That awful "got-to-go" feeling happens to nearly everyone. In fact, diarrhea comes in number 2 - no kidding - among all reported illnesses in the United States. If you're like most adults you'll suffer four bouts a year. Your body has a well-rehearsed process of elimination and it works like so. Let's say you take a big bite of a nice, red apple. The chewed-up bits travel down your esophagus to your stomach,through your small intestine, and into your colon or large intestine. Along the way, the apple pieces get smaller and smaller, and your body pulls out and absorbs all the nutrients it needs - including water. Eventually all that's left of the apple is dry waste material your body expels. The whole process could take anywhere from 12 to 48 Hours. Beginning to end, head to tail. But sometimes food passes too quickly through your digestive system, and your body can't absorb the nutrients and fluids fast enough. The outcome? Loose and watery stools you know as diarrhea. There are several things that you can eat and drink to help alleviate and keep diarrhea from occurring.
1 - Psyllium
You may know psyllium as a constipation fighter in over-the-counter drugs, but it can also relieve diarrhea. Each tiny seed is coated with a natural gummy substance called mucilage. This substance absorbs incredible amounts of water and it makes your stool firmer. Studies show that psyllium can also encourage speedy intestines to move stool more slowly, giving your body time to reabsorb even greater amounts of water.
2 - Lots of Fluids
To prevent yourself from getting dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids with electrolytes (potassium and sodium.) Good choices include some clear sodas, fruit juice, broth and chicken rice soup. A glass of water mixed with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar may also loosen diarrhea's grip. It cleanses your digestive system. It also contains pectin, a compound found in the cell walls of all plants that adds bulk to your stools and helps put an end to your diarrhea.
3 - Probiotics
If the balance between the number of good and bad bugs in your gut is thrown off, diarrhea may be the result. Fortunately, adding probiotics back into your body restores the balance and may help you feel better. You can get them from yogurt, probiotic drinks or probiotic supplements. Before you purchase probiotic supplements or dairy products, read the label. Stick to yogurts that promise active cultures or live cultures right on the package.
4 - Carob Powder
In ancient Rome, carob was a highly-valued commodity. The powdered pods are used in herbal medicines to treat several health conditions, including diarrhea. It works because carob powder is rich in natural tannins, a substance that dries out the tissues in your digestive tract, reducing inflammation and the amount of fluids your mucous membranes produce. To relieve diarrhea, stir 2 to 3 teaspoons into a serving of applesauce and enjoy the unique, chocolaty flavor.
5 - The BRAT Diet
Eat only soft, carbohydrate-rich foods when a bout of diarrhea hits. Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, the namesakes of this diet, are solid choices. Crackers and cooked cereals are also safe. A smoothie made with almond milk, a frozen banana, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of carob powder should cure what ails you. Bypass foods that are greasy, high fiber or high in fat. Also, stay away from alcohol and coffee. A cup of coffee will speed up your digestive system and may trigger an attack.