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Published on May 10, 2018

10 Natural Diarrhea Remedies to Make You Feel Better Instantly

10 Natural Diarrhea Remedies to Make You Feel Better Instantly

Bathroom fear is real, my friends. You know where the restroom is at every restaurant, mall, and venue you go to. You’ve categorized toilet paper brands on a scale of razor-blade-sharp to pillow-soft. And you’ve mastered the art of quietly going to the bathroom out in public. But you know this is no way to live — constantly tied down to the toilet, hardly able to get through a Netflix binge fest, dinner party, or a full night’s sleep.

Diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying issue. While finding the root of your diarrhea issues may require testing with your doctor or health practitioner, there are many natural remedies you can do to reduce frequency, irritation and urgency. All in an effort to calm the digestive tract down (because it’s working too darn hard right now!) try one or all of these diarrhea remedies the next time you find yourself running to the bathroom.

1. Make herbal tea your friend

Need some fast relief? Herbal teas come in handy for so many health needs — diarrhea included. The best teas to address diarrhea are slippery elm, red raspberry, nettle, mint and cinnamon. Each serves a specific and beneficial purpose for digestive health, so having one or all of them in your cabinets for when the urge hits can help put a stop to the madness.

Slippery elm tea, for example, is extremely soothing to the digestive tract, helping to calm down inflammation and irritation. While it’s best to drink these teas regularly, they can help on the spot as well.

2. Recline and relax

The very nature of diarrhea is painful, so to help ease the pain, lie on your back with a pillow under your knees and then place a hot water bottle on a towel over your abdomen. This will help slow the downward pressure and calm muscle spasms and irritation. While lying in this position, take a few deep breaths. This can help calm the central nervous system, which plays a big role in transit time.

    3. Sip on bone or vegetable broth

    Like tea, broth is another soothing beverage that can help to address diarrhea.

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    Bone broth, for example, is made of collagen and gelatin, which help to rebuild and repair damaged cells. If parts of your digestive tract are damaged (which could be why you’re having diarrhea in the first place), bone broth can be quite healing.

    Vegetable broth offers many nutrients to the digestive tract to help replenish lost vitamins and minerals due to poor digestion. You can either make broth at home in a crockpot or Instapot or buy pre-made bone broth at your local grocery store.

    Here’s a video to teach you how to make chicken bone broth:

    4. Avoid dairy, fat, sugar and excess meat

    These foods are often the toughest for the body to digest, and as a result, can contribute to an irritated digestive tract.

    For example, many of us naturally become depleted of the enzymes necessary to digest diary as we wean from breastfeeding and get nutrients from food instead. When you no longer have the ability to break down milk sugars (called lactose intolerance), it becomes quite difficult to process dairy-based foods, causing them to either sit for longer periods in your system or rapidly be expelled.

    Fat is another resource-intensive food group, and meat is often high in fat. If you lack the ability to create the enzyme lipase, which is required to breakdown fat, that too can either cause the food to sit for long periods in your system or rapidly exit via diarrhea.

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    And because sugar is often highly processed and seen as food to things like Candida, a yeast in the body that can easily become overgrown, this can set the system on high alert and lead to issues like diarrhea.

    5. Turn to the BRAT diet

    If the above list of foods just cut out a lot of what you are currently eating, here are some new foods to focus on instead. Especially when diarrhea rears its ugly head, go back to basics by eating soft, easier-to-digest foods.

      The foods that may benefit you the most during this time have a handy acronym: BRAT. Bananas, rice, apples, and toast (preferably gluten-free) can both give your system a break from digesting tougher foods as well as provide key nutrients to the body.

      6. Befriend probiotics

      Did you know that the good bacteria inside of us regulate most of the digestion process? However, levels of beneficial bacteria can dip due to overuse of antibiotics, a poor diet, lack of fiber, stress and aging. Overtime, this can cause us to lose full digestive function, causing issues like diarrhea.

      Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that can be taken via supplementation or by eating fermented foods to help restore balance in your digestive tract.

      Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, or in drinks like kefir or kombucha. I

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      f those don’t excite you, or aren’t accessible at your local grocery store, keep a bottle of probiotic supplements on hand. Look for one that has several billion probiotics and a wide variety of strains.

      If you’ve had digestive health issues for quite awhile, it may be beneficial to take probiotics for up to six months, but especially have them on hand for when diarrhea flares up.

