Diarrhea

Having at least three loose motions in 24 hours in called diarrhoea in modern science. Diarrhoea is a very common problem affecting all age groups at one time or another. Though it can be managed well in most of the cases, sometimes it proves detrimental. Epidemics of diarrhoea are seen in all parts of world. In Ayurveda, diarrhoea is called Atisaar.

Causes

Diarrhoea is most commonly caused by the infections of bacteria, viruses and parasites in digestive system. These microbes generally enter the digestive system through infected food, water, milk, flesh or other eatables. Diseases like cholera and typhoid also cause diarrohea. Non-infectious conditions that can cause diarrhoea are inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn鈥檚 disease, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal allergies, intolerance to lactose or gluten and hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms

         Multiple loose, watery motions

         Cramps in abdomen

         Reduction in urine quantity

         Bleeding with stools (in some cases)

         Burning of anus (in some cases)

         Low BP (in some cases)

Ayurvedic View

According to Ayurveda, weak gastric fire, improper food, impure water, toxins and mental stress usually cause atisaar. Aggravatede vata pulls down the fluid part from various tissues of the body and brings it into the intestine. There this fluid mixes with the stool which then leads to loose, watery motions. Depending upon which particular Dosha is vitiated, atisaar has been classified into Vataj, Pittaj, Kaphaj, Sannipatik, Bhayaj and Shokaj types in Ayurveda. Vataj atisaar (caused mainly by vitiated Vayu) is marked by painful loose motions with sounds & foam, gases and cramps. Pittaj atisaar (caused mainly by vitiated Pitta) causes motions with burning sensation at anus, offensive odour and varying colours like green, red, blue. Thirst, giddiness, sweating and fever are often present. Kaphaj atisaar (caused mainly by vitiated Kapha) shows sticky, oily, whitish motions with foul odour, nausea, lazy feeling and excess sleep. Sannipatik atisaar is caused by vitiation of all three Doshas and therefore have mixed characteristics. Bhayaj and Shokaj atisaar are caused by fear and grief respectively.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

         Sufficient intake of water and liquid foods is always adviced in diarrhoea.

         Light, easy to digest food articles such as liquid rice, porridge are recommended. Soups made from lentils are also good in diarrhoea. Fruits like sweet lime, oranges, apple, melons are allowed.

         Heavy, spicy, fried food is prohibited. Non-veg items, eggs are also not allowed. Sugarcane juice is also forbidden.

         Water is adviced to be boiled before drinking.

         While goat milk is more recommended, cow鈥檚 milk may also be allowed. Buffelo milk is however forbidden. Mother鈥檚 milk is however always allowed.

Home Remedies

         Add 1 teaspoon of ginger to water and boil the water. Drink the mixture when it is lukewarm every one hour.

         Take 50 gm of fresh pomegranate skin. Soak it in 800 ml of water for one hour. Boil until a quarter of the volume remains (200 ml). Store this mixture in a clean, dry bottle. Take a couple of tablespoons several times a day. If there is blood in the stools, add half a teaspoon of honey to the decoction

         Mix one teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of common salt in a cup of water. Small doses of this mixture (around a quarter cup) can be given whenever the patient is thirsty.

         Take one teaspoon of Isabgol (psyllium husk) with one cup of yogurt.

         Mix 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and cumin powder with honey to make a paste. Take 1 teaspoon three times a day

         Roast 2/3 teaspoon of cumin seeds and powder them. Add a pinch each of ginger powder, cinnamon powder and black pepper powder. Mix in 1 cup of yogurt. Eat twice a day.