7 Steps to STOP Diarrhea
By Rachel Feldman
I am a health coach and detox specialist. I wish I could tell you that my health has been smooth sailing my whole life, but that is not the truth. I became a health coach because I was suffering. I had digestive issues that lead to a myriad of health issues like allergies, sleep problems, rashes, headaches and loose stools, otherwise known as diarrhea.
Hippocrates said it best, “all disease begins in the gut.” Your gut is truly the gateway to a healthy life – mind and body. If you do not have good gut health – meaning, a healthy balance of good to bad bacteria in your gut – you are more prone to experiencing loose stools. Diarrhea can happen for a number of reasons such as stress, toxins in the body, weak digestion, lack of good bacteria in the gut, or a bad diet.
So what can you do about it? A lot, actually and you should! Because having loose stools – a.k.a. “the runs” – will leave you feeling uncomfortable and heading to the bathroom at the most inopportune times.
Let’s begin with some simple steps you can take today to reduce diarrhea and restore your gut health.
Step #1 – Begin your day with a cup of ginger tea. Add the juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of raw honey. The ginger tea will help soothe your intestines, while the lemon will alkalize your body and the honey will calm your nervous system, which is essential for relieving diarrhea.
Step #2 – Drink smoothies. Consuming foods that are easy to digest is imperative for your digestion. Focus on making a simple smoothie for breakfast such as: 1 cup of dairy free milk, 1/2 cup of berries, a handful of leafy greens, 1 scoop of plant protein, 1 Tablespoon of flax meal (ground flax seeds) and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cinnamon is wonderful for relieving gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea. Keeping smoothies simple will ensure smooth digestion. Increasing potassium, such as including a banana, also helps to slow the bowels.
With that said, if you’re constipated, decrease your potassium and get plenty of fluids to get things moving. To note: in order to reap the benefits of all the nutrients you’re supplying your body with, chew your smoothie as you enjoy it. Chewing activates your digestive enzymes, which allows for optimal absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
Step #3 – Add a probiotic to your daily regimen. Probiotics are fantastic sources of good bacteria. The word probiotic comes from the Greek, meaning “for life”. There are between 500 and 1,000 different microbes that live in your gut, some of which are healthy, while others are harmful. I suggest taking a good quality probiotic every day. It is suggested you switch up your probiotic every month, so your body does not get used to it. Aim for 10 strains or more, with at least 10 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) per dose. Take your probiotic first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach or with a light meal, such as a smoothie. Avoid taking your other supplements for at least an hour to allow the probiotic to do it’s job efficiently.
Step #4 – Get cultured. Adding cultured foods such as Good Belly, Kombucha, Coconut Water Kefir, or Cultured Vegetables is another way to get good bacteria into your body and support healthy digestion.
Step #5 – Reduce common allergens. Too often we are eating foods that are wreaking havoc on our system such as dairy, soy, nuts, cheese, wheat and eggs, to name a few. An elimination diet is a great first step to figure out what may be triggering your diarrhea. Begin to eliminate common allergens (such as those listed above) one by one and see if your loose stools improve. When eliminating the food, you’ll want to keep it out for 21 days and reintroduce slowly. Reactions can occur up to 72 hours after you’ve eaten the food, so this is a good time to really pay close attention and use a food journal to track your mood, bowels, energy and comfort (especially your gut – bloating, gas, cramping).
Step #6 – Aloe Vera to the rescue. Add 1 ounce of pure Aloe Vera juice to a green juice or smoothie. Or, add the aloe to clean water with the juice of 1 lemon and a dash of sea salt. Diarrhea often happens when we are dehydrated. By adding essential minerals to your body, you will strengthen your digestion and this will calm your nervous system, which is vital to reduce loose stools. Also, the Aloe Vera will soothe the intestinal wall and lessen the severity of diarrhea.
On the flip side, if you are constipated, taking aloe may not work for you. The exception is using Super Aloe, which helps get the bowels moving (in the case of constipation, NOT for diarrhea). Listen to your body.
Step #7 – Last but not least, take time for you. Too often we are eating on the go and not chewing our food thoroughly, or eating while we are working and not conscious of the food we are consuming. Create awareness as to the food you are eating with each meal, chew your food well and make sure you follow the above 6 steps to restore your gut health to lessen your frequent – and uncomfortable – trips to the bathroom.
Rachel Feldman is a health coach, wellness momma and a detox specialist. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Rachel assists her clients nationwide via phone, email and Skype who are struggling with weight gain, digestive issues and toxicity.
Rachel graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, Wild Rose Natural College of Healing and the International School of Detoxification. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and has obtained additional Continuing Education Units from Purchase College, State University of New York.
Her approach to health focuses not only on the foods you put into your mouth, but also incorporates the elements of body, mind and soul. She helps her clients to access the blueprint for their health by discovering what foods fuel their body best, while eliminating excess inflammation.
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