Chronic Diarrhea - Natural Alternatives to Reach For

Chronic diarrhea is the frequent passage of loose, watery, soft stools. It is often accompanied by bloating, cramps, intestinal pressure, and gas.

It's most usually a temporary condition that has a wide variety of origins.

Anxiety, stress, and virus related 'runs' are the most common culprits but there are certainly other offenders.

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Diarrhea is one of the most prevailing illnesses in all age groups and is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days of work or school. It is estimated that there are almost 100 million cases in the adult population last year in the US alone.

Because chronic diarrhea is a common condition, it can be disregarded as a medical issue but in reality, it's more dangerous than being constipated. If left untreated, extreme weight loss can occur quickly. When you lose too many valuable enzymes and electrolytes, your bout could become a medical emergency.

IBS with diarrhea is typically the result of a specific food allergy or intolerance, medications, or improper food combining. In rare instances, diarrhea is associated with a bowel obstruction. If you think this could be a problem for you, medical intervention should be sought immediately.

However, for most people, it's just something you may have to deal with from time to time. A new study found that dark chocolate, seems to help this condition and I'll get to that in a minute. First let consider some of the reasons you may have loose stools and what natural alternative might help you!

Common Causes of Diarrhea

Many times chronic diarrhea is caused by a certain food you're eating that your body doesn't like. The nightshade family of veggies are a frequent offender. They consist of veggies such as eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Other known aggravators are wheat, whey, corn, and sucrose. Allergic reactions to these foods can all contribute to this condition.

Dairy and excessive fatty foods may make bowel loose, especially if you have had your gall bladder removed.

Chronic diarrhea also seems to be a problem if you experience improper food-combining. Improper food-combining simply means that you are eating the wrong blends of food together.

It is suggested you try eating meat alone, vegetables alone, etc., if you feel that improper food-combining might be the source of your chronic diarrhea. It's the process of elimination that will help you find which foods are MOST contributing to your loose stools.

Limiting or eliminating certain foods from your diet can help you figure out if some of those foods are aggravating your system. If you're going to do this, it's imperative that you write down everything you eat in a day AND what you eliminate, so you can compare and contrast.

Natural Alternatives for Chronic Diarrhea

If you have prolonged periods of diarrhea, then be sure to seek medical help, as your body will be heavily depleted of essential nutrients, especially your electrolytes. This actually happened to me a few years ago and within a month, I felt like I was going to die. Read more about this life threatening medical problem here.

  • Athletic drinks (without caffeine) like Gatorade can help restore your electrolytes if you are having intermittent episodes of diarrhea but they are also full of sugar that can make diarrhea worse. A better choice would be Pedialyte, which is something any mom has given her child for loose bowels. Pedialyte contains the electrolytes (without excess sugar), that your body needs to function normally. You can also make your own electrolyte formula at home if you have the time. (It doesn't take long but you DO need to boil the water you use beforehand!)

    Adequate levels of minerals such as magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium are essential in maintaining your body at a cellular level. Disruption of your body's fluid and mineral levels can create a serious electrolyte imbalance.

  • Medicines that stop diarrhea (Pepto Bismol, Immodium, etc.) should not be used for people whose diarrhea is caused by bacterial infection or a parasitic infection because they may prolong the infection. However, bacterial infections must be treated with antibiotics. Most viruses that cause temporary diarrhea are either treated with diarrhea medication or left to run its course.

    On the flip side, balancing electrolytes may actually help assist to control constipation issues too.

  • Bananas have high potassium content, which is good for replacing lost potassium and calming the digestive tract. They also have a healthy balance of starch and natural sugars that can help firm the bowels.

  • Rice and white or wheat toast should be eaten plain, without added cinnamon, jellies or butter. Fats, sugars, and spices may prolong frequent or watery bowel movements.

  • Applesauce or raw apples are a great source of pectin, a natural bulking agent.

  • Green tea or black tea, (decaffeinated), helps to replace lost fluids.

  • Organic yogurt is always a good choice if it contains active live cultures that restore your intestinal balance. When you restore bacteria with the live cultures in yogurt, you can restore this balance in your intestines more quickly than the body would be able to do on its own.

    Another reason yogurt is great is that it provides a much greater supply of protein than other foods. Plain yogurt and banana shakes/smoothies are also a great way to stop chronic diarrhea in it's tracks.

    Optionally you can also consume raw milk which is plentiful in natural enzymes, if it's available in your area.

    * Don’t substitute apple juice for applesauce or raw apples. Apple juice tends to work as a natural laxative. Try to stick with decaffeinated tea and don’t use herbal teas, which might prolong diarrhea. Skip additives to your tea like milk, honey, sugar or *sugar substitutes.

    *Stevia, if grown in your yard or patio, is a great alternative to sugar. Dehydrated leaves are sugar-sweet all by themselves.

  • Fiber is also a great way to treat loose bowels. It helps to bulk up excemements, which can relieve the symptoms. Opt for natural fiber supplements for natural relief.

  • Recent research has shown that dark chocolate may have some benefits for people who have chronic diarrhea. Imported dark chocolate is even better because it contains more of the flavanoids that help diarrhea. According to the report, the darker the chocolate the better.

    There is something about the flavanoids contained in dark chocolate that cause the water levels in the bowels to calm. When there is too much water in the bowels, you can get diarrhea.

    There have not been enough studies done about this yet to draw any clear conclusions, but it’s a great suggestion to try if you like dark chocolate. Just don't overdo it. A small piece will do!

  • Another way to get rid of chronic diarrhea forever is to simply take enzymes, more commonly called probiotics EVERY day. Many people associate these with constipation, but in all honesty, they are good for treating both conditions.

    Probiotics balance the amount of bacteria you have in your colon, just like yogurt. The problem with yogurt is that much of the time, they lack high enough amounts of the active enzymes your intestines need and they may contain sugar, which only aggravates the condition. It doesn't matter whether you have diarrhea or constipation, digestive enzymes help both types of bowel problems.

    Just remember if your diarrhea lasts for more than a few days to seek medical help. Diarrhea, just like constipation, is a reaction to something that's NOT NORMAL in your body. Believe me, I should know!

    Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.

    Related Pages on This Site

    Avoid Digestive Problems by Eating Right!

    High Fructose Corn Syrup – What Nature Never Intended!

    Natural Probiotics for Constipation

    Digestive Enzyme Supplements – A Natural Constipation Remedy

    Intestinal Bacteria - Rejuvenate with Rejuvelac!

    Eat More High Fiber Food to Increase Bowel Movements

    High Fiber Diet - Eat More Soluble Fiber

    Raw Foods Diet – A Healthy Way to Lose Weight

    Eat Fiber Rich Foods to Lose Weight

    Avoid Digestive Problems by Eating Right!

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