Diarrhea & Dysentery management

29 April, 2010 (20:21) | Diseases | By: Health news

The condition in which water content and the frequency of passing of stool increases is known as diarrhea and dysentery. Usually in dysentery the stool is associated with mucous and blood. It may be acute or chronic and may present with few clinical features of moderate to severe dehydration and may even lead to death.

Many causes like infections, worm infestation, psychosomatic illnesses etc have been mentioned. Root cause of it however is indigestion and therefore dietary measures should aim to increase the strength of digestive fire and improve digestion.

In case of features like nausea, vomiting, heaviness in abdomen, flatulence, foul smelling sticky stools along with diarrhea, then medicine or diet should not aim to stop the passage of stools completely but ignoring the frequency of stools, measures to increase digestive fire strength should be aimed. Only if in case of acute symptoms of diarrhea and dysentery with absolutely watery stools and signs of dehydration, emergency measures to stop the process completely, have to be administered.


To be taken:

  • Solid food:
  • a) Grains and cereals: Rice, green gram, lentil, barley, pigeon pea and sesame are useful. Popped rice or popped jowar (like popped corn) is useful in such condition.

    b) Vegetables: Ginger, plantain flower etc is to be used.

    c) Fruits: Ripe banana, black plum, pomegranate, fruits of palm tree etc indicated.

    d) Spices: dry ginger, coriander seeds, green coriander, cumin seeds, nutmeg, turmeric etc should be used to increase the strength of digestive fire.

    e) Non-vegetarian diet: flesh of deer, antilope, rabbit, partridge, small fish (from fresh waters) etc are useful.

    f) Dairy products: Cow’s milk, cream of milk, curd, buttermilk, white butter and clarified butter (ghee) are useful.

  • Liquid:
  • a) Hot water for drinking purpose all the time.

    b) Water boiled with dried ginger should be given in conditions such as low digestive fire strength, foul smelling sticky stool etc.

    c) Buttermilk adding dried ginger, ajowan, black pepper etc can be useful for drinking as it aggravates the digestion process.

    d) Hot infusion process of popped rice and popped jowar (made like popped corn process) is beneficial in this condition. This hot infusion should be consumed for strengthening the digestive fire as well as for quick re-hydration.

    e) Soup of lentil, pigeon pea is useful in diarrhea and dysentery.

    f) Coconut water is good for re-hydration.

    g) Milk along with honey and sugar is useful in bleeding dysentery.

    h) The water in which rice grain is washed and rinsed for 15-20 min. is used for drinking after filtering in case of bleeding dysentery.


    1. In early stage of diarrhea fasting should be done. Later very light diet like soup etc should be given. Only when digestive fire improves then some solid food like rice should be asked to consume. 2. Non-vegetarian food should be prepared with additional clarified butter (ghee) and pomegranate juice if it is to be consumed in such condition. 3. Cream of curd should be fried in the clarified butter (ghee) and oil and then sugar, dry ginger should be added to it. This combination works well in cases of dysentery. 4. For diarrhea associated with blood in the stools, the combination of black sesame and sugar, white butter and honey and sugar should be used. At the same time milk and rice should be used in dine. 5. Rice should be dry fried before cooking. 6. Preparation of menthol leaves with sesame and garlic is useful in such conditions.

    Not to be taken:

  • Solid food:
  • a) Grains and cereals: wheat, black gram, spiked dolichos should be avoided.

    b) Vegetables: Pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, green pea, drumsticks, cucumber etc are contraindicated.

    c) Fruits: Mango, beetle nut, pumpion gourd, grapes, hog plum, coconut, watermelon, melon, jujube, grapefruit etc should be avoided.

    d) Bakery products: Pastries, white bread, biscuits are to be avoided as they may cause flatulence and increase indigestion.

  • Liquids:
  • a) Very large quantity of impure water and very cold water and water in frequent intervals can cause some problem in such condition.

    b) In such condition, use of sugarcane juice should be avoided.

    c) Use of any type of liquor should be avoided.


    1. Food products heavy to digest like pizza, burger etc should be avoided. 2. Food, water of unhygienic places should strictly be avoided. 3. Food should not be too salty and spicy. 4. Use of milkshakes and fruit salads should be avoided. 5. Use of tomato sauce, ajinomoto, jam, pickles etc should be strictly avoided. 6. Irregular food habits, late night food intake and left over food consumption are strictly prohibited in such conditions.

    Non-dietary measures:

  • General body massage and fomentation should be avoided.
  • Bath especially with cold water is not appropriate in this condition.
  • Suppression of natural urges should be avoided.
  • Taking not enough sleep can have some adverse effects in such condition.
  • Increased and uncontrolled sex aggravates such condition.
  • Uncontrolled anger can cause adverse effects in such cases.
  • In case of bleeding with the stools, anus is washed with milk or decoction of astringent medicinal herbs.
  • A piece of cotton dipped in sandalwood oil or medicated clarified butter (ghee) can be kept in anus to stop bleeding.
  • An enema using medicated buttermilk can be given in such cases.
  • In some cases, the prolapsed rectum or anus is associated with diarrhea and dysentery. Here oil should be applied on it with light fomentation and then that prolapsed part is pushed back in its original place. The cotton piece dipped in clarified butter (ghee) should be kept there for some days to get the muscle tone of surrounding muscles back
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