Diarrhea Help

My son has had the "runs' for a couple of days now. Do you have anything that will stop it?

Alana, ID

Natural Help for Diarrhea

Diarrhea is defined as abnormal frequency of loose, watery stools. With diarrhea, stool can be passed more than three times a day and up to a quart a day. Acute diarrhea, in its mild form, is a common problem that usually lasts up to 48 hours, and goes away on its own without special treatment. Prolonged diarrhea, lasts for more than 2 days and begins to pose a risk of dehydration. Chronic diarrhea, lasts for more than 4 weeks and is associated with chronic disease. Contact your doctor to determine the underlining cause of chronic diarrhea or if it does not go away within 5-9 days.

Diarrhea may be caused by a whole range of conditions which generally fall into four categories; nerve/stress related, food related, parasite-related, and viral/bacterial-related. It may also be the body ridding itself of toxins. Acute diarrhea is usually related to a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection. Chronic diarrhea is usually related to functional disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

Diarrhea may be accompanied by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, or an urgent need to use the bathroom. Depending on the cause, a person may have a fever or bloody stools.

Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which means the body has lost too much fluid and electrolytes to function properly. Dehydration is particularly dangerous in children and elderly people, and it must be treated promptly to avoid serious health problems.

Symptoms of dehydration:

· Thirst

· Less frequent urination

· Dry skin

· Fatigue

· Light-headedness

· Dark-colored or strong smelling urine

Symptoms of dehydration in children:

· Dry mouth and tongue

· No tears when crying

· No wet diapers for 3 hours or more

· Sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks

· High fever

· Listlessness or irritability

· Skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

If you suspect that you or your child is dehydrated, call the doctor immediately. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization.

Preventing Dehydration

The fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhea need to be replaced promptly because the body cannot function without them. Electrolytes are the salts and minerals that affect the amount of water in your body, muscle activity, and other important functions.

Although water is extremely important in preventing dehydration, it does not contain electrolytes. Broth and soups that contain sodium, and fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables that contain potassium, help restore electrolyte levels. Over-the-counter rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte, Ceralyte, and Infalyte are also good electrolyte sources and are especially recommended for use in children.

Homemade Dehydration Blend:

· 1 Quart Bottled water

· 8 tsp. Sugar

· ½ tsp. Salt

· 4-8 drops Lemon Essential Oil (optional, use less for children)

The sugar is essential to promote the absorption of the salt.

Lemon Essential Oil will help with the over all hydration for cellular communication and combat any viral/bacterial issues, along with alkalizing and calming the digestive system.

Natural Help

Lots of fluid is important. A bland diet is okay, if hungry.

  • Drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. Choose fruit juice, (without pulp), Chicken broth (without the fat), Herbal tea with honey, and sports drinks. Instead of drinking liquids with your meals, drink liquids between meals. Drink small amounts of fluids frequently.

  • Avoid caffeine, milk products, and foods that are greasy, high in fiber, very sweet or highly seasoned. These foods tend to aggravate diarrhea.

  • Eliminate Sugarless gums that contain laxatives such as sorbitol or mannitol .

  • As you improve, you can add soft, bland foods to your diet, including bananas, plain rice, boiled potatoes, toast, crackers, cooked carrots, and baked chicken without the skin or fat. Start off with the BRATTY diet first.

The B-R-A-T-T-Y diet.

It stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, tea, toast, and yogurt. The first day eat only bananas. When your stomach can tolerate the bananas, try rice -- plain white boiled or steamed. After rice, eat applesauce and so on. If symptoms reoccur, start back at the beginning. The enzymes in your body need to be rebuilt after all that trauma.

Sunflower leaf tea is one of the most potent ways to stop diarrhea, but must be taken in small amounts at a time to avoid constipation. Take 1 teaspoon at a time, every 1-2 hours, then gradually increase dose, depending on age.

· 1 tsp. Sunflower leaf (1ounce herb for lager batches)

· 1 cup Boiling Water (1 pint water for larger batches)

· Pour boiling water over leaf, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes or longer. Strain before using.

Peach leaf tea can also be affective to calm the stomach and can be sipped a cup at a time. Prepare the same way as above.

Also, FRESH (not canned/jarred) peaches help calm stomach and diarrhea.

Carob Malt
  • 1 c. almond milk, soy, or rice milk
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 t. carob powder
  • 1T. honey
  • Blend all ingredients and enjoy. This is one of my kid's favorite after school treats or to cool off on a warm day.
Carob is a great bowel regulator loosening stools if constipated or impeding diarrhea.

Essential Oil Help

The Essential Oils that can help are Fennel, Coriander, Peppermint, Lemon, Basil, Ginger, Chamomile, Tangerine, Orange, Tea Tree, Frankincense or Dill.

Diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection or parasite is better left to run its course. If you stop the diarrhea before having purged the bacteria or parasite, you will trap the organism in the intestines and prolong the problem. Hydration and Essential oils can play an important role in this case.

Frankincense is an astringent and has been known to help reverse diarrhea. 1-2 drops in a capsule, filled with carrier oil 2-3x a day until diarrhea subsides.

For Viral/Bacterial Diarrhea mix a total of 6 drops from any of the following essential oils with 1 tsp. Carrier oil and massage clockwise onto abdomen:

· Thyme

· Tea Tree

· Lavender

· Lemon

· Eucalyptus

Example recipe: 3 drops Thyme, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Lemon, 1 drops Tea tree

For Food-related Diarrhea mix a total of 6 drops from any of the following essential oils with 1 tsp. Carrier oil and massage clockwise onto abdomen:

· Peppermint

· Thyme

· Tea Tree

· Chamomile

· Eucalyptus

Example recipe: 3 drops Peppermint, 2 drops Chamomile, 1 drops Eucalyptus

For Nerve/Stress- related Diarrhea mix a total of 6 drops, from any of the following essential oils, with 1 tsp. Carrier oil and massage clockwise onto abdomen:

· Lavender

· Lemon

· Geranium

· Chamomile

· Peppermint

Example recipe: 3 drops Lavender, 1 drop Lemon, 1 drop Chamomile, 1 drop Peppermint

If you suspect contaminated food or drinking water, or if you are traveling in foreign countries (as a preventative), take the following:

· Take traces (dipped toothpick) to 1 drop Tea tree or Rosemary on tongue every few minutes for 1 hour and add in the following Tea Tree capsules, in extreme cases.

· Add 4 drops Tea Tree to a capsule, and fill with carrier oil. Take 3 times daily, with food, as a preventative , while traveling.

· Can also add the following oils to ½ cup Epsom Salts and then to a bath for extreme cases: 5 drops Thyme, 5 drops Lavender, and 4 drops Ginger.

For overall pain, cramping, and flatulence, massage per la Digestion blend clockwise on the abdomen.