Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is characterised by the passing of watery, loose stools and causes the body to lose large amounts of nutrients and fluids.

Symptoms

  • Loose watery stools
  • Bowel motions may be passed more frequently than normal
  • Abdominal pain and Nausea may also be present
  • Dehydration can occur if fluid loss is significant
  • Nutritional deficiencies can arise, especially if diarrhoea is ongoing or recurrent; this may contribute to Fatigue, skin problems and other health conditions

Causes

  • Diarrhoea is one of the mechanisms that the body uses to quickly expel toxic or unwanted substances, and consequently may be due to many factors, including infection, food allergy and adverse reaction to medications
  • Conditions associated with ongoing problems with diarrhoea include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
  • It may also be a consequence of excessive consumption of alcohol, fatty foods, or laxatives
  • Some people experience diarrhoea during times of Stress or Anxiety

Nutritional & Herbal Support

  • Taking probiotic supplements such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium longum helps restore the balance of the intestinal bacteria and normalise bowel habits. Oligofructose (sometimes called fructo-oligosaccharides) can be taken at the same time as probiotics to encourage and support re-colonisation by the friendly bacteria
  • Slippery elm bark contains mucilage, which forms a gel-like substance during the digestive process, soothing the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and easing inflammation, irritation and Gastritis

Diet & Lifestyle advice

  • Ongoing diarrhoea, painful bowel motions, the presence of blood or mucus in the stool or sudden changes in bowel habits, (e.g. alternating bouts of Constipation and diarrhoea) may be indicative of underlying disease, and require medical investigation
  • Chronic diarrhoea states like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are complex conditions, but often respond well to natural therapies. Consult your healthcare professional, who can develop an appropriate treatment plan for your individual circumstances, and arrange testing for food allergies and intolerances
  • Acute episodes of diarrhoea may have serious consequences for babies, children, the elderly, or those with serious health problems. Seek medical advice immediately
  • Drink at least two litres of water every day, and even more if necessary to guard against dehydration. An electrolyte-replacement formula is highly recommended, especially for children and/or if vomiting has also occurred
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages and acidic juices
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods
  • Practicing good hygiene helps prevent the spread of infection. Always wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet

If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. Information provided is of a general nature and should not replace that of your healthcare professional.

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