Diarrhea is not an illness, but rather a symptom which is characterized by the passing of frequent runny stools. Symptoms that might accompany diarrhea are cramps, vomiting and passing gas. Diarrhea that is associated with the small bowel results in large amounts of watery-like discharge, while diarrhea originating from the large bowel produces bloody stools.
Constipation is generally known as the difficult and infrequent passing of dry, hard feces. This is usually an irritating yet temporary condition, however sometimes it signifies an underlying condition, especially in an adult over 40. Individuals differ in their bathroom habits so your level of comfort is more important factors than frequency. If you feel satisfied, it ls likely that your bathroom habits are just right for you.
Acute diarrhea generally lasts a day or two and is usually caused by eating or drinking contaminated water and food. Long term (Chronic diarrhea) is usually connected to a more serious disorder such as Chrohn’s disease, ulcerative Colitis, diverticular disease or Cancer of the colon. If diarrhea persists you may need to begin testing for more serious disorders.
Short term (acute) diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection which is carried in through food or water. Other causes include anxiety, reactions to drugs, food allergies and intolerances. If you are traveling in the tropics you may be suffering from a form of diarrhea called amoeba dysenetry, an infection of the intestine that can cause diarrhea with blood.
Diarrhea can dehydrate an individual, especially young children and babies so it is important to drink lots of liquids, and consult a doctor for this condition, especially if it is severe, and if it lasts for more than 48 hours. Seek medical attention early on for diarrhea accompanied by vomiting and fever. Blood in the stools should be reported to your doctor, as well as any persistent cases that may have developed outside of the country.
Constipation is caused by insufficient fiber in the diet (the bulk we get from fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains). This problem is more persistent in developed countries where our diets are more refined. Other causes of constipation include:
*Weakness in the abdominal wall, especially in the elderly
*Immobility can be a problem, because getting up and moving around helps with the movement of stools.
*Irritable bowel syndrome may also include bouts of diarrhea that alternates with constipation.
*Diverticular disease or cancer can cause parts of the colon to narrow, leading to constipation.
*It could be caused by drugs, such as narcotic pain-killers or iron pills.
*In hypothyroidism (a slow thyroid) contractions of the colon can be slowed down.
*Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy
Always consult a doctor if there is blood in the feces, pain with a bowel movement or loss of weight.
Natural remedies for Diarrhea include:
*learning relaxation skills through hypnotherapy which has been found to be useful for some people. Self-hypnosis skills can be taught in order to enable the person to relax while eating, and digesting food properly
*An herbalist may recommend certain herbs with laxative properties which will help remove the invading toxins that have invaded the bloodstream.
*Tests to determine food allergies and intolerances, and eliminating these foods one step at time to get to the source of the problem.
Natural Foods which help with diarrhea include:
*Wild Cherry bark
Healing Nutrients and Phytochemicals:
For a must greater and comprehensive list go to:
Healing Foods for Constipation are:
*Black sesame seeds
Healing herbs for constipation are:
*Morning glory seeds
Healing nutrients and phytochemicals:
For a much greater and comprehensive list go to:
Our digestive system normally helps prevent infections. We have amazing body systems which keep us healthy most of the time, however when the infrequent little bug gets through we may experience diarrhea and when we do, it is best to turn first to natural remedies as our first line of defense.
Constipation is common because of our refined western diets, so returning to a more natural diet of organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be instituted into our diets, as well as instituting an individual exercise program designed for your individual needs. If we do these thing we will often find that our bowel habits can be happy again.