Okay, it’s not the most pleasant topic to discuss, but it’s a fact that diarrhea happens, for one reason or another. Particularly if you are traveling on the road this summer, you are likely to have times when that delicious looking stuff you pigged out on at the theme park or the exotic dish your spouse dared you to try just doesn’t sit too well in your stomach and you end up with what my mom matter-of-factly called “the runs”. That’s an apt term for it, because all you do is run to the bathroom again and again, with no relief in sight.
There are some easy remedies you can try to help ease your condition.
Eat for relief
Just in the event you get a case of diarrhea when you’re away from home, be sure to take a box of Saltines. Nibbling on these crackers and sipping a glass of distilled water will help when your stomach is mercilessly queasy. I don’t recommend that you drink the tap water in a locale that you’re unsure about, as I have known situations in which people got diarrhea because of the water they drank. Bottled water may be the best choice, in that case. If you’re traveling out of the country, it may be that bottled water is not so easy to find, then make sure you boil any tap water you have to drink. You can also consider bland foods, like bananas, apples, brown rice and dry toast to help bring some relief. Avoid dairy products, such as milk, at all costs, because you are unable to digest them properly when you have the “runnies”.
Get all hot and bothered
It may be hard to believe, but combining a-half-a-teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a-half-a-teaspoon of cinnamon to 2 cups of boiling water, allowing it to cool and then sipping a small amount of it every 30 minutes can help to stop diarrhea.
Calm things with some tea
Another good thing to pack when you’re traveling are some peppermint tea bags. Since peppermint has antispasmodic properties, it can help ease those spasms that spur on your diarrhea by calming your digestive tract muscles. Just add a peppermint tea bag to a cup of boiling water, let it steep for a few minutes, then sip 2-3 cups for relief of symptoms.
Charcoal can aid you
I would never be without activated charcoal tablets or capsules when I travel. You can find them in health food stores. They can stop some types of diarrhea right in its tracks, because it gets rid of the toxins that are causing the problem. If you are on certain prescription medications, you should check first to see if there is any drug interaction with charcoal tablets, since it absorbs what is in your stomach.
Pull out your thumb
Someone suggested this to me once, when I came down with diarrhea and I thought it sounded absolutely nuts, but I felt so horrible, at that point, that I was willing to try just about anything. Using your thumb, insert in into your naval and start to make slow, circular motions for a couple of minutes. The navel is the acupressure point for dealing with problems with diarrhea. I tried it and it actually worked for me, in combination with the other remedies I was using.
Do what the West Indians do
It’s another good old spice to the rescue once again! Add a touch of allspice in a cup of warm water and take your time sipping it, to help ease those troubled bowels.
Seek medical attention
Your symptoms may be more serious than a case of regular travel diarrhea if you are not helped with these remedies and you may also have cramps, an elevated temperature and chills. It’s highly advisable, especially in the case of children, to get to a doctor if the diarrhea is acute and doesn’t ease up within a 24-hour period. It may be dysentery, a case of food poisoning or worse.