❑ Drink plenty of liquids, such as hot carob drink, “green drinks,” and plenty of quality water. Do not drink very hot or cold liquids. The prolonged loss of fluids as a result of diarrhea can lead to dehydration and loss of necessary minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Liquid gelatin, clear broth, sodas such as ginger ale or flat cola, and weak tea with honey can be exchange for water if necessary. Carrot juice is also good, and makes the stools less watery. Do not drink apple juice, as this can make diarrhea worse. Most fruit juices are good sources of potassium, except cranberry juice. Include the potassium-rich juices, but try diluting them with half water until you can tolerate a stronger amount.
❑ Avoid high-fiber foods, which may stress the digestive system. Instead, stick to foods that are easy to digest, such as cooked potatoes, rice, bananas, applesauce, or toast.
❑ Drink 3 cups of rice water daily. To make rice water, boil ½ cup of brown rice in 3 cups of water for forty-five minutes. Strain out the rice and drink the water. Eat the rice as well. Rice helps to form stools and supplies needed B vitamins.
❑ Do not consume any dairy products (except for low-fat soured products). They are highly allergenic. Moreover, diarrhea causes a temporary loss of the enzyme needed to digest lactose (milk sugar). Limit your intake of fats and foods containing gluten, including barley, oats, rye, and wheat. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
❑ Let a mild case of diarrhea run its course. It is the body’s way of cleaning out toxins, bacteria, and other foreign invaders. Do not take any medication to stop diarrhea for at least two days. Stick to a liquid diet for twenty-four hours to give the bowel a rest.
❑ Consider using homeopathic remedies. Arsenicum album is a homeopathic remedy for burning diarrhea that is troublesome at night. Podophyllum can be used for watery stools. Sulfur is excellent for diarrhea that comes on suddenly. Pectin is known to counteract diarrhea.
❑ Consult your health care provider if any of the following conditions occur: the diarrhea lasts for more than two days, there is blood in the stool, the stool looks like black tar, you have a fever above 101°F, you have severe abdominal or rectal pain or bleeding, you suffer from dehydration as evidenced by dry mouth or wrinkled skin, or urination is reduced or stops in any eight-hour period. If an infant has a dry diaper for more than four hours accompanied by a fever, it is wise to seek the advice of your physician.
❑ Carob powder is high in protein and helps halt diarrhea.
❑ When traveling abroad, do not drink the water unless you know it is safe. Avoid ice cubes, raw vegetables, dairy products, and unpeeled fruit. Use bottled water when you brush your teeth. Diarrhea is common when traveling in other countries, so it may be advisable to take certain preparations with you. Lactobacillus GG, a type of probiotic, is a natural alternative to both antibiotics or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).
❑ Chronic diarrhea in very young children is evident if the child has five or more watery stools a day. A baby with diarrhea can become dehydrated very quickly and should be evaluated by a health care provider.
❑ If diarrhea is chronic or recurrent, an underlying problem such as a food allergy, infection, or intestinal parasites may be the cause. Allergy testing can determine whether you have any food allergies. A stool culture can be done to check for infection or the presence of parasites.