Digestive problems can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. But few digestive problems are as disruptive as diarrhea. Whether you get diarrhea infrequently or experience it regularly because of a digestive health condition, there are ways you can stop diarrhea quickly and restore hydration and regular digestion.
Diarrhea is a common and relatively harmless condition that everyone experiences. Diarrhea, or loose, watery stools, can happen for a number of reasons. Often, diarrhea seems to come out of nowhere and without warning, making it vital to treat it fast.
Most diarrhea cases go away on their own, possibly within a few days. This is acute diarrhea and it has many possible contributing factors, primarily involving the type of food you’ve consumed.1
However, when diarrhea persists for longer than a few days, it could indicate there’s an underlying health condition producing diarrhea as a symptom. In some cases, chronic diarrhea can last weeks or months. It’s important to pay attention to your symptoms, and how frequently you experience diarrhea as it can help you pinpoint the cause so you can treat the condition.1,2
Possible causes of chronic diarrhea include:
- Viruses, bacteria or parasites from contaminated food (food poisoning)
- Taking certain medications such as antibiotics
- Having food sensitivities such as lactose intolerance
In some cases, however, diarrhea is a symptom of a digestive disorder such as:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis
These conditions affect different parts of the digestive tract. When any part of the digestive tract isn’t at full health, it can result in irregular bowel movements, including diarrhea.
Depending on what’s causing your diarrhea, you may experience additional symptoms or complications that coincide with loose, watery stools. Possible symptoms that may be present with diarrhea include:1
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Blood in stool
- Urgent, frequent bowel movements
The body loses way more electrolytes in loose, watery stools compared to solid stools, leading to dehydration. Diarrhea can cause severe dehydration if it persists for more than a few days. Dehydration is a serious medical condition that can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, muscle weakness and fatigue. Chronic diarrhea also prevents the body from absorbing nutrients, leading to malnourishment.1,2
Top Natural Remedies for Diarrhea
Diarrhea is one of those conditions you want to treat right away because it’s so disruptive and can lead to complications. Natural home treatments can help you stop diarrhea fast and restore hydration:
Salt and Sugar - The combination of salt and sugar helps to replenish electrolytes and restore hydration after suffering from diarrhea.
Baking Soda and Lemon - If diarrhea is caused by bacterial food poisoning, baking soda and lemon can help kill bacteria and restore electrolytes to the body.
Pickle Juice - The vinegar content in pickle juice can help to kill bacteria that have caused food poisoning and diarrhea.
Apple - Apple contains pectin, which is a substance the body uses to help bulk up stool. Eating an apple can help to counteract diarrhea.
Flaxseed Oil - Taking flaxseed oil helps to improve digestive health and can promote regular bowel movements, including stopping diarrhea.