Diarrhea Ayurvedic Treatment

Are you suffering from diarrhea? Not fun. But diarrhea is actually one of the most common health problems; the average adult experiences about 4 episodes of diarrhea each year.1 Thankfully, in most cases, diarrhea is fairly easy to control and will resolve completely within a couple of days.

This resource is intended to help you understand the Ayurvedic perspective on diarrhea, and to give you some practical tools in support of healthy bowel movements, if you determine that they would be appropriate for you. However, if your diarrhea is unusual in its intensity or duration, or if it is occurring more often than very occasionally, it is also important that you consult with your primary health care provider. If your symptoms are due to a more complex disorder such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease, you might benefit from reading our more comprehensive guide to healthy elimination.

What Causes Diarrhea?

Loose or watery stools occur when the intestines push the stools through the bowel to be eliminated before excess water can be reabsorbed.1 Often, diarrhea is the body’s natural defense mechanism against a harmful virus or bacterium, an ingested toxin, or a food that disagrees with the digestive system. Diarrhea can also occur as a result of an inflamed bowel wall, which allows excess fluid to leak into the stool, as in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.1 Or, diarrhea may be the side effect of prescribed medication or an indicator of a more serious illness.

When is Diarrhea Serious?

Diarrhea is often accompanied by abdominal bloating, cramps, nausea, vomiting, or an urgent need to have a bowel movement.3 While these symptoms are unpleasant, they usually clear up with the diarrhea. More serious symptoms include:

  • 10 or more watery stools within a 24 hour period
  • Signs of dehydration (e.g. dark, scanty urine; dry, sticky mouth; extreme thirst; loss of skin elasticity – skin doesn’t rebound when it is pinched into a fold)
  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Worsening symptoms

These signs and symptoms can be an indicator of a more serious problem and, if any of them develop, it would be a good idea to contact your doctor

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