Loose motions is defined as the excessive, frequent or abnormal discharge of watery or mushy stools. It is caused due to a range of different causes and can put you in an uncomfortable situation making you rush to the restroom again and again.
*Loose stools is passing soft stool than usual. There is a small difference between loose stools and diarrhoea. Having loose stools 3 or more than three times in a day is termed as diarrhoea.
In some cases, the stool has a foul or strong odour and may be accompanied with a stomach ache. Other accompanying symptoms may be loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, increased thirst and fever (in case of infection or illness).
Causes of Loose Motions
Loose motions is the body’s natural reaction to toxins, infection and dehydration. It is often caused as a result of faulty eating. Causes of loose motion are as follows:
- Viral infections or viral gastroenteritis.
- A bacterial infection that is either picked up from contaminated surfaces or by eating or drinking contaminated food and water.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Food allergies for example lactose intolerance
- SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth which is defined as an imbalance of good gut bacteria due to which the digestion and absorption is impaired.
- Dehydration following illness, vomiting, heat-exhaustion or not drinking enough water.
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Eating too much over ripe or unripe fruits
- Consuming too much greasy food.
- Intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease
- Hyperthyroidism or diabetes
- Certain foods that irritate the digestive system
- Parasitic infection
- A side effect of specific medication such as antacids or certain antibiotics.
- Radiation therapy
Persistent loose motions leave you exhausted and dehydrated. There is an electrolyte imbalance. But do not worry. With simple home remedies, you can restore the normal functioning of bowels and treat loose motions.
Home Remedies For Loose Motion
1. Coriander leaves- Coriander leaves are rich in linalool and Borneol. Both the compounds soothe stomach ache and improve digestion. Take a handful of coriander leaves. Wash them and grind to make a paste. Add the past to a glass of water. Also, add two tablespoon lemon juice to it. Drink this solution three times a day.
2. Cinnamon– Cinnamon treats some gastrointestinal problems. It is antiviral and antibacterial. It kills the microbes that cause loose motions and also stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes.
To a glass of warm water add a teaspoon honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder. Mix the ingredients and drink the concoction three times a day. You may also sprinkle a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder over yoghurt or banana and consume it.
3. Lemon with Black tea– Black tea is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. It fights off infection-causing microbes and soothes inflammation. Black tea is rich in tannin which is antioxidant.
Boil a teaspoon of black tea in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain it. When black tea cools a bit add a teaspoon of lemon juice and teaspoon honey to it and consume it. Drink this tea 2-3 times in a day.
4. Cumin Water- The antiseptic properties of cumin kills harmful bacteria. It improves digestion and soothes an irritated bowel.4
Boil a teaspoon of cumin seeds in a glass of water. Strain it and when it reaches bearable temperature consume it. Consume cumin water after meals.
5. Mustard seeds- The antibacterial properties of mustard seed effectively treats loose motions.
To 4 tablespoons water add one fourth teaspoon mustard seeds. Leave it for an hour. Strain and drink this water 2-3 times in a day.
6. Sago- Sago improves digestion and reduces stomach pain. It is one of the most effective home remedies for loose motions. Being rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium it restores electrolytes.
Soak three tablespoons of sago in enough water for 3 hours and then boil it for 10 minutes until it becomes thick in consistency. You may add more water to make it thin. Drink it 2-3 times in a day. You may add a little rock salt for taste.
7. Raw papaya- Raw papaya has healing and anti-bacterial properties. It is rich in papain which is pain relieving. It prevents bloating and strengthens the immune system. Also, it promotes the growth of good bacteria and kills intestinal parasites.
Grate small raw papaya and boil it in 4 cups water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and drink it. The loose motion will diminish and stop.
8. Bottle gourd– Bottle gourd reduces the acidity of the stomach. It rehydrates and nourishes the body.
Take a medium sized bottle gourd and grate it. Squeeze its juice and drink the juice two times in a day to restore the natural balance of the body. The juice of bottle gourd will bring back the normal functioning of intestine and stomach.
