Diarrhea is characterized by an increase in the number of bowel movements (going to the bathroom) that contain an increase of liquid. Diarrhea is a way in which the organism rids itself of toxins and bacteria, which is why it should not be stopped suddenly. Instead, it should be allowed to flow for one day to days in adults.
Symptoms: Stomach inflammation, stomach aches, and frequent visits to the bathroom to defecate. Some fever and dehydration may occur.
Causes: Diarrhea may be caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, nerves, stress, incomplete digestion, decomposed food and colitis. Milk intolerance (milk lactose) is one of the main causes of this illness, especially in small children, states Dr. William Y. Chey.
The most important area to treat is dehydration, especially in small children that don’t know how to explain what is happening to them. They should be given plenty of serum – ORS (drugstore) or prepare it at home in the following manner. Put a table spoon of sugar or honey and a teaspoon of salt in ½ liter of water and mix well. Drink every half hour. After treating dehydration, you should begin to eat, slowly at first, consuming easily digested foods and avoiding those that irritate the intestine.
- At least a six hour fast, drinking liquids or the previously mentioned serum. Drink rice water or hot tea several times a day.
- Begin eating a little boiled rice without seasoning. Start with a few spoonfuls, increasing the amount every 3 or 4 hours.
If your stomach feels okay, take thin khichadi (Rice +Dal+ salt to taste). The next day you can add white bread to the same diet (not whole wheat because it stimulates the intestine), a little curd, boiled potatoes, carrots, and lightly mashed boiled apples etc. Eat light food for few days.
You should eliminate the following:
- Foods high in fiber.
- Milk, greasy foods and cold cuts, since they take longer to digest.
- Spices and seasoning that irritate the mucous membranes.
- Sweetened orange juice.
Warning! If diarrhea persists it can cause dehydration of the body which is dangerous if not cared for, especially in children. (See dehydration). Consult your physician.