Facts


  • Diarrhea is the passing of watery or loose stools.


  • It is the body's way of eliminating toxic wastes.


  • Diarrhea is also an indication that the digestive system is unable to absorb nutrients, salt and water from food which are subsequently lost from the body through the watery bowels.


  • Acute diarrhea accompanied by fever and blood or mucus in the stool may indicate bacterial or parasital infection.


  • Most diarrhea lasts up to 3 or 4 days, even if left untreated. Consult a physician if diarrhea persists for more than 4 days.


  • Diarrhea depletes the body of electrolytes, which are important minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride and calcium. A lack of these minerals can cause fatigue, tiredness and dehydration.


  • Breast fed babies are less vulnerable to diarrhea.


  • A body-detoxifying program can bring about a cleansing effect that could result in watery loose stools. This is the action of the removal of fecal matter from the intestinal walls and it should not last more than 2 days.


  • Excess protein in an athlete can lead to dehydration, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Protein in excess requires more energy to digest and metabolize it.

    Reference : "Protein Supplements and Body Building Programs" Cathy K, et al. Journal of the American Medical Association (1978) 240:481


Causes

  • People with lactose intolerance (the inability to digest lactose) who have consumed dairy products will allow the lactose to ferment in the large intestine where it can cause bloating, flatus, diarrhea and pain.


  • Consuming large quantities of artificial sweeteners such as hexitols, mannitol and sorbitol can cause diarrhea.


  • Food poisoning leading up to diarrhea is caused by bacteria such as salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter.


  • Diarrhea is often a symptom of many health conditions such as diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperthyroidism, celiac disease (gluten sensitivity,) vitamin overdose, caffeine overdose and alcohol overdose.


  • Emotional stress and anxiety can have an unpleasant effect on the digestive system and can spark off diarrhea. Once the stress or anxiety is gone, diarrhea stops.


  • Some women experience diarrhea immediately before or during menstruation.


  • Antibiotics can upset the healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria in the intestine, resulting in diarrhea. Such antibiotics include doxycycline, digoxin, ampicillin, clindamycin, tetracycline and dirithromycin.


  • Diarrhea can be a side-effect from drugs like immunosuppressants and those used for lowering cholesterol; for treating rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, cancer, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections, HIV and manic phase of bipolar disorder.


Brainerd diarrhea
  • Brainerd diarrhea is a condition characterized by 10 to 20 diarrheic episodes per day of explosive, watery non-bloody stools and often, fecal incontinence, lasting for 4 weeks or more. Other symptoms include gas, mild abdominal cramping and fatigue. It is named after a town called Brainerd in Minnesota, USA where the first outbreak took place in 1983. Neither bacterial, viral nor parasitic pathogens were found to be the cause of this strange disease. A chemical toxin was thought to be involved.

The relief plan

  • DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS

    Replace lost fluids by taking lots of water, juices, broth and decaffeinated teas. Avoid either very cold or very hot fluids.


  • AVOID THESE FOODS

    Avoid milk, dairy products, raw vegetables, acidic fruits, bran, whole-grain cereals, sugary foods, spices, fried food, fatty food, caffeine and alcohol. All of which are tough on the digestive system.


  • ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

    Works by absorbing and binding harmful or irritating substances found in the stomach and intestines, thereby preventing them from getting absorbed into the body system. Charcoal digested makes the stool black, naturally. Powder form is said to be better than tablets. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of charcoal powder with water and drink with a straw. Must not be taken at the same time with the syrup of ipecac, a common remedy for poisoning used to induce vomiting.


  • NONI

    A natural tropical fruit found to contain over 150 nutraceuticals which include 20 amino acids, 9 of which are essential because they are not produced in the body, vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, ursolic acid, linoleic acid, proxeronine (bromelain), scopoletin, pectin, phytosterols, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

    As an adaptogen, noni qualifies to be the Yin/Yang regulator, helping to enhance resistance to stress and disease, normalize metabolic functions and improve the body's ability to adapt to differing external or internal disturbances.


    Noni has also been blessed with anthraquinone compounds such as alizarin, acubin and L-asperuloside that fight against bacterial strains like E.coli, salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus aureus and baciillis subtilis.


    Author of 76 Ways to Use Noni Fruit Juice suggests the tummy treatment as an alternative to get noni's healing compounds into infants and children. This simple treatment uses a cotton ball soaked with warm noni to cover the bellybutton.


    More about noni : http://www.tipsofallsorts.com/noni.html.

    Reference : "Morinda citrifolia (Noni): A literature review and recent advances in Noni research" Wang Mian-Ying, et al. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica (Dec, 2002) 23(12):1127-1141



  • CAROB POWDER

    Take 1 tablespoon (mix with apple sauce and honey) on an empty stomach with acidophilus. Carob soothes irritated intestines.


  • ACIDOPHILUS

    Diarrhea caused by antibiotics can be handled by acidophilus (friendly intestinal bacteria) which will help restore a healthy flora in the digestive tract.


  • BERBERINE

    An alkaloid compound present in the roots and bark of many medicinal plants such as goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis), bayberry (Berberis vulgaris), goldthread (Coptis chinensis) and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium). It is responsible for the yellow color in the roots. Bererine has anti-microbial action against bacteria (e.g. E. coli and cholera), protozoa (e.g. giardia, amoebas and chlamydia), yeasts, certain viruses and worms. It also has anti-inflammatory and astringent effects, especially on mucous membranes. Berberine may reduce healthy bacteria in the gut, which can be corrected with the supplementation of acidophilus once diarrhea has stopped.


  • RASPBERRY LEAF (Rubus idaeus)

    Used for diarrhea, motion sickness and menstrual cramps.
    Recommended dosage : 2 capsules twice or 3 times daily with food; as a tea, up to six cups a day for acute problems.


  • BLACKBERRY (Rubus macropetalus)

    Blackberry juice is used to treat diarrhea, acid indigestion, colitis and gallstones. The tannin content in blackberry has an astringent effect, tightening the mucous membrane tissue along the intestinal tract which discourages the formation of watery stools. Drink 1 cup tea up to 6 times a day. Avoid blackberry remedies when suffering from Crohn's disease or any chronic gastrointestinal disorders.


  • KAOPECTATE

    A suspension formula made from an absorbent clay. It works by absorbing and binding to substances irritating or harmful to the gut. The concentrated tablets are free of additives.

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