An unreliable digestive system is a nuisance. If you experience diarrhea on a frequent basis you will know how annoying and embarrassing it can be. Even if you have suffered with this problem for years, it can be fixed. Daily diarrhea is not normal and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. In this article, we will look at the first steps you can take in identifying the root cause of the issue and regaining your digestive health.
What causes diarrhea?
Diarrhea is the name given to loose watery stools. It can occur over a short period of time (this is referred to as “acute diarrhea”) or persist over several weeks (known as “chronic diarrhea”). It can be caused by a wide range of factors such as taking certain kinds of medication, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the after-effects of surgery, over-consumption of caffeine or alcohol and infectious diseases.
Ideas for quick fixes
As previously mentioned there are many reasons why you may develop diarrhea. The focus on this article is quick fixes you can implement by yourself. Remember that if your symptoms persist or worsen then it’s time to seek medical advice. You may have an infection that requires medical treatment such as antibiotics. However in many cases diarrhea can be treated via self-help measures.
Try cutting milk from your diet
Lactose intolerance is a common cause of diarrhea. Typically, sufferers will experience the onset of bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea between 30 minutes and two hours following consumption of lactose-containing products.  Cut out all milk and dairy products for a week and see whether it makes a difference.
Some people can tolerate more lactose than others, so you may find that the occasional lactose-containing meal or snack isn’t much of a problem. Check ingredients lists with care because lactose is used in many prepackaged foods. Some foods you will want to avoid include:
Bread and other baked goods
Potato chips and similar processed snack foods
Protein shakes and bars
Processed breakfast cereals
Some people who are lactose intolerant find that they can tolerate fermented milk products because in their fermented state the lactose has been “pre-digested” prior to human consumption. Research carried out at Columbus University suggests that some fermented milk products contain enzymes that help people with lactose intolerance break down lactose efficiently. 
You may wish to try kefir, an alternative to regular yogurt that is made by adding grains from the kefir plant to regular yogurt. Regular yogurt that contains significant amounts of bioactive cultures can also be a good choice, as the bacteria support healthy gut function.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine can act as a laxative, meaning that if you suffer from chronic diarrhea it ought to be among the first substances you reduce in your diet. It’s easy to drink many cups of tea and coffee throughout the day and miss the link between what you are drinking and your bowel’s responses. Try alternating your caffeinated beverages with water or switch to decaffeinated versions of your favorite hot drinks.
Stick to sensible limits when it comes to alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol results in stomach inflammation, also known as “gastritis.” This can result in diarrhea. Moreover, drinking to excess also has a detrimental effect on the pancreas. When the pancreas becomes irritated and inflamed, the knock-on effects include digestive impairment and stomach pain. It’s important to note that pancreatic inflammation is not treatable,  so it is vital to keep your alcohol intake within safe limits.
The above self-help tips should help in maintaining a regular digestive system. Remember that in order to reap the benefits you must be consistent in making good dietary and lifestyle choices.
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