Acute Diarrhea Is A Nightmare Or A Good Warning Sign?

What to do for acute diarrhea?

How can you describe that feeling?...Something like... It's a feeling of horror one can experience when there’s no bathroom around, or you are stuck in traffic and really have to go. All you can wish for is that toilet bowl….

Believe it or not, acute diarrhea is a wonderful defense mechanism when your body gets rid of a “bad, foreign invader.”  But this thought will not make you feel better or comfort you when there’s no bathroom around.  You don't really care that it's a wonderful mechanism, you need to go..Right?

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For years, doctors would write prescriptions for something to stop diarrhea right away.

That has changed.  Now, the idea is to let nature take its course and have the body get rid of the “invader”, unless there’s a bigger underlying problem.

The thought is that this problem would stop faster if you let the digestive tract cleanse itself and don’t take the medications to stop diarrhea.

The digestive system is "smart" enough to get rid of the harmful "invaders".

Unfortunately, in Crohns disease and other autoimmune disorders, the "attack" is on the digestive system itself.

Acute diarrhea usually will resolve itself with appropriate diet and some rehydration treatment.

It becomes more serious if it continues for more than 48 hours and becomes bloody and painful.  You will need to seek medical attention immediately.

A big concern with this kind of a problem is dehydration because severe dehydration can become deadly.  Don't mean to scare you, but it's true.

Acute diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of active stage (flare-up) of Crohns disease and it's not a joke to someone who is suffering from it.

Sometimes, a problem such as this, with frequent, watery stools and severe abdominal pain occurs-and it's called explosive diarrhea.  Some people describe their symptom as that "explosive" type of diarrhea.

If diarrhea lasts for a long time and is accompanied by weight loss, bloody stools, fevers, etc., the doctor may want to test the stool for presence of parasites, bacteria or other problems.

What causes diarrhea?

Diarrhea causes can be numerous like food poisoning, stress at work, viral infections, flu and chronic inflammatory digestive disorders like IBD(Crohns disease and Ulcerative colitis), Irritable Bowel syndrome.

Other diarrhea causes may be contaminated water, not properly digested food, certain medications, inappropriate diet, food allergies and malnutrition.

One of the causes of diarrhea is a bacterial infection in the gut. This kind of a problem usually lasts up to 5-7 days and it’s very painful.

If acute diarrhea is caused by a virus and is associated with fever and vomiting, you will have to seek medical help immediately.

Traveler's diarrhea (TD) is a type of acute diarrhea that may occur due to a change in climate and maybe caused by change in diet, stress, poor quality foods, etc. when you travel.  It’s usually painful, lasts for 3-5 days and sometimes accompanied by fever.  Watch for dehydration here, as it becomes potentially dangerous.

Another diarrhea cause can be change in gut flora after taking antibiotics.  That's where probiotics work wonders for acute diarrhea.  Most of my clients benefit from taking Probiotic Supreme when they have diarrhea.

How To Stop Diarrhea:

  • Check if you are lactose intolerant.  Sometimes, patients with a chronic problem will suffer only until they switch the milk or stop dairy products altogether.
  • Check if you have a gluten allergy.  Some patients change their diet to gluten free and immediately feel the relief.

How To Stop Diarrhea - 5 Things To Do When Having Acute Diarrhea:

  • Check your medications.  Many medications can cause diarrhea.  Sometimes the only way to get rid of it is to change the medication that's causing it to a similar effective medicine.

  • Drink plenty of liquids and only good quality water like filtered water with minerals.

  • Don’t drink carbonated sodas.  Old fashioned cola syrup that was used in the past for upset stomachs is not the same as 1 can of modern Coke with 10 teaspoonfuls of sugar inside - and these days it's filled with high fructose corn syrup which causes other health problems.

  • Keep yourself hydrated and eat healing, anti-inflammatory foods like organic chicken soup.  Avoid “gassy” vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, etc. until you feel better.

  • Try to eat less solid foods until the symptoms subside.  If you are really hungry try some smoothies, bananas, organic blueberry preserves with no added sugar, some black tea with organic, gluten free toasted bread, no butter please.

Diet is an important part of holistic healing for acute diarrhea.  You need to know that carbohydrates get absorbed faster and easier than proteins.

Most of the time carbs won’t cause as much pain or loose stools for a patient with chronic inflammatory bowel problems.

But eating only carbs is not enough nutrition.  Proteins are needed for strength.  They are necessary to repair your digestive tract.

Try eating smaller meals when having frequent diarrhea and separating proteins from carbs. Pay attention to the grains you consume.  Healthy bread should be whole grain and sprouted. Try gluten free bread.

Diarrhea should eventually stop if you treat the underlying problem.

In Crohns disease, acute diarrhea usually happens during flare ups.  Sometimes, the doctor will prescribe you a medication called Xifaxan.  This is a relatively new medication that seems to be moderately effective.  It’s indicated for traveler’s diarrhea but works for Crohns patients, too.

There is also a very known medication for this problem called Imodium (loperamide).  It usually works fast and stops the symptom but left as a last resort for frequent diarrhea.

Sometimes acute diarrhea is associated with the bacteria C.difficile.  It’s commonly found in the hospitals and nursing homes, but not in the community setting.  It’s treated with an antibiotic like metronidazole or vancomycin.

There's another very known medication for diarrhea called Pepto-Bismol.  It's moderately effective, but has side effects like discolorated tongue, headache, ringing in the ears, etc.  This medication is not recommended for children 12 years or younger.

Diarrhea Remedy - Natural Treatments For Acute Diarrhea:

  • Probiotics are wonderful for restoring natural flora and balancing out the digestive tract.

  • Slippery elm herb is recommended by many herbalists for soothing gastric mucosa as a diarrhea remedy.

  • Acupuncture works for diarrhea, but it takes time.

  • Avoid spicy and greasy foods and add more healing foods.

  • You can try homeopathic preparations for diarrhea by companies such as HEEl, Hylan, etc.

  • Avoid sugars, juices and sweets.

  • Activated charcoal may help this symptom.

  • Now for the sensitive part: Don’t forget to take care of the anal area during acute diarrhea.  It’s very sensitive and easily irritated.  Try not to use dry toilet paper, but use soft, wet tissues.  Pat dry the skin and apply a very thin layer of organic moisturizer or Vaseline every time you use the bathroom to prevent a serious irritation.

I wish you to stay very healthy!

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