      7. Load up on aloe vera juice

      Aloe vera juice is another incredibly soothing drink to have when you can’t seem to keep anything in. Just like you use aloe vera gel to soothe a sunburn or bug bite, the juice of the aloe plant has a very similar effect on your internal organs. When consumed, aloe provides a soothing coating to the digestive tract.

      It’s recommended to drink 2-4oz a few times a day if you’re having diarrhea or general digestive upset. It can also be beneficial to drink it right before a meal to help the food settle in your system better.

      Making aloe vera juice is easy, here’s how:

      8. Slowly increase fiber intake

      Fiber used to be looked down upon in the world of digestive health, but today there is much research on its benefits. Fiber not only helps to clear out toxins and waste (some of which may be causing irritation to the tract, causing diarrhea), in some forms it actually serves as food for your probiotic flora, keeping your good bacteria levels strong and happy.

      To start, increase amounts of fiber slowly to get your system accustomed to this food group, especially if it’s not a regular part of your diet right now.

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      Ground flaxseed can be a great way to begin. Mix 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed in 1 cup of hot water to make a “tea” blend. Overtime, graduate up to dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables and soaked nuts or seeds, if tolerated.

      If you’re looking for some high fiber foods, here’re some ideas: 20 Ultimate High Fiber Foods To Add To Your Diet

      9. Make clay your partner in crime

      Bentonite clay, that is. Bentonite clay is useful for removing harmful toxins and bad bacteria in your intestines, allowing good bacteria to flourish. It acts like a vacuum, slowly sucking up toxins from the digestive tract as it moves along. With irritants gone, digestion can begin to resume more normal function.

      Please note that bentonite clay should be used with caution as it is very dehydrating. Always take it with ample water and start with a low amount.

      10. Help your body better breakdown foods with enzymes

      In my last post on home remedies for a stomach ache, I explained the many benefits of digestive enzymes. If the body is having trouble producing enzymes on its own (which are necessary to adequately breakdown proteins, fat, and carbohydrates), that can cause a lot of stress on the system. This can result either in slow or rapid transit time, depending on what else is going on inside, such as an infection or inflammation.

      Short-term supplementation with digestive enzymes can help your body to better break down foods, making it easier for your system to absorb nutrients and maintain normal transit time. This can also help reduce undigested food from showing up in your stool.

      So long bathroom, hello life!

      Wouldn’t it be nice to see less of your bathroom each day? Having personally lived through a digestive health disease that caused me a great deal of bathroom fear and frequent bathroom trips, I know how debilitating and all-consuming diarrhea can be. However, following the tips in this post, you can help your body both in the near- and long-term, slowly making diarrhea a symptom of the past.

      Remember to also get your stool tested to find out what else may be at play that is causing diarrhea in the first place. When addressed at the root of the problem, issues like diarrhea can resolve themselves much quicker. The tips in this post will help ensure even faster progress towards that goal.

      More by this author

      Kristin Thomas

      Functional Nutrition Practitioner and Health Coach

      How to Relieve Constipation: 17 Natural Home Remedies for Quick Relief 17 Acid Reflux Remedies That Are Natural and Super Effective natural diarrhea remedies 10 Natural Diarrhea Remedies to Make You Feel Better Instantly 13 Home Remedies for Stomach Ache (Simple and Effective)

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      Published on November 14, 2018

      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

      Symptoms of Fatigue

      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
      • mental blocks
      • lack of motivation
      • headache
      • dizziness
      • muscle weakness
      • slowed reflexes and responses
      • impaired decision-making and judgement
      • moodiness, such as irritability
      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
      • reduced immune system function
      • blurry vision
      • short-term memory problems
      • poor concentration
      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

      Causes of Fatigue

      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

      Medical Causes of Fatigue

      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

      Anemia

      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

      Diabetes

      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

      Sleep Apnea

      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

      Thyroid disease

      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

      • Lack of sleep
      • Too much sleep 
      • Alcohol and drugs 
      • Sleep disturbances 
      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
      • Poor diet 

      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

      1. Tell The Truth

      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

      • How you feel
      • What time of day it is
      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
      • How your mind and body reacts

      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

      2. Reduce Your Commitments

      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

      4. Express More Gratitude

      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

      5. Focus On Yourself

      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

      7. Take a Power Nap

      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

      8. Take More Exercise

      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

      9. Get More Quality Sleep

      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

      10. Improve Your Diet

      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

      12. Get Hydrated

      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

      The Bottom Line

      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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