Diarrhea, also known as loose stools or loose bowel movement, is a common condition that may be caused by a number of factors.
- It can happen to any member of the population.
- In adults it can go untreated if the case is uncomplicated.
- In children, it needs attention and rehydration may be necessary.
- It is often associated with viral conditions and gastric irritation from bad food or water.
Common Causes of Loose Bowel Movement
Here are some of the more common causes of loose stools
- Gastric Irritation – This can be due to bad water or food. In some cases, it may be a consequence of indigestion or of eating too spicy food.
- Viral Infection – also known as stomach flu, these are self-limiting events that can go without treatment for adults.
- Indigestion – a decrease or an increase in the bowel movements can lead to loose stools. This may also be accompanied by pain and a gassy feeling. Nausea may also occur.
- Bacterial/parasitic infection – Giardia is one of the most common causes of a traveler’s diarrhea.
- Stress – increased mental stress can cause problems with the bowels, inversely stress can also lead to constipation.
Loose stools, especially the chronic conditions will require medical attention as they can be caused by something serious.
Natural Remedies for Loose Stools
- Increased Water Intake – helps replace fluids lost from the diarrhea.
- Salt and sugar water – helps to replace the lost electrolytes, this can also be replaced with an oral rehydration solution, especially for kids.
- Warm or Menthol Balms for the Stomach Area – helps to relieve the pain and promote sleep.
- Rest – helps to deal with the stress and avoid further aggravating the condition.
When the loose bowel movement is severe and when it is accompanied by blood, it is important to seek medical attention.
Diet for Loose Motion
When diarrhea is present, there is irritation of the stomach lining. It is important to take it slow with diet. The commonly prescribed bland diet for loose stools and stomach upset is the BRAT diet.
- Banana – replaces the lost potassium.
- Rice – provides carbohydrates.
- Applesauce – provides fiber.
- Toast – dry toast helps to settle the stomach in case of nausea.
Clear liquids like teas without cream and clear broth like consommé may also be added to the diet. After a day or two on the diet, patients can be gradually reintroduced to a regular solid diet.