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diarrhea

Diarrhea: Everything you need to know

If you live in Ottawa and you suffer from Diarrhea you are not alone. Each year, 4.5 billion people contract diarrhea worldwide. This blog will help you understand what are the common causes and how you might help your symptoms.

Your stool is typically composed of three-quarters water and one-quarter solid matter. With diarrhea, the moisture content is, of course, higher. Diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying condition. Determining the cause is essential for finding the right solutions to correcting the problem. Most diarrhea resolves itself when the cause is addressed. The loose stools are a way that the body can expel something it doesn’t need or is otherwise toxic.

Symptoms

  1. Loose or watery bowel movements.
  2. More bowel movements per day than normal (1-3x per day is normal).
  3. Urgency with elimination.
  4. Cramping or discomfort in the abdomen.
  5. Undigested food in stool.
  6. Fatigue and brain fog.

Common Causes

  1. Food allergies or sensitivities
  2. Lactose intolerance
  3. Sugar intolerance
  4. Leaky gut/damaged mucosal lining of the intestines
  5. Impaired digestion and absorption
  6. Trouble digesting fats
  7. Parasites
  8. SIBO
  9. Prescription drug use
  10. Antibiotics
  11. Lack of“good” bacteria nth gut
  12. Stress or anxiety
  13. Excessive magnesium or vitamin C
  14. Viral infection
  15. Food poisoning

Note: If diarrhea is or becomes chronic, check with a physician as malnutrition can ensue.

Treatment of Acute diarrhea

If you develop acute diarrhea, the following suggestions may be helpful for controlling your symptoms.

  1. Recline on your back with a pillow under knees
  2. Place a hot water bottle on a towel over the abdomen
  3. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
  4. Try green juices, coconut kefiran tea
  5. Avoid dairy, fat, sugar and excess meat

Treatment of Chronic diarrhea

Dietary modification

If you have experienced diarrhea or loose stools for more than 2-3 weeks, then you have chronic diarrhea. This is the most common type I see in my practice. When considering any digestive symptom, I always look first to whether what you are eating is causing your symptoms. Below is a list of the diets that I consider in ascending degrees of complexity:

  1. Remove all Gluten, Dairy and Sugar-containing foods.
  2. Institute of Functional Medicine Elimination Diet: Remove all gluten, dairy, corn, soya, red meat, shellfish, and peanuts.
  3. Paleo Diet: Remove all grains, dairy, and legumes.
  4. Paleo Autoimmune diet: Paleo diet less eggs, nightshade vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Supplementation

In my practice, supplements are used as a supplementary measure alongside dietary modifications. Below is a list of common supplements I use in my practice when treating diarrhea.

  1. Soil-based probiotics
  2. L-glutamine
  3. Aloe vera juice (2-4oz)
  4. Increasing amounts of ground flaxseed
  5. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
  6. Psyllium husk
  7. Bentonite clay
  8. Zinc
  9. Digestive enzymes
  10. Ox bile if fat digestion is an issue

Functional Testing

If dietary modification and supplementation do not resolve symptoms, then I look to lab testing to uncover the root of symptoms. Below is a list of the most common tests I use in my practice.

  1. IgG food sensitivity testing
  2. Comprehensive Stool Analysis Test for Candida and Parasites
  3. Organic Acids Test for yeast, metabolic and overgrowth concerns
  4. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Lactulose breath test
  5. Lactose Breath Test (or just remove dairy!)

If you have any questions about this article either post them in the comments section below or email using the form on my contact page.

Disclaimer

This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.