Recurring diarrhoea can really affect your quality of life – it’s no fun always needing to know where the nearest loo is!

Linda explains diarrhoea

Defined as loose, watery bowel motions or frequent looser stools, diarrhoea can be caused by a number of things. It can be short-lived, perhaps caused by drinking too much alcohol which irritates the lining of the intestines, or it can be something that lasts a lifetime and the sufferer has to learn to live with. However, I believe that most cases of chronic, debilitating diarrhoea can be improved. It shouldn’t be necessary for anyone to live with diarrhoea. There are a number of relatively simple changes that can help.

However, severe diarrhoea that lasts three days or longer needs investigating by a healthcare practitioner. In the first instance, visit a pharmacist who will refer you to your GP if there is a need.

Diarrhoea can be caused by:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Viruses
  • Bacterial infections/food poisoning (the number one cause of IBS)
  • Parasites
  • Stress
  • Unfamiliar water with a high mineral content
  • Amoebiasis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Dysbiosis/unbalanced gut flora
  • Food intolerances
  • Drug side effects

Linda recommends

A gut infection – normally food poisoning – is the number one cause of diarrhoea. If you have had food poisoning, I recommend that you immediately begin taking a good quality probiotic, such as my high-strength, multi-strain Live Bacteria capsules, twice daily before meals, together with my activated Charcoal capsules. Charcoal has a long history of use as a traditional remedy – it has excellent absorption qualities, so is very useful in food poisoning events. Charcoal can absorb the pathogenic bacteria responsible for the food poisoning and carry it out of the intestines. It has also been proven to help reduce intestinal gas. When travelling to far-flung places, some people take activated charcoal and live bacteria daily to reduce the risk of succumbing to stomach ‘bugs’.  My Travel Survival Kit contains Live Bacteria (probiotic) capsules, Digestive Enzymes tablets, Garlic tablets and Tummy Tea.  Ideal for holiday or business travel, this kit protects travellers, whose digestive systems can become sensitised by over-exposure to unfriendly food-borne or water-borne bacteria, over-processed airline food, and the change in intestinal pressure caused by air travel.

Viruses can also upset your gut bacteria, so take daily live bacteria for three months after contracting a virus.

Stress can also cause diarrhoea. When we are stressed, releases of adrenalin and cortisol cause the system to immediately void the bowels and bladder. When we were running away from wild animals, this was useful as it kept us lighter and more nimble – however when most of your stress comes from work, family pressures and meeting deadlines, it is of no use whatsoever.

To soothe an upset and irritated gut, try some ‘Tummy Tea’. A blend of ginger root, liquorice root, fennel seeds, cardomon seeds, fenugreek seeds, carom seeds and black peppercorns, this special tea will help calm and relax the stomach and intestines.

Linda’s tummy tips

  • Try reducing your fibre intake – cut down on bran and wholemeal bread. Insoluble fibre can irritate the delicate lining of the digestive tract.
  • Reduce your intake of fruit and vegetables – five-a-day can be too much for some people.
  • Certain foods, in particular wheat, dairy, yeast, caffeine, citrus fruits and corn can irritate the digestive system and cause diarrhoea. Try eliminating wheat and dairy initially and monitor symptoms. If you continue to have problems, consult a colon hydrotherapist or nutritional therapist and consider testing for food intolerance.
  • When abroad, drink bottled water – this will reduce the likelihood of picking up amoebiasis or parasites. If you drink water with a high mineral content, take an astringent herb like agrimony or a calming herb like chamomile. Make a point of eating locally-made live yogurt and always take your high-strength multi-strain Live Bacteria capsules and some Charcoal capsules with you on holiday.
  • Consider having a colon hydrotherapy treatment if suffering with any of the above mentioned gut problems, with the exception of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions cannot be treated with colonic hydrotherapy if still in flare-up. When in remission, colonic hydrotherapy can be undertaken.

If diarrhoea is severe and lasts for more than three days, consult a pharmacist who may refer you to your GP for stool testing.

For more in-depth advice, our Diet Plans section includes nutrition plans and lifestyle tips, plus my Diarrhoea Plan.