TV commercials would often portray diarrhea in a funny yet relatable way, but when you actually have it, it is anything but giggle-worthy. It’s painful and embarrassing. You also must not forget the fact that diarrhea could lead to serious complications and even death for really young children.
Therefore, it is imperative to deal with it not only immediately, but appropriately. Despite all the information about it, a lot of people still think that diarrhea will eventually go away on its own, which is quite dangerous. Many have suffered from kidney arrest due to the severe dehydration caused by diarrhea that is left untreated.
Managing diarrhea properly is not that difficult, and the right practices can ensure a speedy recovery from it. So, to help you and your family manage this medical setback, here are nine of the best tips for dealing with diarrhea from medical professionals.
1. Replenish your fluids after a bowel movement.
Drinking a glass of water after a bowel movement is a must to stay hydrated. However, this will not make up for the lost electrolytes from your body, so try to alternate water with an electrolyte-rich drink.
2. Rest and don’t move too much.
Since severe dehydration is one of the leading risks that comes with diarrhea, try not to work up a sweat. Do not exercise or perform any physically demanding task, not only because you’ll release more fluids, but it can also aggravate stomach discomfort. It’s better to relax and get some sleep.
3. Avoid dairy products.
Taking anything milk-based usually aggravates diarrhea. For children who still need to drink milk often, replace milk with fruit juices instead, or provide them with milk substitutes such as soy milk or coconut water. Coconut water is a fantastic substitute because it is rich with electrolytes.
4. Take probiotics.
There are different types of probiotics that you can fill up on when you have diarrhea. There are food items such as miso, natto, kimchi, and sauerkraut. You also have beverages such as kombucha.
However, if you do not have much of an appetite, you can use probiotic medicine for adults and children. There’s a probiotic medicine that’s clear and flavorless, which kids won’t have any issue taking.
The advantage of probiotic medicine such as Enterogermina is that they outwork the virus or harmful bacteria, causing the abnormal bowel movement. At the same time, they boost the immune system.
5. Avoid consuming beverages in extreme temperatures.
Just opt for warm or room temperature drinks that will not shock your digestive system and create that churning sensation in your stomach. Extreme temperatures can cause nausea, which can lead to vomiting and further dehydration.
So, when you have diarrhea (or if any other member of the family does), it’s best to do without ice for the meantime and let drinks cool down or warm up to room temperature, which is similar to the stomach’s own temperature.
6. Stick to the BRAT diet.
Bland food is best for people suffering from diarrhea. The best bland foods to eat are bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT). But, you can also work in boiled potatoes, carrots, and saltines.
Those are all quite easy to digest and are rich in potassium (electrolytes) that can prevent the symptoms of dehydration, such as numbness of the joints, slight tremors, and difficulty with mobility.
7. Wash your hands often.
Frequent handwashing is one of the best preventative methods for diarrhea, and it can also contribute to a speedy recovery from diarrhea. It’s worth mentioning that it’s crucial to make handwashing as thorough as possible, primarily because of the frequent trips you need to make to the toilet.
Use an antibacterial soap or hand wash and dedicate around 40 to 60 seconds to the activity. Also, to ensure that that are no dirt deposits in your hands, cut your nails short.
8. Stay away from caffeinated drinks.
Any beverage that can have a diuretic effect should be avoided at all costs. Typically anything with caffeine such as coffee, cocoa, and dark teas can induce bowel movement. If you have diarrhea, consuming such beverages will only make the symptoms worse. So, stick to the drinks cited above that can help alleviate the symptoms.
9. Eat the moment hunger strikes.
Although you may feel like eating only increases the frequency of your toilet visits, do so anyway. It’s always better to have something to eliminate other than just hunger acids.
However, control the portions of your food intake. Eat only in amounts that are comfortable for you. If you must break down your main meals to smaller meals, do so. And follow up with probiotics, which are best taken after a meal.
All of these tips are proven effective, even if they are all simple solutions. The bottom line here is that it’s imperative to do something. With diarrhea, you want it gone as soon as possible. Therefore, meet with your doctor and get a proper diagnosis to find out the cause of your diarrhea, and implement the tips provided above.