Diarrhea produces frequent, watery, loose, unformed bowel movements. It is not a disease rather, it is a symptom of one or more diseases.
Most common causes are food allergies, food poisoning, bacterial or viral infections , and diseases such as influenza, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Less common cause of diarrhea is cancer. Radiation treatment for cancer can cause diarrhea, as can laxatives, antacids, antibiotics and other medications.
In many cases, the diarrhea is uncomfortable but clears up by itself or with minor treatment. Standard medical treatment for diarrhea includes medication such as Immodium, Lomotil and antispasmoc such as Bentyl.
Alternative therapies for diarrhea include:
You’ll find the nutrients in these and other foods:
– Folic acid, beans, spinach and walnuts;
– Niacin almonds, chicken, fish and whole grains;
– Vitamin A, milk, cheese and beef and chicken liver;
– Vitamin B12, brook trout, salmon, eggs and yogurt;
– Vitamin C, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit and parsley;
– Vitaimn K, broccoli, lettuce and turnip greens;
– Magnesium, carrots and Onions;
– Potassium, bananas, carrots, tomatoes and green leaf vegetables;
– Zinc, cinnamon and milk.
I explain to my patients that it is important to look for and treat the underlying cause of the problem. As for the diarrhea itself, you want to replace the fluids, sodium, potassium, magnesium and electrolytes lost with the watery bowel movements.
For acute diarrhea, I may recommend drinking a sugary water solution containing sodium chloride (salt), sodium bicarbonate, potassium and magnesium. Rest is helpful, as is avoiding milk and dairy products, junk foods, high fat foods, caffeine, alcohol and highly seasoned foods.
In many cases, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol) takes care of the problem.