Diarrhea is a common digestive disorder that causes an increase in the frequency of passing stools, it can also be defined as the production of loose and very watery stools-persistent diarrhea can induce dehydration in the affected individual. The onset of diarrhea is a sign of the presence of many varieties of disorders-the majority benign and some which are serious-thus the condition is more of a symptom of disease then a disease in itself. This condition brings about a disruption in the large intestine which affects the normal passage of water and food through the digestive system. In the normal run of the digestive system, the water consumed by a person is absorbed via the intestinal walls while the digested food passes out through large intestine, and leaves the body as a solid mass known as fecal matter or stool. Any phenomenon or disorder which speed the rate of passage of fluids will interfere with the process, and the fluid normally absorbed will be expelled along with the fecal matter-the result is a watery stool so characteristic of diarrhea.
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Irritation and inflammation in the intestinal and digestive regions of the body also cause diarrhea. Infection from some pathogenic agents is the usual cause of these problems, a bacterial or viral infection is the actual cause of diarrhea and these pathogens enter the body through contaminated food and water-the cause of diarrhea is therefore the presence of germs in food and water. Incidences of "travelers" diarrhea is a well known phenomenon of the majority of individuals who travel frequently to underdeveloped countries around the world-such travelers tend to be aware of the risk from contaminated food or water in such areas-indeed, diarrhea is a clear and present danger in most areas of the world where sanitary or hygienic practices tend to be low. However, such carefulness in diet may not be followed at home even by such seasoned travelers. A case of food poisoning may often be the cause of the diarrhea, such individuals blame it on a twenty four hour flu bug. Mild cases of food poisoning are also another major cause of diarrhea like symptoms.
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Diarrhea can also be brought on by several other known causative factors. Diarrhea is known to occur when a person consumes more fruits or vegetables than his or her digestive tract is used to handling at one time-this form of diarrhea may be relieved after a short period of time. The typical causative factors of such diarrhea appear to be all kinds of citrus fruits and protein rich beans. Diarrhea can also be triggered by the consumption of large amounts of some common chemicals, such as the low-calorie sweetener sorbitol. The constant use of therapeutic doses of the vitamin C or the mineral magnesium can also lead to diarrhea like conditions as a side effect - the dosage of such supplements must be reduced at once, if such side effects occur when supplementation is carried out using the compounds. A disorder known as lactose intolerance - which is an inability of some individuals to digest the sugar-lactose - in diary products- is known to cause the production of large volumes of gas, abdominal bloating, and persistent diarrhea every time such individuals consume any milk, cheese, or ice cream-in this case, the diarrhea is a direct side effect of another disorder. The "friendly" bacteria in the intestines are destroyed by the continued use of antibiotics; this is known to bring on symptoms of diarrhea in the person using the antibiotics. Diarrhea can also be triggered by stress in certain individuals. The presence of persistent diarrhea in an individual can also be a direct physical symptom of some underlying gastrointestinal disorder-these can include the presence of disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, the condition known as colitis, the presence of Crohn's disease, the presence of pancreatic disease, or even cancer of the colon.
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Herbal teas made from herbs such as the agrimony, the leaves of the blackberry herb, or raspberry leaf tea can help combat diarrhea affecting the individual. The beneficial effect of these herbal teas arises from their content of compounds known as tannins, these types of chemicals posses a binding effect on the mucous membranes lining the intestine and this results in a better absorption of fluids present in the intestine-continually drinking such teas will diminish the fluid loss during the diarrhea. Lost fluids are also replenished by continually drinking the herbal teas, the major role such a supplementation serves is that it results in the prevention of dehydration-which is a very likely scenario during a prolonged bout of diarrhea; persistent dehydration can have severe implications for the health of the individual.
