Effective Natural Remedies for Managing Diarrhea - Ted's Q&A

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Diarrhea in 82-yr-old Grandmother

Posted by S (Anonymous) on 06/06/2012

Dear Ted: I learned about you and your vast natural medicine knowledge through earthclinic and communicated with you by email last year. Today, I am writing to ask your expert advice on behalf of my grandmother. She is 82-years old and after having diarrhea for over a year that was them continuous from February 29, 2012 through the end of April of 2012, her Potassium got "dangerously low" and she was hospitalized. She was diagnosed with microscopic colitis that showed on the pathology after a colonoscopy with multiple biopsies was done. What makes this extremely difficult is that she is completely paralyzed on her left side as a result of a stroke in January 2008 due to her history of atrial fibrillation and unable to take care of herself at all. She is cared for in her home by her husband and children so you can imagine, the incontinent diarrhea sometimes up to 8 to 10 times a day is a very challenging situation! She is taking Coumadin, Metoprolol and Digoxin for the atrial fibrillation. She also takes Armour thyroid for hypothyroidism. I had recommended trying apple cider vinegar back in March but they didn't notice any help.

After her diagnosis of the microscopic colitis, the gastroenterologist, put her on tincture of Opium in hopes of stopping the diarrhea. At the time, she had no appetite and was barely eating. The Opium stopped the diarrhea for 1 day. She then started eating a little bit and the diarrhea promptly returned so Opium was stopped. The gastroenterologist also put her on a steroid, Entocort (3 every morning). The family pharmacist recommended Donnatol and she started taking that and for a few days was down to 2-3 liquid bowel movements daily which was an improvement over the 8-10. After a few weeks, the doctor placed her on Asacol intending for it to be the long term medication and started tapering her off of the Entocort. The liquid incontinent bowel movements increased to 3-4 and are now up to 5 times daily with her on the Asacol and Donnatol 3 times a day and the Entocort just 1 in the morning. She also has been avoiding dairy products for almost 3 weeks with no improvement.

She has been tested numerous times for bacteria and is always negative. She has extreme difficulty taking pills and complains they "gag" her. Her taste buds have been "defective" for a long time now. She used to enjoy "sweets" and now can't stand sweet things. She doesn't like salt or sour tastes and can only tolerate "bland" food. She also is starting to have occasional confusion.

Any recommendations or advice you might have would be very much appreciated! Thank you for your time.

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
391 posts

Shellie: Tannic acid 1/4 teaspoon in a liter water or more may lessen the diarrhea, and at the same time kill the harmful bacteria. This can be taken like three times a day as necessary. She can't eat because the liver hasn't worked because of vitamin B complex depletion. It can be taken B50 x 3 times a day, should give her energy. The colitis is probably caused by a mycobacterium that most standard tests fail to find. Tannic acid will get rid of most diarrhea, and keeping potassium under control will help, but also some magnesium gluconate, but at low dose, such as 100 mg may help correct some imbalance. Oat bran, corn bran or wheat bran may help if she doesn't have allergy issues. If weakness is a problem, methylene blue 0.1% 4 drops twice a day, in morning and in afternoon may help.

Diarrhea is caused by lack of short chain fatty acid, so that is why oat bran, wheat bran, corn bran or even rice bran will help. The digestive enzymes (if taken enough) will lead to normalization of digestion, if taken with every meal.

Gastrointestinal trouble can normalize with two major supplements if taken at least once before sleep such as DHEA, 25 mg and melatonin 5 mg with every meal.


06/14/2012: S replies: "Hi Ted: Thank you so much for your response. I'm wondering what is tannic acid, methylene blue, and DHEA and where can I obtain them? How much of the 1/4 tsp tannic acid to 1 liter of water should be taken three times a day? In your opinion, should we just try one thing at a time or all together? Is it OK to to take the tannic acid, B50, magnesium gluconate, methylene blue, digestive enzymes, DHEA and melatonin all every day?

Also, the gastroenterologist has placed her on a short term tapering dose of Prednisone. Are any of the natural remedies contraindicated with the Prednisone?

What would be the bast way to take the brans? As a cold cereal, hot cereal or baked in healthy muffins with coconut oil?"

06/14/2012: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Both DHEA and melatonin help the intestinal tract to return to normal. Very few people know that melatonin is also produced by gastrointestinal tract to help digestion, and DHEA, is deficient in most people especially when they are sick, but both help normalization of blood glucose if given at night. The B50 taken 3 times a day, helps energy level. The tannic acid is available in a chemical supply store, DHEA is a common vitamin supplement and can be purchase on the internet. The methylene blue is a bit harder to obtain but is available in chemical supply store and you mixed a 0.1% concentration. It can be obtained from fish aquarium shops at 1% where you have to dilute further to 0.1% that's ten parts more water, of course. If tannic acid cannot be found, a green tea extract can be used also, or a suitable green tea as it contains some tannic acid, at somewhat more then tannic acid say, 1/3 teaspoon per liter three times a day to help diarrhea.

Magnesium gluconate is preferred as it is more acidic to prevent some diarrhea effect from other forms of magnesium such as magnesium citrate, but is needed to help the heart, as it is true for B50, CoQ10 (400 mg) and selenium 200 mcg x 3 times a day.

A good natural substitute for prednisolone is curcumin taken throughout the day will help the inflammation.

As to which way is to best way to take bran, it can be taken as a soup or muffins is fine. Basically to restore the short chain fatty acid, especially the butyric acid, with coconut oil is also fine.


Replied by Citygirl27
Richardson, Tx, Usa

If you can't find a chemical supply store, try black tea. Regular english breakfast, Tazo 'Awake' PG Tips or Tetley tea are popular brands of black tea. They all contain significant amounts of tannic acid. That is what is in it that stains your clothes and teeth. You didn't say which country you were from, so not sure which teas you have in your market. I have never used it for diarrhea but I have never had diarrhea either. Possibly because I've been drinking tea since I was 10.

Also try psyllium husks in water. They are highly absorbent and will soak up some of the extra liquid in the digestive tract as well as being bulk-forming. If you can't get those, increase fiber intake however you can with other methods.