Diarrhea is one of most common health hazard which is experienced by almost everyone in his/her life. The word diarrhea has arrived from Greek word “diarrhoia” which stands for “flowing continuously through.” Diarrhea is indicated by passing of loose or watery stools and could be fatal as body looses essential fluid and minerals and eventually gets dehydrated.
Causes of Diarrhea
Certain infections: Medical science believes that diarrhea is mainly caused due to infections attributed by parasites, virus, and bacteria.
Parasites: Through drinking water or unhealthy foods parasites like Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, and Cryptosporidium enter our digestive system and causes infection leading to diarrhea.
Virus: A few viruses namely Norwalk viruses, Herpes simplex, Rotavirus, cytomegalovirus, etc. attack our digestive tract causing diarrhea.
Bacteria: A number of bacteria like Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, etc. might enter our body through impure drinking water and food and cause diarrhea.
Certain Medicines: A few antibiotics, antacids, or drugs for high blood pressure could destroy the friendly microorganisms in intestine or could impose side effects which might lead to diarrhea.
Diseases: Some diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome, celiac disease, enteric fever, etc often bear the symptom of diarrhea.
Stress: Mental stress and anxiety might hamper the activity of intestine causing diarrhea.
Sensitivity: Some people are sensitive towards certain food items like lactose and milk. These could irritate intestine resulting in diarrhea.
Physical Exercises: According to Ayurveda excessive exercises, too much of swimming, etc. could result in diarrhea.
Indigestion: Food items which are uncooked or poorly cooked, stale and decayed foods, and excess milky products often lead to indigestion and diarrhea.
Poor Digestive Fire: As per Ayurveda people having poor digestive fire or agni experiences this problem. If someone takes incompatible and junk food or excess food it triggers Kapha dosha, which is the reason of diarrhea.
Surgery: Surgery of stomach or gall bladder might cause the food items move quickly through digestive stomach or enhancement of bile secretion which turns up diarrhea.
Traveler’s Diarrhea: International tourists visiting foreign countries often face diarrhea due to change of food, water, and climate.
- Cramps in intestine, mild to severe pain in abdomen, passing of watery stools, and feelings of unfinished defecation
- Untreated patients might experience some hazardous indications like sunken eyes and dry mouth due to loss of significant amount of liquid from body.
Dehydration: If left untreated diarrhea turns into a fatal health condition: dehydration. Dehydration stands for too much loss of bodily fluid. During diarrhea the patient looses essential minerals and nutrients along with fluids. These are called electrolytes. If the diarrhea is associated with vomiting then the situation might worsen causing even death of the patient.
Others: In children and infants dry mouth and extreme thirst are the primary symptoms. Many patients experience fall in the pulse rate as well as lowering of blood pressure. Sometimes moderate to severe hypotension with dizzy and weak feelings could lead to death. A few other fatal complications of this disorder include shock, kidney failure, reduced urine production, confusion, an abnormal increase in acidity in blood plasma, coma, and severe weakness.
Although diarrhea is not a serious problem at the initial stage; however, a few conditions of this disease must need immediate medical intervention:
- The patient is a child or neonate
- Feces are bloody or pus filled
- Diarrhea situation is not improving even after 12 to 16 hours
- Patient has got fever with 101 F temperature
- Diarrhea is associated with extreme abdominal pain and vomiting
- Patient has symptoms of dry mouth and eyes with depressed abdomen
- If it is a pandemic diarrhea
- Never take anything open, unhygienic, or contaminated.
- Stay away from outside food which is not from a known authentic restaurant
- If you are traveling in summer keep ORS in the first-aid kit
- Drinking water from outside should be strictly avoided
- Keep your kitchen, toilet, and utensils clean
Following points should be followed if you have diarrhea:
- In diarrhea, the patient should take ORS as much as possible. In emergency situation you could make ORS at your home too.
- 8 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of table salt
- 1 liter of clean drinking water or boiled water and then cooled
Mix them well and store in a clean pot or bottle and do not keep it open. Never stop breast-feeding as it would provide necessary immunity to the infant. Soup and rice water are preferred diet.
- Best Indian diet for diarrhea is Khichri which is a combination pulses and cereals. Fresh fruit juices and coconut water are highly recommended.
- Avoid heavy oily and milky food items, alcohol, cold drinks, bakery products, pizza, tea, and smoking. Do not take high fiber diets till the diarrhea is over as they might worsen the condition.
Diarrhea Treatment – Cure for Diarrhea
Kutaja It is an eminent herb used for diarrhea. Its bark is an effective anthelmintic agent and is widely used for amebic dysentery.
Amalaki: It is an excellent herbal bequest that improves the assimilative capability of digestive tract and cleans out toxic wastes from our body. A stronger and healthier digestive system helps in averting diarrhea. Amla Capsules are widely preferred for diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal problems.
Daadima: Bark of this herb is useful in reducing irritation in the intestine.
Bilva: It is known as “grahi” which is effective in hardening loose feces.
Yawani: This herb is helpful in rejuvenating microflora in the intestine.
Ativisha: It thwarts the watery stools and removes toxic impurities from the intestine.
Chitrak: It has powerful warm and pungent properties which revive the digestive fire in the patient.
Jeeraka: It has profound effect on the digestive power when taken with little honey.