The Problem With Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful there’s no doubt about that. But that’s not the major issue that comes with having loose stools. While occasional bouts of diarrhea won’t cause much of a problem, chronic, prolonged diarrhea expels water and minerals in large volume, leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
The Cleveland Clinic notes that this is typically an issue only if you have diarrhea more than three times a day and you aren’t drinking enough fluids, but it can be a larger concern for people who are very young, very old or already sick.
Another issue caused by diarrhea is malabsorption. Diarrhea makes it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from your food since things are moving through your digestive system so quickly. While this isn’t a problem if diarrhea lasts only a couple days, it can become a problem if diarrhea is chronic. Persistent diarrhea increases your risk of nutrient deficiencies and malnourishment.
Malabsorption and malnutrition are more common with digestive conditions that cause chronic diarrhea, like ulcerative colitis, food intolerances and allergies and chronic infections, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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Try Spices Like Ginger For Symptoms Relief
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat digestive issues, and it works especially well to ease nausea and vomiting. Some studies even suggest that ginger can work as well as a prescription anti-nausea medication.
You can find ginger capsules at stores that sell herbal supplements. Most clinical studies use between 250 and 500 mg of ginger to control nausea. You can also buy ginger tea or add sliced ginger root to boiling water to make your own ginger tea.
Chamomile is another natural remedy for norovirus symptoms. Chamomile has been shown to reduce vomiting, but it doesnt work as well as ginger to control nausea.
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Dehydration Is A Serious Risk
Fact. Diarrhea causes you to lose fluids. Losing too much fluid can bring on dehydration, especially in children. A child may be dehydrated if they seem thirsty, has a dry mouth or sunken soft spots on the head , or is urinating less than usual or crying without tears. Adults may have similar symptoms, as well as sunken eyes and lethargy. Call your doctor if you see signs of dehydration. Your doctor may recommend drinking oral rehydration solutions, water, uncaffeinated, low-sugar sports drinks, diluted fruit juices, and broths.
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When To Seek Medical Treatment For Diarrhea:
- Less urine than usual
If your diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, Mundkur says you may experience severe diarrhea, fever, and bloody stools however, antibiotics can help treat the infection if it’s bacterial.
On the other hand, persistent blood in your stools could also be an indication of something more serious. “Sometimes colon cancer can cause diarrhea and blood in the stool, so it is important to talk to your primary care physician about whether you need a colonoscopy,” says Mundkur.
Bland Carbohydrates May Be More Tolerable
Bland carbohydrates like rice, oatmeal, crackers, and toast may help people with upset stomachs.
While people commonly recommend these foods, there is little evidence to show that they actually help relieve symptoms.
However, many people report that these foods are easier to keep down when youre not feeling well .
While bland carbohydrates may be more palatable during an illness, its important to expand your diet as soon as possible. Restricting your diet too much may keep you from getting enough of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to heal .
Many people with an upset stomach find bland carbohydrates easier to tolerate than other foods, but there is little evidence to show that they actually relieve symptoms.
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Ethics And Research Approval
This study has received approval from the Institutional Review Board at the icddr,b . Final data will be publicly disseminated regardless of the study results. A report containing the study results will be submitted for publication in an appropriate journal after completion of data collection and analysis. The study protocol follows the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials guidance for protocol reporting .
Ginger Can Relieve Nausea And Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of an upset stomach.
Ginger, a fragrant edible root with bright yellow flesh, is a common natural remedy for these symptoms .
People can enjoy ginger raw, cooked, steeped in hot water, or as a supplement. It is effective in all forms .
It is a common natural remedy for morning sickness, a type of nausea and vomiting that can occur during pregnancy.
A review of 6 studies, including over 500 pregnant people, found that taking 1 gram of ginger daily was associated with 5 times less nausea and vomiting during pregnancy .
Ginger is also helpful for those undergoing chemotherapy or major surgery since these treatments can cause severe nausea and vomiting.
Taking 1 gram of ginger daily before undergoing chemo or surgery can significantly reduce the severity of these symptoms (
Ginger is typically safe, but heartburn, stomach pain, and diarrhea can occur at doses above 5 grams per day .
Ginger can help reduce nausea and vomiting, especially when associated with pregnancy, surgery, chemotherapy, or motion sickness.
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Eating Bananas May Help To Settle Your Stomach
A portable healthy snack, bananas can sometimes aid in reducing the frequency of heartburn. Dr. Nusbaum told INSIDER that a bananas natural pH can help settle the stomach and he said he recommends them to those who suffer from acid reflux.
However, Dr. Nusbaum said about 1% of patients with acid reflux find that their condition is actually worsened by bananas. So before using bananas as your go-to solution to acid reflux symptoms, you may want to test how your body reacts to them first.