9. Stay hydrated– keeping yourself hydrated while having loose motions is very important to prevent dehydration. Make a rule of sipping little water every 15 minutes. Besides keeping you hydrated drinking lots of water will flush out the harmful microbes and impurities. You may make a mixture of salt water and sugar and consume it to preserve the body’s reserve.
10. Pomegranate– Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants and boosts immunity. Juice of pomegranate cools and settles the stomach. It eases gripping pain and also reduces the frequency of passing stool.
Drink 1-2 glass of pomegranate juice in a day.
11. Blueberry tea– Blueberry tea fights harmful pathogens. It is an antiviral and antibacterial. It is rich in anti-oxidants and eases pain and loose motions.
To a cup of hot water add 1-2 teaspoon blueberry root. Steep it for 10 minutes. Strain it. Add a half teaspoon honey and drink it warm. Drink blueberry tea three times in a day.
12. Chamomile tea- Chamomile tea is a popular home remedy for stomach upset and abdominal pain. It is anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. It relaxes the intestinal muscles, relieves inflammation and relives loose motions.
To a cup of steaming water add a teaspoon of chamomile tea and steep it for 5 minutes. Strain it, add honey to taste and consume it warm. Drink chamomile tea 2-3 times in a day.
13. Lemonade– Lemon is anti-inflammatory. Its acidic property brings back the normal pH and functions of gut. Lemon juice contains magnesium and potassium and replenishes the lost nutrients.
Squeeze juice of half lemon and mix it with a glass of water. You may add little salt and sugar to the mixture in the required amount and consume it.
14. Apple cider vinegar– Apple cider vinegar is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It protects your digestive system and fights off inflammation and infections. Pectin present in ACV improves digestion and bulks up the stool.
Mix a tablespoon of ACV with a glass of warm water. Add little honey to taste and consume the mixture immediately.
15. Buttermilk– Buttermilk is rich in water as well as probiotics. It contains good gut bacteria that aids digestion and protects the intestine from bad bacteria.
Drink a glass of buttermilk 2-3 times in a day.
16. Ginger– Ginger aids digestion. It fights off infection-causing microbes and soothes the intestine as it is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Extract the juice of ginger. To 2 teaspoons of ginger juice add a half teaspoon honey. Mix the ingredients and consume the mixture 2-3 time in a day.
Consume a bowl of cooked oatmeal two times when you have loose motions.
17. Drumstick leaves- Drumstick leaves are one of the ancient home remedies for loose motions. It is rich in anti-oxidants and is antimicrobial.
Extract fresh juice of drumstick leaves. To a teaspoon of juice add a half teaspoon of honey and consume the mixture immediately.
*Do not consume the juice of drumstick leaves more than the recommended amount, or it may worsen your condition as it has laxative properties.
18. Honey and mint– When mint is mixed with honey and lemon juice it soothes intestine, relieves indigestion and calms the stomach.
Extract mint juice. To a cup of lukewarm water add a teaspoon mint juice, a teaspoon lemon juice and teaspoon honey. Mix the ingredients and drink the beverage two times a day.
19. Turmeric– Turmeric is a natural antibiotics and fights bacteria. This yellow colored spice is also effective in bringing your digestive system back to the track. Studies show that turmeric improves irritable bowel syndrome.
To a glass of lukewarm water, add a teaspoon of turmeric. Mix well and drink the solution fast. Drink turmeric water 2-3 times in a day.
20. Fenugreek seeds- Being rich in mucilage fenugreek seeds add bulk to stool and the treats loose motions. It is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and thus fights infection-causing microbes. Also, fenugreek seeds aid digestion.
Soak two teaspoon fenugreek seeds in a cup of water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes grind it, add it to a glass of water and consume it immediately.
