Problems related to the digestive system are uncomfortable. One such disorder is diarrhea, which occurs in both adults and children. Diarrhea is also the most common holiday ailment. Many preparations are used in its treatment. Starting with products available in a pharmacy, ending with home methods used by our grandmothers. Probiotics are effective in preventing diarrhea, alleviating its course and supporting its treatment.
In the article you will learn:
- What is diarrhea, what are its symptoms and causes?
- Is there a cure for diarrhea?
- Why are probiotics effective for diarrhea?
- What to do to prevent diarrhea?
- What is the golden tip for a vacation?
What is diarrhea, what are its symptoms and causes?
According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), diarrhea is the passing of at least 3 loose or watery stools a day. In most cases, this is a short-term condition, but diarrhea can also be chronic, recurrent, and last more than “just” a few days.
Regardless of its causes and duration, diarrhea can be very dangerous to your health. First of all, it leads to dehydration and electrolyte disturbances. In more advanced cases, weakness, sleepiness or reactive arthritis may also occur.
Due to the cause, there are several types of diarrhea:
- Acute infectious diarrhea (viral, e.g. roto- and adenoviruses)
- Bacterial diarrhea (Escherichia sp., Salmonella sp., Shigella sp., Campylobacter sp.)
- Post-antibiotic diarrhea
- Travellers’ diarrhea
- Diarrhea after chemotherapy
In addition, diarrhea can also be caused by other factors, including:
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Other diseases, such as inflammation of the gut or pancreas
Recurrent chronic diarrhea may be caused by serious illness. Therefore, if diarrhea is frequent, it is worth consulting a doctor and carrying out basic research to help find its cause.
No cure for diarrhea?
In the available scientific literature, we can find information about various methods of treatment diarrhea. These are i.a. drugs slowing down the motility of the intestines, antisecretory drugs, activated carbon, antibiotics, hydration, probiotics or herbs. Depending on the cause of diarrhea and its duration, other methods are recommended.
Regardless of the type of diarrhea, we can distinguish two universal methods that should be implemented in every patient struggling with diarrhea. These are:
- Hydration of the body
- The use of probiotics
It is also worth noting that proper hydration of the body and the use of probiotics is very important not only during diarrhea, but also every day, also when we are healthy and feel good.
Probiotic for diarrhea – effective method
A good-quality probiotic is a recommended method for problems with diarrhea, confirmed by numerous studies. The probiotic helps to restore the proper microbiota in the intestines. What’s more, probiotics shorten the duration of diarrhea and prevent its intensity!
Selecting the proper probiotic for diarrhea is very important. When choosing a probiotic, you should always remember about its appropriate quality and biofunctionality – this is the only way to achieve the desired effects. There are also probiotic products on the market that contain both probiotic bacteria and herbs (e.g. mint), which has additional positive effect on the body.
The effectiveness of probiotics for diarrhea
The effectiveness of probiotics depends on the selection of the appropriate quality probiotic and compliance with the recommendations. Effectiveness also depends on several factors that should be considered. These include:
- The right strain
Depending on the type of diarrhea, you should choose a specific probiotic. Much depends on the probiotic strains it contains. To achieve the desired effect, it is recommended to take multi-strain probiotics.
Examples of the use of specific strains of probiotic bacteria depending on the type of diarrhea:
- for protection against diarrhea after antibiotic therapy –> L. rhamnosus GG, L. acidophilus in combination with L. bulgaricus,
- in rotavirus diarrhea –> L. casei, L. rhamnosus GG,
- in the treatment of diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile –> L. rhamnosus GG,
- to protect against diarrhea after radiation therapy –> L. acidophilus,
- for travellers’ diarrhea –> B. longum, B. breve, L.casei, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, S. salivarius,
- to support the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea –> L. rhamnosus in combination with L. reuteri.
It is important not only to choose the right probiotic, but also to dose it. It depends on the type of diarrhea and its severity. Sometimes it is necessary to consult a doctor.
The dosage of the probiotic varies depending on the product. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the product label, or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
3. Time of serving
The effective action of a probiotic is also defined by our quick reaction. You should start taking your probiotic for diarrhea as soon as symptoms appear. And it’s best when probiotics are part of our daily diet. The prophylactic use of probiotics can help to prevent diarrhea or alleviate its course when we get sick.
Remember about prophylaxis!
Remember that caring for your body all the time, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, affects the proper functioning of the body. What should you do to protect yourself from diarrhea? Here are some basic tips:
- proper personal hygiene – washing hands before each meal, washing hands after the toilet,
- rational nutrition – a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables,
- hydration – drinking about 2 liters of water a day from a known source,
- probiotics – the use of appropriate quality probiotics as part of a daily, balanced diet.
Vacation is a time of rest. Regardless of whether we are going abroad or traveling in your country, we are exposed to the travellers’ diarrhea. It is the most common of holiday ailments. It is usually a mild, self-limiting disease, but affects as much as 30-70% of travellers. Infection occurs during travel or at a destination, through pathogen-contaminated water, food, or through dirty hands.
Here are the most important information you should know about travellers’ diarrhea:
It is worth remembering, especially on vacation, to take probiotics that support the proper functioning of the digestive tract, thus reducing the risk of diarrhea.
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