Monday, January 30, 2012

A Polite Title Regarding Diarrhea

At the risk of sharing too much information, I am still going to do this post, so be warned.  We have had a wicked bug going around the childcare centre I work at.  We've had different children and staff home sick everyday.  It got to me last Saturday (which made me mad because my weekend plans were ruined, and I couldn't even take the day off work).  I was hit with diarrhea.  In past years I would have immediately reached for the Immodium, but I decided to risk it and try some natural remedies from 1001 Natural Remedies by Laurel Vukovic.

"Eat bananas and carob
Bananas and carob are both rich in pectin, which binds loose stools.  Eat a banana mashed with a tablespoon or two or carob powder: One serving may take care of the problem, or you may need more.  This is an especially good remedy for children."

Bananas also have a high potassium content which helps to replace electrolytes that are being lost.  We didn't have carob powder, and the only bananas we had were sliced and frozen, thus I decided to have a banana smoothie.  I had about 2 bananas worth of slices with rice milk (I am lactose intolerant, so this is all I have, but it was good as well because dairy products are a bad choice when suffering from diarrhea.) and a little bit of vanilla extract.  This was quick, simple, tasty and began to ease the problem within the hour.  I was still having less severe bouts though with a lot of stomach pain.
"Eat a brown apple
To help stop an attack of diarrhea, shred a peeled apple on to a plate, let it turn brown, and eat it.  Apples contain pectin, which helps bind loose stools."

Brad peeled and grated an apple for me and spread it out on a plate.  After waiting about 3 hours, it had turned brown, but not extremely.  I was surprised how long the process was taking, and this was the biggest disadvantage to this remedy.  When I am sick like this, I don't want to have to suffer through 3 or more hours first before getting something to help me into my system.  By the time I was able to eat the apple, I had already had the banana smoothie which was helping.  This did seem to continue to help though as well.
Other things I consumed include:
-peppermint tea to calm and relax intestinal cramping and gas - this was a miracle worker for me
-white bread sandwich for easier digestion - whole grains are so important usually, but when you're sick, don't make things harder on your digestive system
-mashed potatoes (white rice is another good option) - again low in fibre means easy digestion

Foods I avoided:
-gas producing foods such as beans, broccoli, cabbage as they increase intestinal gas
-dairy products which become harder to digest as a result of less enzyme lactase
-fatty foods (even good fats) as they speed up contractions in the intestines

Overall it worked very well.  The original severity was eased fairly quickly, and by Sunday evening I was significantly better, and then well enough to go back to work on Monday.

What natural remedies do you know of for this ailment?


  1. White rice. As a Crohn's patient I am familiar with diarrhea quite well. When it's at its worst, just make a batch of plain white rice. I usually add a bit of soy sauce to make it more fun to eat (after cooking). Eat a bowl or two (and continue throughout the day) if needed. It helps block you up relatively quickly.

  2. My friend boils water and adds about 1 tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg (both grated/powdered), and allows it to steep off heat for about five minutes. This really works for her. I haven't had to try it yet, but I will someday, unfortunately.

  3. When Brad was little we always used the BRAT diet for these problems - Banana Rice Applesauce & Toast - it always worked and kids usually like these options! Your favorite Mother In Law

  4. As a child living in the bush, we where always given grated apple and it worked a treat. I used it for my own children as grandmother raised 12 children so her advice was always valued and usually successful.