5 Proven and Natural Ways to Stop “The Runs”
As the old saying goes, “poop happens.”
And sometimes poop happens a little more often and with a little more violence than is normal. Such is life with diarrhea.
Diarrhea can be caused by anything. You may have eaten a salad that should have been thrown away a few days prior, or perhaps you have a sensitive stomach and it seems like diarrhea follows you around like a lost puppy.
Regardless of the cause, if you’ve got the runs you probably want it to stop ASAP.
Before you turn to the Imodium AD, (which is known to produce several known health-related problems) why not try some of these proven and natural remedies first?
5 Ways To Stop Diarrhea In Its Tracks
Diarrhea is often a sign that your gut is in distress.
If you’re suffering from a momentary bout of diarrhea, the problem might fix itself in a few short hours.
If diarrhea is a persistent problem, then you need to get your gut in check.
The remedies I’m going to show you are helpful for both. That being said, if you’re suffering from diarrhea because of poor gut health I’ll show you how to help improve your gut health so diarrhea is less likely to ruin your day (or life) in the future.
1 - Kefir: I’ve written about kefir extensively. Kefir is a fermented beverage that’s been used widely for thousands of years to help improve gut health. The reason it works so well is during the fermentation process, certain, gut healthy bacteria form.
These gut bacteria are more commonly known as probiotics. When you drink kefir, these healthy bacteria begin to take up residence in your gut and help improve how your food is absorbed.
The better your body absorbs food, the more it utilizes the nutrients inside and the less likely you are to have diarrhea later.
Taking kefir is ideal for helping stop diarrhea if you’re constantly suffering from it. However, if you’ve got the runs and need help now, the gently effervescent quality of the drink can also help ease discomfort in the stomach.
2 - Get hydrated: This might surprise you, but one of the best ways to help stop diarrhea in a short time is by restoring fluid imbalances.
Diarrhea not only dehydrates you, but is often caused by dehydration.
When you have the runs, your body is purging essential nutrients needed to keep your body working properly. When you lose those nutrients, your body is operating at a nutrient deficit, and this can lead to more diarrhea.
So, to help alleviate running back and forth to the toilet, try to drink 8-12 oz of water an hour. If you have some available, consider adding an electrolyte salt similar to what athletes use to your water to replenish those nutrients you’ve lost.
3 - Try this Christmas spice: One of the most common spices used in Christmas cooking and baking is also one of the best for helping to calm a spastic colon.
Ginger root has one of the strongest effects on helping to stop diarrhea.
Why does ginger work so well?
Two compounds in ginger called gingerol and shogaol have been shown in numerous clinical studies to help relieve cramping, bloating, and reduce inflammation. When consumed internally in either a tea or a powder form, these compounds can go to work to help calm and soothe the gastrointestinal tract and help reduce the symptoms of diarrhea.
What we’ve seen ginger do is decrease stomach spasms and gases built up in the gut that are the cause of loose, watery stools. Additionally, ginger is also believed to help promote an enhanced digestive response (through the increased release of gastric juices and enzymes), which can help solve a “running problem.”
4 - Use peppermint oil: Essential oils are fast becoming one of the most common natural treatments and for good reason.
They’ve been shown to work effectively and they work without the complications common to many drug based treatments.
Peppermint oil is one of the most potent therapies around and is believed to be one of the best for diarrhea.
Recent studies indicate there are significant strengths for peppermint oil’s use as a therapeutic agent for treating bowel disorders. Peppermint oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe irritation on the digestive tract that leads to diarrhea. Plus, two notable compounds found in peppermint oil (menthol and monoterpene) are associated with the reduction in stomach cramping and stomach pains, which are essential when looking for rapid relief from diarrhea symptoms.
5 - Eat white rice: If you’re battling with a bout of diarrhea then chances are you’re not just running to the bathroom all the time, you’re also becoming weaker by the hour and you’re not replenishing your energy reserves with adequate food intake because your stomach hurts bad enough that you’re not eating.
That’s why white rice is a major boon to boost your chances of getting rid of diarrhea.
The first reason to eat it while you’re in distress is because it’s really easy to digest. Eating white rice isn’t going to send your digestive system into overdrive since it’s a relatively easy to process carbohydrate. Because it’s a carbohydrate it’ll also help to thicken up stools so you’re not blowing a gasket every time you use the restroom.
And the second reason to eat rice is because it’ll give you quick energy. Diarrhea can deplete energy reserves quickly. White rice will help give you a quick energy boost.
Don’t over do it and eat an entire bowl of rice at one sitting Take a few small bites and then build up how much you eat over a period of a few hours to avoid putting too much stress on your system at one time.
Are There Other Remedies?
Chances are if diarrhea is something you deal with frequently then you’re suffering from IBS.
To learn a bit more on how to fight IBS, take a look at this video from my colleague, Dr. Axe.