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  • Writer's pictureTania Cucciniello

The Run-Down on the Runs

When a person has the runs, it’s because they have got to run straight to the bathroom. The suspect: diarrhea.

Diarrhea is a common digestive system problem that many people experience; even the best of us who have a healthy lifestyle in place. Diarrhea causes your stool to be watery, loose, and frequent! Repeatedly going to the bathroom can cause abdominal pain, weakness, and severe fatigue. This happens because the more often we go, the more “good” gut bacteria get flushed out.

An unhealthy gut causes fatigue, but what caused the diarrhea in the first place?

What are the main causes of diarrhea?

Diarrhea can be caused by several things, including:

  • Inflammation in the gut

  • A bacterial infection

  • A parasite

  • Dehydration

  • New medication or antibiotic

  • A food allergy

Despite how it happened, the one that appears amongst all the causes is dehydration. Whenever there is a loose and watery stool, the body is dehydrated. At this time, electrolytes are needed to restore hydration, which will help the stools return to normal.

When should you worry about diarrhea?

Diarrhea can be acute and last just a few hours to a day. As mentioned, you may feel dehydrated, excessive thirst, little or no urination, severe weakness or fatigue, light-headedness, abdominal and/or rectal pain. When diarrhea lasts more than 48 - 72 hours without improvement, you may need to seek medical attention.

There might be a more clinical type of diarrhea that needs attention, such as persistent diarrhea, which can last 14 days or more; and then there is acute blood diarrhea, when there is blood or black in the stool.

Treatment & Prevention Tips

If your diarrhea lasts less than 48 - 72 hours, you can use any of these home remedies to stop the runs. It is important to:

  • Hydrate with electrolytes.

  • Eat bananas, rice, toast (preferably gluten-free), Greek yogurt, and bone broths, which will help stop the diarrhea and soothe the gut.

  • Avoid raw fruits, vegetables, and meats.

  • Avoid fast foods and processed foods, as this will only increase inflammation in the gut.

  • Stay away from dairy, except for a grass-fed sourced Greek yogurt for probiotics.

  • Replenish probiotics. Other probiotic-rich foods to have on hand include sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, and kombucha.

After 48 – 72 hours, if you want to buy a brand like Pepto Bismol or Imodium to stop it, you can do so safely. Especially if the diarrhea was caused by a parasite, then allowing the first two to three days to pass naturally should have given enough time for the parasite to flush out of your system, therefore the Pepto Bismol or Imodium won’t block it from passing through.

Once going to the bathroom has returned to normal, slowly introduce the other foods that were avoided, except for the fast and processed foods. Your gut is still in a sensitive state and foods that are deep fried or full of sugar can quickly bring back that severe abdominal pain.

Staying hydrated is of utmost importance, especially during hot summer days! As a general rule, the average person drinks about 8 glasses per day, however it should be more on days you’re active or spend more time outside.

To prevent diarrhea, we need to prevent dehydration. When we’re hydrated, we have better circulation, less pain, less stiffness throughout the body, better energy, better digestive systems, and better moods. The gut-brain axis is happy, and so are we.


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