How to Stop Diarrhea: From IBS to Food Sensitives

If there’s an illness that all age groups will experience multiple times in their lives, it’s diarrhea. Unfortunately, cases of too much pooping pops up at some of the most inconvenient times. Experiencing diarrhea symptoms can have a negative impact on your life. This sentiment is especially true if you have chronic diarrhea from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other GI problems. Let’s take a look at how to stop diarrhea fast and in the long-term.

What Causes Diarrhea?

To stop diarrhea, you need to know what causes it. There are many triggers, so each case can be unique. They may overlap with other causes of diarrhea that are more chronic, such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD).

Common causes of diarrhea include:

Many causes of diarrhea,
too little toilet paper
  • Viral Infection
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Parasites
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Medication Side Effects
  • IBS
  • IBD
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Diabetes
  • Too Many Laxatives
  • Food Sensitivities

Each situation might require specific attention. For instance, if you are traveling and get a severe case of diarrhea, go to a doctor. There’s a risk you may have contracted a bacterial infection or a parasite.

Cases of IBS and SIBO might benefit from lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise alterations. Meanwhile, a food sensitivity might just require an enzyme supplement. Whatever the case may be, here are some hack to stop diarrhea.

Stop Diarrhea Life Hacks

Diarrhea can be a symptom of a much larger issue. Listen to your body. Discuss your concerns with your doctor. If your symptoms of diarrhea are fleeting, a few of these hacks might work. In the case of someone with food allergies, some tips might cure your frequent diarrhea problems. Some of these tips might even help you diagnose a bacterial infection. Let’s take a look!

Drink Lots of Fluids

Cheers!

When you have diarrhea, your intestines don’t hold many fluids. Water just passes through in one way and out other end. This is an issue because your large intestine relies on water to push out toxins and help the body absorb nutrients.

It’s easy to get dehydrated when you have diarrhea [1]. Dehydration can lead to even more complicated medical issues. So, be sure to drink your fluids on your journey to stop diarrhea.

Eat Electrolytes

We rely on water as conductors for electrolytes. Theses are little volts of energy our body depends on to function. For one, they help our muscles contract. Therefore, electrolytes are very influential in gut motility [2].

When we have diarrhea, we miss out on many of these minerals. So, to give our gut a chance to recoup, we need to fill it with beneficial foods.

stop diarrhea with electrolytes
Light it up with electrolytes!

Electrolyte-rich foods include:

  • Kale
  • Poultry
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Flounder
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli

There are hundreds of food choices out there that are rich in electrolytes. Unfortunately, some of them might be allergens. For instance, some people are sensitive to lectins in legumes. However, kidney beans are an abundant source of electrolytes. This can be a conundrum, which we’ll get into next.

Cut Out Allergens

When people begin to develop chronic conditions, such as IBS and IBD, it gets harder to stop diarrhea. It’s more about the long-term game than the short-term remedies.

Many of us eat allergen-rich foods every day. Unfortunately, it’s hard for us to know which foods are causing the allergies. To stop diarrhea for the long haul, you need to try an Elimination Diet.

You’re going to cut out some of your faves, like sugar and gluten. However, you’ll drop healthy foods that are typical gut irritants, such as nightshade vegetables. Once you starve out the bad stomach bacteria, slowly integrate these foods back in to see what’s triggering the response.

Soluble Fiber

When you have diarrhea, you lose a lot of water. So, you need to clog the leak. The most effective way to stop diarrhea naturally is to add bulk to your stool.

Dietary soluble fiber soaks up water. Therefore, trips to the bathroom will seem less urgent.

Sources of soluble fiber for diarrhea include:

stop diarrhea with fruit
Don’t let this man-go!

As you can see, some of these soluble fiber sources also provide electrolytes. However, these foods also serve as prebiotics for probiotics. So, not only will soluble fiber help stop diarrhea, it can help prevent a reoccurrence by strengthening your beneficial stomach bacteria.

Drink Herbal Teas

stop diarrhea with tea
Don’t you feel relaxed just looking at it?

An excellent way of handling uncomfortable GI problems is herbal tea. Herbal teas were used as tonics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

That’s because hot water causes pressure on the the botanicals. This reaction causes the herbs to release beneficial terpenes and antioxidants. These minerals get to work, providing GI relief.

