for a while.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that aid digestion and chiefly consist of lactic acid bacteria. Taking probiotics can provide quick relief from diarrhea. Some foods rich in probiotics are Yoghurt, Buttermilk, and homemade pickles.
- Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea is found to be effective in alleviating diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome due to its antispasmodic effects. The peppermint oil in the tea is the active agent that aids digestion.
How it can be prevented?
It’s almost impossible to prevent children from getting diarrhea. But there are few ways to make it less likely:
- Make sure children wash their hands properly and often, especially before eating and after using the toilet. It’s the best way to prevent diarrheal infections that pass from person to person.
- Keep your bathroom surfaces like sinks and toilets clean.
- Wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating.
- Clean the cooking utensils and kitchen counters properly.
- Avoid washing your pet cages or bowls in the same sink that you use to prepare food.
- After bringing meat keep it in the refrigerator and cook it well. If there are leftovers refrigerate them as well without any delay.
How can it affect your toddlers’ body and which are the effective home remedies for diarrhea in toddlers?
If your child has chronic diarrhea, they can experience serious health problems, even if it is caused by a situation that isn't dangerous, such as a food allergy.
- Nutrition: Chronic diarrhea can cause dehydration, as their body loses too much fluid. They can also miss out on vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats when their diarrhea is associated with a lack of absorption of these vital nutrients. Chronic diarrhea can also result in weight loss if they aren't absorbing enough carbohydrates and calories from the food they eat.
- Bleeding and Irritation: It can cause irritation of the colon or the rectum, potentially resulting in fragile tissue bleeding.
- Dehydration: When you lose fluid with the stool, they can become dehydrated. It causes mild dehydration, which makes them thirsty. Severe dehydration results in decreased urine volume, dark urine, low blood pressure, light-headedness, and fatigue. Interestingly, dehydration is more dangerous if they have acute diarrhea, as the body tends to compensate better for dehydration if its chronic, recurrent diarrhea.
We asked our parents about their own home remedies to cure Diarrhea. Let us see what they do to cure this problem.
“I don't give any antibiotics. I use some graduated and simple home treatment and make sure that my child regularly drinks water."
“If I face such a problem, I give homemade curd and daliya. I always give my child boiled water instead of the regular RO water because children are very sensitive."
“I give sugar and salt solution during Diarrhea. I also keep giving juice from time to time which helps a lot. I don't face this problem very frequently as we are very careful about our food."
-Priyanka Puneet Kakkar
“I think at this time, Lemon water and ORS solution is the best remedy.”
“I think banana and curd rice are the best foods to give your child during diarrhea.”
Diarrhea is a sign that your body is trying to rid itself of something toxic. Though these home remedies are tried and tested, it is advised to get medical attention if your diarrhea is persistent for more than 2-3 days. Persistent diarrhea should be clinically treated as it can affect your daily routine and can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Sticking to these dietary changes can help recover faster and feel better sooner, so you can get back to eating all the foods that you love as soon as possible.
Stay Tuned, Stay Relevant!
This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.