Treating Diarrhea With Natural Remedies: Tips to Get Rid of Loose Stools at Home
If you have loose stools, but not severe diarrhea, then there are natural home remedies--my favorite one being carob powder--that may help you get rid of the problem. Before you treat loose stools at home, you should talk to your doctor, especially in the case of children. For most people, these natural treatments are safe. Use them on a trial basis or temporarily to get rid of loose stools or mild diarrhea. For loose stools that go on for several days, definitely consult a doctor, both because there may be a more serious problem underlying the loose stools, and in order to target the treatment better--for example, a bacterial infection has a different treatment protocol than irritable bowel syndrome.
Raw Carob Powder
Try carob as a natural dietary treatment for loose stools. Carob is usually sold in powder form and comes from the carob bean (also known as the carob pod or carob seed), which grows in the tropics. Carob has no caffeine, but is often likened to chocolate because of its similar appearance and because it can be used in baking, although the taste is nothing like chocolate. Naturally sweet, carob has a unique flavor. Try mixing in a spoonfull in a glass of water or milk for a quick remedy for loose stools. Or eat carob bars or carob chips, or bake raw carob or toasted carob into muffins, brownies, or cookies. Use natural sugars and whole grains for these, as sugar and refined grains can cause loose stools. Caution: Since carob firms stools, you should not give it to anyone who's currently experiencing constipation, as it could worsen the problem.
Eliminate Possible Causes
In addition to adding carob to your diet, tackle the causes. Try reducing the amount of the following foods in your diet that may cause loose stools:
- Refined grains, or even in some cases, whole grains
- Dairy (Milk) products, especially if you suspect lactose intolerance
- If you have loose stools and have been adding fiber into your diet, you may be adding it too fast. The loose stools may be a sign that your body is having trouble adjusting. Slow down your intake and make it more gradual.
Do not let this article substitute as medical advice. I use carob for myself and my family, but I'm not a doctor. Check with your own physician before you try any supposed natural "cure" for diarrhea.
For Mild Diarrhea Caused by Medical Conditions
The National Institutes of Health recommends the following home remedies for mild diarrhea caused by celiac disease, lactose intolerance, IBS (irritable bowel syndrom), Chrone's disease, and other medical conditions. Although I stand by carob powder as my favorite home remedy for an accute attack, I've found the remedies below tend to help prevent diarrhea.
- Get rest.
- Don't use over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicines, unless instructed to use them by your doctor.
- Drink sufficient fluids (except for those containing caffeine).
- Add yogurt with live cultures to your diet. (This is for the probiotic benefit--I would also suggest as an alternative sour cream with live cultures, raw cultured sauerkraut, or quality probiotic supplements)
Note that these home treatments do not cure the problem; they just may ease the symptoms.
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