Herbal teas to drink to stop diarrhea discomfort include:

  • Peppermint – Soothing
  • Licorice Root – Anti-inflammatory
  • Chamomile – Relaxing
  • Ginger/Turmeric – Anti-inflammatory

Just make sure the tea is decaffeinated. Caffeine is a stimulant. Therefore, it might empower your gut muscles to start contracting. The end result would be the complete opposite of stopping diarrhea!

Enzyme Supplements

If you realize you are sensitive to gluten or lactose, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then. You’re just going to need a little extra help. That assistance can come from enzymes.

Look into getting all-natural supplements for your specific sensitivity. For instance, gluten enzyme supplements contain an enzyme useful in breaking down gluten known as dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV). Just one of these enzyme pills may help someone with gluten sensitivities enjoy a beer or a slice of bread with dinner.

Slow Down on Exercise

It’s not every day you’ll hear a gut health program to slow down on exercise. However, if you have diarrhea, consider it. For one, exercise will cause you to get dehydrated and sweat out electrolytes.

As one study on exercise and diarrhea noted,

“One quarter to one half of elite athletes are hampered by the gastrointestinal symptoms that may deter them from participation in training and competitive events. Vigorous exercise-induced gastrointestinal symptoms are often attributed to altered motility, mechanical factor or altered neuroimmunoendocrine secretions [3].”

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 

When you have diarrhea, your body is already struggling. While there’s no gain without pain, pushing yourself with diarrhea is unneeded stress. It’s borderline masochistic.

If you need to get some workout in, we hear you. Try yoga. There are many yoga positions for GI problems. These movements can help detoxify organs and get enzymes interacting to get everything else back on track!

Over-the-Counter Medications

One of the most efficient ways to stop diarrhea fast is over-the-counter medications. You can find a number of them throughout the pharmacy.

pills to stop diarrhea
Quick fix? Yes.
Long-term solution? No.

The top two choices are:

  • Loperamide (Imodium)
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol)

While these are great quick fixes, over-the-counter meds aren’t long-term solutions.

These remedies are not intended for daily use. They’re for isolated occasions. Unfortunately, people turn to these quick fixes to mask an underlying issue, living in denial. Over time, these medications can do more harm than good.

Probiotics

Our gut microbes are deep in the thick of things, especially when it comes to your diarrhea problems. So, it’s best to have more beneficial stomach bacteria in your body. That way, they can fight off the pathogens that spur diarrhea in the first place.

The first step to stop diarrhea in the long-term is to your gut tested. At Thryve Inside, we send you everything you need to secure a sample and mail it to us safely.

From there, we conduct a DNA test to determine which intestinal flora is in your system.

With these results, our team recommends a probiotic supplement tailored to your gut biome.

A study looked at how probiotics can stop diarrhea, noting,

“Probiotics can make diarrhea go away about one day faster…About 55 out of 100 people who took probiotics were diarrhea-free after three days [4].”

Informed Health

Knowing which intestinal flora are in your gut and which bacteria we’re trying to grow, our team can also help your diet.

thryve gut health food recommendations
Get personalized recommendations

Our database contains 1,500 ingredients. The easy-to-use interface will explain why specific foods will help the bacteria in your supplement, and which ones will cause the pathogenic bacteria to flourish. We can ever steer you towards which foods to avoid to stop diarrhea.

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health

Resources

[1] Akech, Samuel, and Philip Ayieko. “Risk Factors for Mortality and Effect of Correct Fluid Prescription in Children with Diarrhoea and Dehydration without Severe Acute Malnutrition Admitted to Kenyan Hospitals: an Observational, Association Study.” The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7, P516-524, JULY 01, 2018, 20 May 15AD, www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(18)30130-5/fulltext.

[2] Marciani, L., Garsed, K. C., Hoad, C. L., Fields, A., Fordham, I., Pritchard, S. E., … Spiller, R. C. (2014). Stimulation of colonic motility by oral PEG electrolyte bowel preparation assessed by MRI: comparison of split vs single dose. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society26(10), 1426–1436. doi:10.1111/nmo.12403

[3] de Oliveira, Erick Prado, and Roberto Carlos Burini. “The Impact of Physical Exercise on the Gastrointestinal Tract.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19535976.

[5] InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Can probiotics help against diarrhea? 2016 May 4 [Updated 2019 Dec 19]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK373095/