Woman sitting in a chair holding her stomach

No one likes to get a stomach bug or diarrhea and stomach aches that come with one. But it, unfortunately, happens to millions of Americans each year; in fact, diarrhea is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems people experience.

Whether it’s because you ate something bad or because of a more chronic condition, diarrhea is never fun to go through. But you don’t necessarily have to wait for the condition to pass by itself. In many cases, you can alleviate diarrhea symptoms through some natural or homemade remedies.

Where Does Diarrhea Come From?

Perhaps in part because diarrhea is so common, many people think that this condition is just another form of a ubiquitous but poorly defined “stomach bug”.

In reality, diarrhea can occur when:

  • Your intestines or digestive tract produce or hold too much water.
  • Stools are pushed through the intestines before water can be reabsorbed creating an urgent feeling and the need to have frequent bowel movements.

This is the big reason why diarrhea is always so watery and carries the risk of dehydration. But why does this occur in the first place?

In a nutshell, your body triggers diarrhea when it needs to quickly clear the intestinal tract of viruses, bacteria, toxins, or certain parasites. Indeed, most cases of diarrhea are because of viral infections.

As a result, people with diarrhea experience individual bouts between three to four times within 24 hours, and the condition usually clears up by itself. Only in rare cases does diarrhea stick around for much longer.

Many viruses cause diarrhea including norovirus and rotavirus. In fact, viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) is a common illness in children which can lead to diarrhea.

You can also get the viruses or bacteria that trigger diarrhea from:

  • Food poisoning, food allergy
  • Intolerances to food (lactose intolerance, fructose)
  • Adverse effects of medication (such as antibiotics)
  • Other illnesses or conditions
  • Leaky gut

Parasites can enter your body through contaminated food or liquid and settle in your digestive tract. Some parasites that cause diarrhea include cryptosporidium and giardia.

In addition, acute diarrhea can be caused by bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Escherichia coli.

Some symptoms you may experience with diarrhea include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and dehydration. Symptoms of severe diarrhea can even include fever, vomiting, and blood in the stool.

How the Gut Affects Your Body

Your gut is often thought of as the “second brain” of the body. That’s because your gut microbiome – the collection of helpful bacteria that partially control the release of hormones in your brain and that control what types of food you crave – can affect a lot of things about your overall wellness.

You are what you eat, and if you eat healthily, your gut will make the rest of your body healthier as well.

However, people can occasionally get a condition called “leaky gut”. This occurs when bacteria or acids penetrate intestinal walls, leading to damage and widespread toxicity. This can occur because of your diet or because of a bacterial infection.

In many cases, a leaky gut can also trigger diarrhea as your body seeks to purge the virus or bacteria causing the issue.

Solutions to Diarrhea

There are multiple ways in which you can treat diarrhea, at least partially. The condition will almost always clear up by itself, but you can stop the symptoms from being as severe and speed up the recovery process by following these tips.

Stay Hydrated

Naturally, diarrhea makes you dehydrated. So it follows that drinking regular fluids will help accelerate the flushing process and help you recover from diarrhea more quickly.

Granted, taking more water or other nutritious fluids may also induce more diarrhea bouts in the short term. But this can still be advantageous in the long term. The faster your body flushes the toxins and bacteria from its intestines, the sooner diarrhea will be over completely.

You’ll want to stay hydrated anyway because dehydration brings a number of other uncomfortable symptoms, like fatigue, muscle aches, difficulty concentrating, and more.

Eat Fibrous Foods

Fibrous foods such as lentils and legumes, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, almonds, and avocados, are excellent choices. One easy way to ease the symptoms of diarrhea is by incorporating these foods into your meals daily. These foods are also great if you are trying to treat your diarrhea and give your body nutrition at the same time.

Fibrous foods can help to firm up your stool and make diarrhea pass more quickly. Additionally, many of these foods are comparatively bland, lacking the acids or inflammatory ingredients that may make diarrhea worse.

Furthermore, when trying to ease diarrhea or avoid it altogether, be mindful of what you drink. Try to stay away from drinking tap water, using ice cubes, or consuming unpasteurized milk, milk products, or unpasteurized juices.

Consider Fasting for a Brief Time

If you can’t seem to keep any food down, or even fibrous foods simply exacerbate your diarrhea symptoms, you might also consider fasting for a short while.

Most people can fast for 24 hours or so without any negative side effects. It’ll be difficult at first as you skip your first meal, but after five hours or so your body may become used to the sensation and fasting can become easier.

Most importantly, fasting can give your body the time it needs to focus on the issue instead of using energy to digest new food items.

Eat Probiotics/Supplements

You should consider eating various probiotics and taking helpful supplements with probiotics.

Probiotics are helpful bacteria that add to the gut microbiome. In many cases, diarrhea flushes your intestines of healthy bacteria, so probiotics can replenish this microscopic ecosystem and help your digestive system get back on track.

Probiotics can also firm up the stool and flush harmful bacteria out of the intestines by pushing them out of the intestinal walls.

Livingood Daily GI Support paired with Livingood Daily Pre + Pro + Post Biotics Blend is another powerful supplement, featuring natural yet powerful ingredients to bolster the digestive tract and help relieve the symptoms of leaky gut and other issues. Each ingredient is non-GMO to minimize the risk of irritation or discomfort.

Consume Digestive Enzyme Supplements

Those experiencing intense diarrhea should consume digestive enzyme supplements. These supplements are specifically designed to bolster the digestive system and help reduce harmful bacteria or viruses that may be causing diarrhea symptoms.

You can find plenty of these supplements and probiotic supplements at Dr. Livingood, which offers a wide array of holistic supplement choices for a variety of health-related issues.

Summary

All in all, diarrhea is always uncomfortable to deal with. But you can treat your symptoms quickly and naturally using some of the remedies or tricks above. Don’t forget to check out our supplements for fast relief and to meet your long-term wellness goals!

Sources

Diarrhea: Types, Causes, Complications & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Leaky gut: What is it, and what does it mean for you? | Harvard Health

Low Fiber Diet for Diarrhea | OncoLink | Oncolink

Can probiotics help against diarrhea? - InformedHealth.org - NCBI Bookshelf | NCBI