How Do Bananas Help
Bananas have many medicinal properties. A rare combination of proteins, vitamins, and minerals, this fruit is universally recognized as a source of instant energy. Because of its ideal potassium and sodium ratio , and dearth of fat and cholesterol, banana is good for keeping the blood pressure low and the heart healthy.3
Whether it is constipation you are battling or diarrhea, bananas can help. While the ripe one is a remedy for constipation, the unripe one helps tackle diarrhea.4
A study found that babies with diarrhea, when given cooked raw banana, started showing improvements about 24 hours after the treatment began. By the fifth day, almost all the babies who were given raw bananas had completely recovered while those in the control group, who did not have raw banana in their diet, continued to suffer from diarrhea for up to 10 days.5
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Side Effects And Precautions
Due to lack of studies, there are no known side effects or precautions or drug interactions of banana in the body.
You can start with 1/2 or 1 unripe banana. In case it is well tolerated, which in most case is, the dose should be increased systematically along with maintaining a low-fat balanced diet for maximum relief from heartburn.
One important precaution is to always consume unripe banana for heartburn, ulceration and indigestion and not the ripe one which might increase the symptoms of the disorder.
How Many Bananas Should I Consume Per Day
- Choose and eat bananas wisely because too much consumption can be detrimental to both health and disease conditions.
- One to two bananas per day is thought a moderate intake for healthy people.
- If you have loose motion, more than two bananas can be consumed per day but keep an eye on your bowel moments and avoid too much consumption. Consult your doctor if it makes your condition worse.
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Nutrition For Nausea Vomiting Or Diarrhea
Nutrition for nausea, vomiting or diarrhea consists of foods that are bland and gentle on the stomach. If you have nausea or vomiting, it may be hard to hold down food. Some foods may even make your symptoms worse. If you are experiencing diarrhea, the diet suggested below may help solidify your stools.
You may have heard of the BRAT diet which stands for Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. The BRAT diet was often recommended for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but is no longer because of how restrictive it is. Below are lists of foods to focus on and avoid when experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, but there are many more foods that can be included.
Chamomile May Reduce Vomiting And Soothe Intestinal Discomfort
Chamomile, an herbal plant with small white flowers, is a traditional remedy for upset stomachs. People can brew dried chamomile into a tea or take it orally as a supplement.
Historically, people have used chamomile for treating various intestinal troubles, including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting .
Yet despite its widespread use, only a limited number of studies support its effectiveness for digestive complaints.
One small study found that chamomile supplements reduced the severity of vomiting after chemotherapy treatments, but its unclear whether it would have the same effects on other types of vomiting .
An animal study found that chamomile extracts relieved diarrhea in mice by reducing intestinal spasms and decreasing the amount of water secreted into the stool. Still, more research is needed to see if this applies to humans .
Chamomile is also commonly used in herbal supplements that relieve indigestion, gas, bloating, and diarrhea, as well as colic in babies .
However, since chamomile is one of many other herbs in these formulas, its difficult to know whether the beneficial effects are from chamomile or from a combination of the other herbs.
Although the gut-soothing effects of chamomile are widely recognized, research has not yet shown how it helps to relieve stomach upset.
Chamomile is a commonly used remedy for stomach and intestinal discomfort, but more research is needed to understand how it works.
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Follow The Brat Diet To Get Better
Myth. Bland “BRAT” foods — bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast — were once recommended to treat diarrhea. But BRAT foods don’t have enough of other nutrients you need, like protein and fat. You can eat bland foods for the first day or so. But you should return to your normal diet as soon as you can.
Lean Chicken Or Turkey
Greasy foods with a high fat content can make your diarrhea worse, so opt for low-fat meat options like skinless chicken or turkey. Mundkur recommends baking the meat and eating it unseasoned, since spices and seasonings can irritate your system. You can use dry or fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or cilantro to flavor the meat, says Mundkur.
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Flu Shots Prevent Stomach Flu
Myth. Seasonal flu — or influenza virus — can cause fever, body ache, and general misery, but it rarely causes diarrhea. Influenza is generally a disease of the airways and lungs. The sickness that some people call “stomach flu” can cause diarrhea, but that bug is different from influenza. “Stomach flu” is just a catch-all name for viral gastroenteritis, which is caused by many different germs.
Benefits Of Green Bananas
- Green bananas are useful in the dietary management of persistent diarrhea in hospitalized children and may also be useful to treat children at home.
- Green bananas and pectin significantly reduce amounts of stool, oral rehydration solution, intravenous fluid, and numbers of vomiting, and diarrheal duration.
- A rice-based diet with green bananas is effective in reducing diarrhea.
- Green banana is a rich source of vitamins like Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. It is also high in minerals such as potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese.
- Green bananas don’t cause a sharp spike in blood sugar as ripe bananas do. This is because they contain resistant starch, which acts like fiber.
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The Risks Associated With Eating Bananas For Alleviating Symptoms Of Diarrhea
When it comes to alleviating the symptoms of diarrhea, eating bananas may seem like a safe and effective solution.