What to Eat If You Have Loose Motions
Whatever is the cause behind loose motions you need to pay attention to your diet. What you eat has a great effect on the digestive system. If you are experiencing an episode of loose motions, there are certain foods that you should add to your diet plan to bring the digestive system back to the track.
Foods To Consume When You Have diarrhoea
Have you heard about BRAT foods?
BRAT stands for banana, rice, apple and toast. Being bland, these foods do not aggravate your digestive system. Being binding foods these foods firms the stool.
- Banana– Bananas are rich in resistant starch that absorb the salt and water in the colon and makes stool firm. Also, it is rich in fibre, potassium and water content that restore electrolytes and the normal activity of bowel.
- White Rice– White rice is low in fibre, easy to digest and makes stool solid. We suggest your white rice and petite yellow lentil porridge as it is light to digest and provides you with the required carbs as well as protein.
*Avoid brown rice. Brown rice is high in fibre and can exacerbate diarrhoea.
- Apples– Apples contain pectin. Pectin has binding property. Also, apple provides you with natural sugar that replenishes the energy lost during the illness.
- Toast- If you are suffering from loose motions eat plain toast. It will not only add bulk to stool but will also provide you with carbohydrates to boost up your energy level.
Other than BRAT foods other foods you should include in your diet while suffering from loose motions are:
- Oatmeal– Oatmeal is rich in fibre, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium. It restores the electrolytes and also adds bulk to the stool. Consume a bowl of cooked oatmeal two times when you have loose motions.
- Yoghurt– If you are suffering from loose motions it is said to avoid dairy. But yoghurt is an exception because it is loaded with good gut bacteria. Probiotic-rich yoghurt maintains the health of the intestine and fights the bad Consume plain yoghurt after meals.
- Mashed Potato– Mashed boiled potato with a pinch of salt and pepper replenishes the body with vitamin B6 and vitamin C lost during watery stools. It is a starch diet and provides you with the required energy to recover from illness.
- Carrots- Carrots contain pectin. You may consume steamed carrot to provide instant relief to irritated guts.
- Guava- guava has astringent properties, and thus it is effective in treating diarrhoea.
- Strawberries- Being rich in fibre strawberries add bulk to stool and cures loose
During Loose motions, your body loses lots of water and electrolytes. Therefore it is essential to drink lots of water and fluids rich in the electrolyte. Below are some suggestions:
- Coconut water– Coconut water is high in potassium. It restores the electrolytes and treats dehydration. Consume a glass of coconut water 1-2 times in a day for a few days.
You may also have watermelon, carrot or orange juice to prevent exhaustion and dehydration.
- ORS– ORS or Oral Rehydration Solution is must if you have loose It is available over the counter. If ORS is not available then mix three tablespoons sugar and a teaspoon salt to 1 litre of water. Sip the solution throughout the day.
- Bottle gourd juice– Bottle gourd juice soothes tummy and hydrates the body. Take a small bottle gourd and mix it in the grinder. Extract its juice. Add a little salt and black pepper and have it two times a day.
*If bottle gourd juice does not suit you, avoid it, or it may cause nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Other sources of electrolyte and minerals that you may consume while having diarrhoea are soup broth and sports drink.
Management of loose motions includes keeping yourself hydrated, taking measures to stop the symptoms of diarrhoea and prevent future recurrence. In most of the cases, home remedies for loose motions will relief your condition. However, if the patient is severely dehydrated, it may be life-threatening. The symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, increased thirst, decreased urine output, weakness, upset stomach, dizziness, brain fog and blood pressure changes. Better see a doctor immediately if the patient experiences these symptoms. The doctor will start an IV line to replace the body fluids. If severe diarrhoea is caused due to bacterial infection, antibiotics is given, and health care professional may also give anti-diarrheal medications.
To prevent loose motions in future drink lots of water, stay away from the foods you are allergic to, consume hygienic and healthy foods and wash your hands before cooking, before eating and after eating.