Common Reasons for Explosive Diarrhea & Natural Treatments
Explosive diarrhea is a severe form of diarrhea where loose watery stool and excessive gas are expelled with a lot of force and noise. Even just one occurrence of explosive diarrhea can be very distressing and embarrassing. A large buildup of stool and gas creates pressure in the rectum causing diarrhea to be passed “violently” and “loudly.” This may be accompanied by stomach cramps, abdominal noises, pain in the abdomen, and nausea.
There are many causes for diarrhea, all of which can result in severe diarrhea. Very often viral or bacterial infections can cause inflammation and infection in the digestive tract, resulting in diarrhea. Or, chronic conditions like food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease can cause frequent cases of severe diarrhea.
Usually, the symptoms of diarrhea can be treated using effective natural treatments. Ingredients like ginger, yogurt, and chamomile tea all help to quickly relieve the inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract. Probiotics can also help to and speedily restore the delicate balance of good bacteria in the gut to promote healthy digestion.
In this article, you can learn more about the causes of explosive, loud diarrhea and what you can do to help speed up the healing process.
Common Reasons for Explosive Diarrhea
Food can pass quicker than normal if your digestive tract is upset due to an infection, an underlying medical condition, or from taking medications. This causes a buildup of partially digested food, gas, and fluid in the lower gut. The result is abdominal discomfort, nausea, and loose, watery stools. A large buildup of watery stool and forceful colon contractions will combine to cause explosive diarrhea together with a loud expulsion of gas.
Here are some of the most common reasons for having an episode of explosive diarrhea.
Food poisoning is a common cause of experiencing an unpleasant episode of explosive diarrhea after eating. Bacteria, viruses, or parasites can contaminate food and cause serious intestinal infections. Along with watery diarrhea, you will probably experience severe stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting. If the food poisoning infection is very severe, you could experience explosive diarrhea.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that a cyclospora infection caused by a parasite can cause explosive diarrhea. This parasite is commonly found in contaminated water and on fresh produce, especially imported lettuce, fresh basil, and raspberries.1
To prevent outbreaks of diarrhea caused by food poisoning, it’s important to always wash fresh fruit and vegetables and wash your hands before preparing meals.
For more information on how to prevent being infected with foodborne illnesses and how to recover faster from food poisoning, please read my article about how long does food poisoning last and how to recover faster.
Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
Suffering from explosive diarrhea could be a symptom that you have been infected with a stomach bug or virus. The most common cause of gastroenteritis is being infected with the norovirus or rotavirus. The symptoms are very similar to food poisoning, and it causes crampy pains, vomiting, and watery diarrhea.
According to Dr. Tim Kenny on Patient.info, depending on the severity of the viral infection, you many have severe diarrhea with vomiting for several days.2
Because the viral infection is highly infectious, it’s important to always wash your hands after using the bathroom. Dr. Kenny recommends that if you are infected with gastroenteritis, you should limit close contact with others for 48 hours after your last bout of diarrhea.
Traveler’s diarrhea is often experienced by people traveling to countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. The main reason for an intestinal upset is because of drinking contaminated water or eating food that has been prepared in unsanitary conditions. Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that the most common cause of the infectious diarrhea is the E.coli bug.3
Dr. Blahd says that traveler’s diarrhea causes an abrupt onset of diarrhea along with explosive and painful gas. These symptoms may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and general weakness.
The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders provides the following advice to travelers to prevent explosive diarrhea when being abroad:4
- Don’t drink tap water and don’t have ice in drinks.
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables that can be peeled and that you can peel yourself.
- Avoid raw meat and shellfish.
- Don’t eat meat or shellfish that is served warm.
If you also experience severe bouts of vomiting because of food poisoning, then my article on how to stop vomiting has practical advice and many effective home remedies.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Another cause of explosive diarrhea with severe stomach pain is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease cause inflammation in your digestive tract which can result in mild to severe diarrhea, fatigue, cramping, and a reduced appetite.
The Journal of Neuroinflammation says that this chronic intestinal inflammatory condition severely affects the gut functions. The inflammation causes changes in the way the digestive system works. The result is that IBD causes explosive diarrhea with a very strong urge to pass stool.5
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another chronic digestive condition that can cause loud and violent watery stools. As with many digestive disorders, IBS causes mild to severe abdominal pain and diarrhea along with bloating, excessive gas, and, sometimes, constipation.
Doctors aren’t sure what exactly causes IBS, but it’s thought that there are a number of factors that can trigger it like, stress, trigger foods, infections, having sensitive intestines, and digestive problems.6 One or more of these factors can cause a constant urge to pass stool.
Irritable bowel syndrome can be a difficult health condition to manage. However, there are many natural and effective treatments to manage IBS that you can read about on this website.
Allergies or food intolerance
Allergies to certain foods or having an intolerance to them can cause severe diarrhea with a lot of gas.