However, this remedy can come with numerous potential risks. As one of the most ubiquitous fruits in many regions around the world, consuming unripe or overly ripe bananas could lead to digestive upset due to their indigestible fibers and starches.
Eating too many bananas can also cause constipation as well as an imbalance in electrolytes which leads to dehydration if not monitored properly.
Furthermore, those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome should be wary when using this natural remedy because some individuals experience adverse effects such as bloating or cramping after consuming excessive amounts of fiber-rich foods like bananas.
Therefore, it is important for sufferers of diarrhea especially IBS patients to proceed with caution when considering banana consumption for symptom relief purposes so that they dont risk aggravating existing conditions instead of relieving them altogether.
Do Bananas Help Control Loose Motions
The dreaded loose motions, also known as diarrhea, has long been treated at home with bananas. Have you ever questioned whether it is effective? Its definitely a yes. Bananas can help with diarrhea.
- Bananas potassium content will aid in restoring normal digestion. Additionally, bananas high content potassium can help replenish lost electrolytes
- The resistant starch in bananas helps the colon absorb water and salt, which results in firmer stools.
- The high pectin content of bananas aids in absorbing the extra liquid in your intestines. Your stool may become firm as a result, shortening the time you experience diarrhea.
- Prebiotics are well-known for their role in preserving gut health. It turns out that bananas possess prebiotic qualities. Unripe or green bananas have prebiotic effects due to their high resistance starch content. This prebiotic effect helps the growth of beneficial bacteria, which maintains the health of your gut.
- Bananas are incredibly high in fiber, which contributes to the stools firmness by giving it more bulk. Bananas are the best aid during loose motions because this reduces bowel irregularity.
- Because bananas are so simple to digest, they can aid in energy recovery and fatigue relief.
- Because it is neutral and calms the irritated intestines, bananas are helpful in infective diarrhea and dysentery.
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When To Contact A Doctor
Blood or mucus may appear in the stool in more serious cases of diarrhea, which can also involve fever. Anyone with these symptoms should speak with a doctor as soon as possible.
Untreated diarrhea can also lead to serious complications, including dehydration. A person with severe diarrhea may require hospitalization and intravenous electrolytes.
Anyone experiencing a fever higher than 102°F or severe abdominal pains should speak with a doctor.
Parents or caregivers should carefully monitor any children with diarrhea. If the symptoms do not clear up within 24 hours, they should call a doctor for guidance.
If a child shows any signs of dehydration, it is essential to seek immediate medical care. The signs
- dry diaper for 3 hours or more
How To Eat Banana For Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be effectively treated by combining a raw banana with curd. Prebiotics aid in reestablishing a healthy gut environment. In order to lessen the symptoms, you can also consume bananas as a fruit twice daily. Eat in moderation consuming an excessive amount of bananas may cause the stool to become too hard. Take a few at first, and then gradually increase the dosage.
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Take Medicine Once You Feel Sick
Myth. Diarrhea often goes away on its own, so treatment isn’t usually necessary. But over-the-counter diarrhea medications can offer some relief from symptoms. Avoid them if you have a fever or other symptoms, such as bloody stool. Don’t give babies or children any diarrhea medicine unless a pediatrician recommends it.
Clear Liquids With Electrolytes Can Prevent Dehydration
When vomiting or diarrhea accompanies an upset stomach, its easy to dehydrate.
Vomiting and diarrhea cause your body to lose electrolytes, the minerals that maintain your bodys fluid balance and keep your nervous system functioning correctly.
A person can often treat mild dehydration and electrolyte losses by drinking clear liquids and eating foods that naturally contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
Water, fruit juice, coconut water, sports drinks, broths, and saltine crackers are great ways to restore fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances associated with mild dehydration .
If dehydration is severe, drinking a rehydration solution containing an ideal ratio of water, sugars and electrolytes may be necessary .
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The #1 Snack To Eat When You Have Diarrhea According To A Dietitian
Getty Images / boonchai wedmakawand
While it might not be the most glamorous of topics, the frequency and appearance of our poop can tell us a lot about our health. Since going number two is the last step in digestion, we at EatingWell are pretty tuned in to what can helpor hurtyour cause. While there are several foods that can help you stay regular, it can be a little easier said than done. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are also foods and strategies that can help when you can’t stop going to the bathroom.
There are actually specific foods that can help treat diarrhea and settle an upset stomach, and they make up what’s called the BRAT diet. This acronym stands for four foods: bananas, rice , applesauce and toast. Typically when we are healthy, we want to focus on including high-fiber foods to help keep your gut healthy. But when we have a stomach bug or are experiencing diarrhea, eating ample fiber can actually exacerbate the issue. The BRAT diet foods are lower-fiber, simple carbohydrates that are easier to digest and can help make stools more firm.
To try out the BRAT diet when you’re experiencing symptoms, start small with a snack rather than a full meal as to not overload your already-distressed digestive system. This is why we have deemed our Peanut-Butter Banana Cinnamon Toast the best snack to eat when you have diarrhea.