If you’re looking for natural remedies for diarrhea, this post is a great place to start! We’re sharing tons of helpful information, including common causes of diarrhea, when you should worry about diarrhea in children and adults, foods to eat and avoid, as well as effective home remedies for fast relief. Whether you’re looking for natural treatment options for your kids or yourself, these ideas work!
What Is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is defined as having loose or watery stools more than three times a day. When you have diarrhea, you often have an urgent need to use the bathroom along with painful stomach cramps, and you may experience nausea as well.
There are 2 main types of diarrhea:
- Acute diarrhea is usually caused by food poisoning or a viral or bacterial infection, and goes away on its own within a few days.
- Chronic diarrhea refers to diarrhea that lasts for at least four weeks at a time and is often caused by a chronic illness like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease.
8 Common Causes of Diarrhea
If you’re looking for natural remedies for diarrhea, you probably want to know what caused you to get sick in the first place. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds as many things can cause loose stools, including:
- Bacteria and parasites
- Food poisoning
- Lactose intolerance
- Artificial sweeteners
- Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease
When Should I Worry About Diarrhea in Children?
While diarrhea is common in children and usually passes within a few days on its own, it’s important to know when to seek medical advice. A good rule of thumb is to touch base with your child’s doctor to get his or her opinion, but if your little one has diarrhea and displays any of the symptoms below, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.
- If your child is displaying signs of dehydration, such as:
- crying without tears
- drowsiness, unresponsiveness, or irritability
- sunken appearance to the abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
- not having a wet diaper in 3+ hours
- dry mouth and tongue
- If your child is younger than 6 months and:
- has had any diarrhea
- has a fever
- If your child is older than 6 months and:
- has had diarrhea for more than 3 days
- has a fever
- is also vomiting bloody, green, or yellow fluid
- is unable to hold down fluids without vomiting that has occurred more than 2 times
- has bloody/black stool
When Should I Worry About Diarrhea in Adults?
As adults, we have a tendency to push through sickness and discomfort, and while most cases of diarrhea are more of an inconvenience than a cause for concern, be sure to consult with a medical professional if you experience any of the following:
- Signs of dehydration, including:
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
- Little/no urination
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, and weakness
- A fever of over 39C/102F or higher
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 48 hours without improvement
- Diarrhea that’s accompanied by severe abdominal or rectal pain
- Stools that are bloody/black
8 Natural Remedies for Diarrhea
If you’re looking for natural remedies for diarrhea for yourself, your child, or someone you love, the ideas below will (hopefully) bring fast relief to you and yours!
1. REPLACE WATER AND ELECTROLYTES
The most important item on this list of natural remedies for diarrhea is to stay hydrated. Infants who are nursing or on formula should still drink milk, but older children and adults should avoid dairy until their diarrhea subsides. Fruit juice can have a laxative effect, so try to stick to water or an electrolyte drink. Pedialyte is a great option for kids and comes in many different flavors, while coconut water is a great natural electrolyte drink for adults. Both of these are effective in preventing dehydration as they contain salt to slow down fluid loss, and sugar to help your body absorb the salt. Other clear liquids like broth can be used to replace fluids if they can be tolerated.
2. STICK TO THE BRAT DIET
If you’re on the hunt for natural remedies for diarrhea, try to stick to the ‘BRAT’ diet until your symptoms improve. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, all of which are bland and soothing, and help soak up excess fluid in your intestines while also slowing the passage of food.
3. MUNCH ON SALTINE CRACKERS
If bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast seem like too much, or you’re looking for something to munch on between meals, saltines are another great food option. They won’t aggravate your digestive track since they are low residue, and they contain salt which will help prevent fluid loss.
4. EAT SMALLER MEALS
Eating a large amount of food too quickly can stimulate your GI tract, which you obviously want to avoid when you have diarrhea. Try to stick to smaller, more frequent meals until your symptoms improve.
5. AVOID FOODS THAT MAKE DIARRHEA WORSE
It can be tempting to reach for comfort foods when you’re under the weather, but there are certain things that can actually make your diarrhea worse, including:
- Fruit juices that contain fructose
- Milk and dairy products
- Raw vegetables
- Fried, greasy, and fatty foods
- Foods that cause gas (beans, dried fruits, corn, leafy greens, etc.)
As mentioned previously, try to stick with the BRAT diet until your diarrhea is under control.
6. SUPPLEMENT WITH PROBIOTICS
Probiotics are living microorganisms that live in certain foods. They’re created during the fermentation process, and are similar to ‘good bacteria’ that naturally occur in your digestive system. And since 70% to 80% of our immune system is located in our gut, a diet rich in probiotic foods will help with everything from supporting our immune health and helping to decrease inflammation, to improving our digestion and increasing our energy levels. Probiotics have also been shown to reduce abdominal pain, bloating, irregularities with bowel movements, and (you guessed it!) diarrhea. There are many probiotic foods you can consume, but since many of them contain dairy and/or may aggravate your diarrhea, it may be better to stick with a good probiotic supplements instead.
7. SIP ON CHAMOMILE TEA
If you’re looking for natural remedies for diarrhea, chamomile tea is another option to try. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help relax and reduce muscle spasms, and it is also know to soothe the stomach and reduce intestinal gas.
8. ENJOY GINGER ROOT
Ginger has long been used to prevent nausea and vomiting, but few people know it can reduce abdominal spasms and gas as well as reduce diarrhea caused by eating contaminated food. Raw ginger is pretty potent and a little goes a long way. Instead of dicing up raw ginger root, you can boil it in a pot of water to create your own ginger tea. Don’t have any ginger root on hand? No worries! You can purchase ginger tea on Amazon or at your local grocery store for fast relief!
If you’re looking for natural remedies for diarrhea for you or someone you love, I hope the tips and ideas in this post prove useful to you!