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The use of the fiber rich psyllium is suggested as an herbal remedy especially in those instances when the previous herbal teas did not bring about some improvement in the diarrhea. While constipation is what this soluble fiber is normally used to treat, its use during diarrhea is also suggested as the fiber is capable of absorbing all the excess fluid present in the intestinal region-this results in the addition of some bulk to the stools passed by the affected individual-a factor which will control the frequency of passing stools. Supplements of the friendly bacterial acidophilus cultures are also very important as this bacterial culture will restore the population levels of all the healthy bacteria normally present in the intestines-such supplementation is particularly beneficial if the presence of the diarrhea is connected to the use of antibiotic drugs. The majority of these herbal remedies can be used as substitutes for many of the over the counter-OTC- diarrheal aids which are normally prescribed by a doctor-the exception is the acidophilus cultures, whose use is best undertaken along with the OTC medications-the bacterial culture must not be taken at the same time of the day with the OTC.
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The body should have enough time to rid itself of the infective organism and if a case of food poisoning is to blame for the diarrhea, then the suggestion is to wait for a few hours before treatment of the problem is started-diarrhea can often be totally stopped by the body's own immune system and the body must be given every chance to rid itself of the germs before chemical or herbal intervention is started. If this is not desired by the patient, then he or she should start using the remedies immediately once the symptoms of the disease have become apparent.
Commonly used essential oils for diarrhea:
Cases of acute diarrhea can be alleviated, by using a single dose of the following homeopathic remedies after each period of passing stools or following every hour during the course of the diarrhea. The treatment strategy can be reassessed and changed if there are no visible signs of improvement following the use of three doses of the homeopathic remedy. Chronic cases of diarrhea can be alleviated, using a single dose of the remedy at 30c potency once or two times every day-the dose of the homeopathic remedy can be used depending on the severity of the physical symptoms experienced by the affected individual.
It is very important to drink plenty of water and clear liquids at all times. This precaution is to prevent the onset of dehydration in the body-since, the fluid lost during diarrhea is often very great and can lead to severe complications and even death. Following the onset of the diarrhea, change your dietary regimen, and try to avoid the use of milk, any citrus fruits, and the use of alcohol, including the use of any high-fiber food products. During this time period, you should eat a lot of bland foods, this includes fruits such as bananas and white rice which are easy on the stomach and promote the hardening of stools. Only properly cooked foods must be consumed, whenever you find yourself traveling to areas suspected of having contaminated water and food. Use only bottled water and avoid the use of ice cubes to chill water in such areas-suspected water must not be used even to brush your teeth, as even here accidental swallowing is possible and infection can always occur.
Intestinal distress and discomfort can be healed and alleviated through the use of the powdered bark of the slippery elm tree-this herbal remedy is excellent for the treatment of diarrhea. Children may not particularly like the slippery elm herb as it has very little flavor. Prepare the herbal powder in the form of a paste for children-do this by combining the powder with a little bit of water, or some apple juice, even applesauce can be used if the child prefers it. Dosage for children of this herbal remedy can be a single teaspoon every day for children between three and six years of age. Dosage for children between the ages of seven and twelve can be one teaspoon of the herbal paste, two to three times every day during the dosage period. Bacterial infections that cause diarrhea can be healed by the use of the goldenseal herb. Dosage of this herbal remedy for children between the ages of three can be six to three drops of the juice, taken thrice every day, for a treatment period lasting two days at a stretch. Children who are between the ages of seven and twelve can be given ten drops, thrice every day, for a treatment period lasting two days at a stretch. A Chinese herbal formula known as Curing Pills can be used in the alleviation of a wide variety of digestive problems, which includes digestive disorders such as diarrhea and other intestinal problems. Dosage of these pills for children who are between the ages of three and six can be a quarter tube, or half a dropper fill, taken thrice every day as long as the symptoms linger. Dosage of the same remedy for children who are between seven and twelve years of age can be one third of a tube, or one fill of the dropper, taken thrice every day as long as the diarrhea persists. The kuzu root and the umeboshi-salt- plum can be made into paste, which is also very helpful in alleviating intestinal problems in the patient suffering from diarrhea.
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