Top 4 reasons for diarrhea

Top 4 reasons for diarrhea

At Florasophy, we say that looking at your poop is a form of self-care! But, when diarrhea is your daily experience, this is even more important. Loose stool is a sign of a problem and is a symptom that your digestive tract may be in trouble. If you’ve suffered from diarrhea or loose stool for months or even years, chances are you’ve been diagnosed with IBS-D, but what does that really mean? Megan’s clinical experience has revealed that diarrhea is caused by 4 primary factors, which when identified, can often be resolved!

1. Inflammatory diet

The first experiment for anyone suffering from chronic diarrhea is to clean up their diet. This is not only an important first step for health, but it’s the least expensive “test” to see if this difficult symptom is food-related. This means focusing on vegetables, lean animal protein, legumes, non-wheat whole grains and nuts and seeds while eliminating all processed foods, sugar, wheat/gluten, dairy and egg (a common food sensitivity). If this anti-inflammatory diet fixes the problem, start slowly adding foods back in one-by-one to identify the culprit.

2. Poor fat absorption

Fat, from our diet, is absorbed across the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream primarily with the help of the liver, gallbladder and pancreatic enzymes. If any of these systems are not working properly, fat migrates into the colon and causes loose and urgent bowel movements. To test if this is your cause, eat a very low-fat diet for 5 days avoiding processed food, nuts, seeds, fatty meats, eggs, dairy and oils while focusing on vegetables, fruit, lean meat, beans, lentils, and grains like rice and quinoa. If your symptoms resolve, consider slowly adding healthy oils and fats like olive oil and avocado while taking a digestive enzyme that includes ox bile and pancreatic enzymes at each meal.

3. Parasitic infection

You don’t have to travel to a foreign country to be concerned about parasitic infection. In fact, giardia is responsible for over a million reported cases of diarrhea each year. Moreso, it’s hard to get an accurate test for this little critter and so often it goes undiagnosed for years. Florasophy’s very own Portland, Oregon is a hot spot for giardia accounting for over 75% the cases of IBS-D that Megan see’s each year. If your dietary experiments don’t resolve your symptoms, consider testing for parasites.

4. Low-fiber diet

The health of our colon, the microbiome and the consistency of our poop rely on a healthy and high-fiber diet. This means that you need plenty of plants every day with a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and whole grains (for those that have balanced blood sugar). Focus on 20g insoluble fiber (this is about 4 cups raw or two cups cooked veggies and fruit) and 20 grams soluble fiber.

How to get 20 grams of soluble fiber every single day

Choose 5 of the following EVERYDAY and ensure adequate soluble fiber.

  • 1 medium size avocado
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup lima beans
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup broccoli
  • 1 ½ cup turnips
  • 2 cups cooked carrots
  • 2 tbsp. flax meal
  • 1 tbsp. Florasophy

Loose stool is no joke and if you are experiencing chronic symptoms, it’s essential to see your medical provider to rule out a serious health condition. However, if you’re still left without answers, try our helpful hints for identifying the root cause of your symptoms. Cleaning up your diet and boosting fiber may mean the end of miserable and life-changing symptoms while paving the way to health all together.

About Megan Barnett, MS, CNS

Megan Barnett, MS

Megan Barnett, MS, CNS is a clinical nutritionist, research writer, public speaker and educator with over ten years in the field of nutrition science and functional medicine. She co-owns BioLounge, a functional medicine clinic in Portland, Oregon, and she is the co-founder and product developer of Florasophy organic soluble fiber blends. She sits on the board of directors for the American Nutrition Association where she supports the credentialing and professional development of her colleagues while providing leadership in the treatment and prevention of disease using evidence-based nutrition science.