Dr. Luqman Seidu on WebMD says that people with food allergies or food intolerance will usually experience nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain after eating food. If you suspect that a certain food is causing your excessive gas and frequent bouts of severe diarrhea, Dr. Seidu recommends keeping a food diary to identify the foods that are causing the discomfort. You could start with eliminating dairy products, as many people are allergic to or have an intolerance to products made from milk.7
Taking a course of antibiotics can cause explosive diarrhea because they interfere with the natural flora in the gut. Your gut needs the proper balance of bacteria to digest food properly and eliminate waste from the body.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School say that in most people, a course of antibiotics causes mild diarrhea. However, sometimes the antibiotics can kill off so much “good” bacteria that a harmful bacteria, Clostridium difficile (C.diff), starts to grow out of control, damaging the intestinal tract. This can lead to explosive diarrhea with watery stools.8
If you are taking antibiotics, please read my article on the 3 things you must do to restore healthy intestinal flora to your gut.
Best Natural Treatments for Explosive Diarrhea
There are many natural and effective treatments that can help to relieve the discomfort caused by explosive diarrhea. These home remedies can also reduce the amount of gas and help your digestive system to function properly.
Dehydration can cause various health problems and diarrhea can cause the body to dehydrate quickly. However, if you have explosive diarrhea, it’s even more important that you keep yourself well-hydrated. When you pass large amounts of watery stool, you lose important minerals, salts, and electrolytes from your body. Rehydration involves replacing lost fluid and electrolytes.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends fruit juice, broth, and salted crackers to replace lost fluids. You can also make your own rehydration drink to prevent diarrhea-induced dehydration. This is what you should do:
- Mix 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 8 tsp. sugar, and 8 oz. orange juice together with 1 liter of water.
- Drink regularly throughout the day to prevent dehydration after diarrhea.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can help to calm an upset stomach and help stop diarrhea quicker.
A study in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that ginger has medicinal uses and that it can help to resolve gastrointestinal disorders. It also helps to relieve stomach spasms and reduce the frequency of diarrhea.9
To use ginger to reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea, you need a 1-inch piece of ginger. Cut the ginger into small pieces and put in a cup of boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Drink 2-3 times a day to help calm your digestive tract. Drink the ginger remedy daily until you no longer have any kind of diarrhea.
Natural, unsweetened yogurt is a great food to help get rid of diarrhea quicker. The best kind of natural yogurt to use is one that contains live active cultures which can restore balance to your gut. The most common live cultures in yogurt are lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology published a study showing that fermented milk products with live cultures help to treat diarrhea caused by antibiotic treatments or bacterial infections in the intestines.10
To help relieve the discomfort caused by diarrhea and restore your healthy digestive system, eat a cup of yogurt 2-3 times a day. Continue doing this for a few days even after the diarrhea has stopped. This will help repair your digestive system and help it to work properly again.
Probiotics are good for your general health and they can help you recover quicker from severe diarrhea. Probiotics work by helping to restore the balance of “good” bacteria to your intestinal tract.
Dr. David Kiefer on WebMD recommends taking probiotic supplements in cases of diarrhea caused by bacterial infections, traveler’s diarrhea, and using antibiotics.11 Other studies have shown that probiotics also help to treat the intestinal discomfort and diarrhea caused by viral infections.12
Most people associate chamomile tea for its soothing properties on the mind. However, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of chamomile can also help to treat episodes of explosive diarrhea.
A study into the antidiarrheal effect of chamomile extracts found that they help to heal various digestive disorders, including diarrhea.13
It is very easy to make your own chamomile tea to treat diarrhea. Take 2-3 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers and let them infuse in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes. Remember to keep the cup covered to prevent the healing chamomile extracts escaping in the steam. Drink the chamomile remedy for diarrhea 2-3 times a day to help stop diarrhea quicker.
The bland diet can help your digestive system heal quicker after an infection, food poisoning, or other condition that has caused explosive diarrhea. The bland diet consists of eating foods that are easy to digest and don’t irritate your intestinal tract even more.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend eating bland foods to help recover from the effects of severe diarrhea.14
To find out what are the best foods to eat on the bland diet and what you should avoid, please read my article on the ultimate guide to the bland diet.
Explosive Diarrhea – When to See a Doctor
Although most cases of diarrhea, even explosive diarrhea, clear up within a few days, there are some serious causes of diarrhea that require urgent medical attention. In cases of diarrhea, you should see a doctor if you also have the following symptoms:
- Episodes of severe diarrhea that last for more than 3 days (24 hours for a child).
- You have severe abdominal or rectal pain.
- Bloody stools or black tarry stools.
- Signs of dehydration.
Read my related articles:
1. The Most Effective Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating
2. How Long Does Food Poisoning Last and How to Recover Faster
3. Sour Stomach: Causes, Symptoms and the Best Home Remedies
4. How to Stop Vomiting: The Best Home Remedies