When you have diarrhea, the only thing you want to do is to stay at home. After all, you need to have access to a toilet when you have the urge to go. This is something that you can’t do when you are at work or traveling.
For busy workers and entrepreneurs, taking a prolonged leave of absence because of this condition, though, is sometimes not an option. Aside from having a limited number of sick leaves, you will be worried about the pile of work waiting for you on your desk.
If you can’t afford to miss several days of work due to diarrhea, you have to find ways to deal with the symptoms as you go back to your usual activities, which may include traveling or commuting.
Below are some tips for coping with diarrhea as you go back to work and your other usual activities:
1. Boost your intake of probiotics daily
Probiotics can help improve the symptoms caused by short-term diarrhea as well as those associated with certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. This group of good microorganisms can also prevent the growth of more harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
They also boost your immune system, which can help you manage the other symptoms better.
Because of these reasons, probiotics are also an effective diarrhea medicine that you should take as prescribed by your specialist.
Increasing your intake of probiotics will also serve you well as you go back to your daily activities. Consider taking supplements or eating more foods rich in good bacteria such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and tempeh.
By doing so, you will continue experiencing the health benefits of maintaining the right balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut.
2. Continue taking your anti-diarrhea medicine
If you have not completed your dosage for the prescribed anti-diarrhea medication, continue doing so.
Your loperamide pill or tablet reduces the rate at which fluids move through your intestines. Your bismuth subsalicylate medicine, on the other hand, lowers the inflammation in your gut and fights tummy bugs.
Completing your prescribed medications will help you reduce the discomfort and other symptoms of diarrhea, thereby making you fit and ready to take on your usual activities.
3. Make sure you keep a stash of essentials handy
When you are still recovering from diarrhea, you will always have that “got to go” feeling anytime and anywhere. As such, you need to be prepared all the time.
Always bring a box of tissue paper or roll of toilet paper with you. Place one in your bag and one in your car.
If you use wipes, make sure you have a pack in your bag and car too.
Don’t forget to bring a hand sanitizer or travel hand soap sheets since you need to wash properly after using the bathroom.
4. Always bring spare clothes
If you are still suffering from a severe case of diarrhea but you can’t simply stay at home, you need to have a stash of extra clothes handy in case of emergencies.
Place an extra set of clothes and underwear in your bag. Leave this in your desk drawer, office locker, or car.
Make sure you have a waterproof, sealable bag as well which you can use for storing soiled clothes.
5. Be gentle when cleaning up
Constantly using toilet paper can cause you to have a sore behind, which will make sitting down on your chair or a long drive home uncomfortable. You can avoid this discomfort by using only soft, high-ply toilet paper.
If you opt for wipes, use ones that are alcohol- or perfume-free since these substances can irritate your bottom.
Additionally, avoid wiping too forcefully since this can also irritate your skin.
6. Stay hydrated
The frequent trips to the toilet will leave you dehydrated. To keep up your energy and focus on your work while dealing with diarrhea, stay hydrated throughout the day.
If you were given electrolyte rehydration powders, continue adding them to your water and drinking them.
More importantly, take frequent sips of water during the day. Keep a bottle on your desk and car so that you don’t forget to drink.
As much as possible, avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages since they can cause you to get dehydrated faster. Do not drink milk either since this can aggravate your symptoms.
If you want to drink something more flavorful, opt for herbal teas. Chamomile tea, in particular, can help ease the symptoms of diarrhea.
7. Choose what you eat wisely
Certain foods can worsen the symptoms of diarrhea. These include fried or greasy and spicy dishes, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, stay away from dairy products (especially if you are lactose intolerant), artificial sweeteners, and sugary food and drinks.
To avoid going to the toilet frequently, continue your diet of eating bland foods only. Stick to bananas, rice, toast, boiled carrots and potatoes, and skinless baked chicken.
8. Soothe your bottom
Whenever possible, wash your bottom with mild soap and lukewarm water after going to the toilet. By doing so, you help ease the irritation on your skin.
After washing, apply a soothing ointment, cream, or balm. This will help prevent your skin from drying and alleviate the irritation.
At night, soak or sit in a tub of warm water or a sitz bath since this can also soothe your skin.
These simple steps will help you feel better at night after a long tiring day.
Lastly, your brain and gastrointestinal tract are interconnected. Because of this, when you are feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed out at work, you can make the symptoms worse.
As such, find time to relax and de-stress at the end of and even throughout the day. Practice breathing exercises when you start feeling anxious. Join a yoga class or meditate on your own.
Exercising will help you forget your worries, too. Spend an hour at the gym, go for a walk, or do any sport you like.
Finally, once you’re feeling better, reward yourself. Schedule a day at a spa, go on a weekend getaway, or try a new experience.
With these tips, you will be able to manage the symptoms of diarrhea, be prepared when on the road, and be productive at work.