Loose motions is the common term for diarrhoea, a health condition characterized by watery stool that makes you run to the bathroom more than is normal for you. It is a pretty common ailment and one that everyone faces at some point from babies to the elderly.
Remedies for Loose Motions
Usually, you do not need to do anything if you have loose motions. Your body may simply be attempting to evacuate your stomach contents because of, say, bacteria or worms. That’s why many people who have food poisoning end up having loose motions. Once the bacteria/virus/germ/worm is out of the body, your bowel movements will regulate. However, sometimes we don’t have the luxury to wait for a day or two for diarrhoea to clear up on its own. Work, family and social commitments mean that we have no choice but to be on our feet with our wits about us – no small feat for the diarrhoea sufferer. If you can put your life on hold while waiting for your bout of loose motions to pass (pun intended), nothing like it. But if you cannot wait, read on for a list of remedies.
Basic Care When You Have Loose Motions
- Medication for diarrhoea makes no sense at all unless the condition is chronic and leaving it alone will cause health problems. For most cases of diarrhoea, it is best to just leave the treatment to your body. You may not remember how to heal yourself but your body still does. It’s better to go with natural remedies which follow the course of nature rather than resort to pharmaceutical medication.
- Drink plenty of water to replenish the fluids that your body is losing from frequent bowel movements. When you hear of people dying of diarrhoea or loose motions, it’s because they get severely dehydrated. Your body is mostly made up of water so a lack of it can indeed be debilitating and fatal in the worst cases.
- Add a pinch of salt or a teaspoon of sugar to the water to replace the electrolytes and sugar that your body is losing from passing stool frequently.
- Rest when you have loose motions. At the rate your body is throwing out food, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve lost your appetite and are not eating much plus the constant passing of stool can be taxing on the body and mind. Give yourself a break until the loose motions have abated. Call in sick at work, school or whatever. Your health is more important.
- Never try to hold it in when your bowels are screaming to go. Firstly, this is really unhealthy. Secondly, the muscles and nerves needed to hold a bowel movement in can get strained and develop fissures or tears. So never suppress it. This is another reason to take a holiday and stay home when you have loose motions.
- Avoid fried and oily foods when you have loose motions. That type of fare is too heavy for your system and you could end up experiencing painful cramps or vomiting.
Many people shy away from fruit when they have loose motions since it is widely believed that fruit can make things worse. It is true that eating fruit can regulate your bowel movements since they digest easily thanks to the roughage provided by their fiber. However, some fruits have innate properties that make for wonderful loose motions remedies so don’t be frightened of eating fruit when you have the runs. Another reason fruit remedies are a good idea is because they are natural. Plus, your body can use the boost of nutrition that fruits impart and other kinds of foods may be too heavy for your digestive system when it is not at its best. So dig in to the following fruit remedies for loose motions.
- Bananas contain potassium which helps to solidify stool. Chop into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with powdered nutmeg and cardamom. Dig in.
- Boil an apple in a little water until it turns gooey. Mash it up, add a little nutmeg and cardamom powder like in the previous recipe along with one teaspoon of ghee.
- Eat a pear. It contains high levels of pectin, a naturally-occurring fiber which can regulate your digestive system. The extra bulk in the pears will also contribute to solidifying watery stool.
- Blueberries and pomegranates too are known to be quite helpful in alleviating loose motions.
- Although not technically fruit, coconuts too have an offering to make to help alleviate diarrhoea symptoms. Coconut water has recently been discovered to contain electrolytes that are exactly like those that occur naturally in the human body. So the yummy, soothing drink will also perform the very important task of replenishing fluids.
Make sure to wash the fruit properly first. Residues of pesticides, pollution, dirt, toxins and god alone knows what else often sit on the skin of fruit for weeks at a time. In your delicate state, even a small dose of unhygienic food can make your diarrhoea worse.
A traditional Indian cure, buttermilk has long been regarded as the number one go-to for those who suffer from loose motions. Just mix yoghurt with water in equal proportions and drink two to three times a day. You can add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar to taste.
Rice and yoghurt
Coming to you from India again, rice and yoghurt is another remedy long used to economically and safely cure diarrhoea. If you are lactose intolerant or know that your body is a little sensitive to dairy (for example, if you break out when you have milk) then avoid the remedies that include yoghurt.
Starchy foods are great when you have loose motions as their starch content can help to bind loose stool.
This is not a remedy, per se, but chamomile is an extremely soothing tea which helps to calm your system too so it may help to regulate your bowels, especially if nervous tension is the culprit in the first place.
Ayurveda has some pretty wonderful remedies for all ailments. When it comes to loose motions, there are more than enough natural cures suggested by this ancient discipline to suit all people. For a remedy that is best for you, it is advisable to visit an Ayurvedic doctor. However, one of the most common treatments is to have fenugreek tea two to three times a day. Crush fenugreek seeds and add boiling water. Let it sit for five to ten minutes, depending on how strong a taste you can stand. Strain the tea to remove the seeds. Do not add sugar or any type of sweetener to this tea.
Caffeine is generally not recommended when you have loose motions. However, some people find that coffee improves helps solidify stool. You’ll have to discover on your own if this works for you too through trial and error. Read more Health Benefits of Coffee.
Cut raw ginger into very small pieces, grating will do too. Mix with sugar and chew on the resulting paste. Ginger is often very effective in digestive problems. If you have cramping or stomach pains – common side effects of loose motions – ginger will help. Read more Health benefits of Ginger.
If a child has loose motions, consult a doctor. Ditto if your loose motions lasts for more than three days or if you are pregnant.