Living with Chronic Diarrhea


Acute cases of diarrhea will last no longer than 14 days.  Any diarrhea episode over 14 days is classified as chronic and requires much more attention.  Chronic diarrhea is brought on by a more serious health condition such as Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or colitis.  The chronic diarrhea associated with these conditions can do serious long term damage to parts of the digestive system; additionally, it can cause extreme social distress and anxiety.  These are life altering and sometimes life-threatening conditions that must be managed appropriately.


With any type of chronic diarrhea, there is an underlying condition causing the diarrhea.  Once this is diagnosed, you can use the characteristic of the condition to help treat the diarrhea.  For many conditions, diet plays a key role in controlling the diarrhea.  People who suffer from chronic diarrhea normally have dietary “triggers” that set off episodes of diarrhea.  Common triggers include lactose, spicy and/or greasy foods and sugar alcohols. Every case is different and triggers vary broadly.  The best way for an individual to identify their personal triggers is by keeping a food diary.  By listing everything one eats and when one ate it, each individual will be able to narrow down what foods give them problems by simple indexing this diary.  Once one identifies the problem foods they can avoid them or learn how much of it their body finds acceptable.


Supplements are great aids to people who suffer from any chronic diarrhea condition.  Probiotics are the bacteria found in the digestive tract that helps digestion and prevent diarrhea.  Probiotic supplements, as well as eating yogurt can help the body slow or stop diarrhea.  Zeolite supplements have also shown great success in preventing, stopping and helping to control diarrhea.


Along with food triggers, stress is also a very common diarrhea trigger for sufferers of chronic diarrhea.  Managing stress levels is especially important to avoid episodes of diarrhea or flare ups from IBD or IBS. 

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