Diarrhea is not something that many people feel comfortable about, but the stress caused by severe diarrhea can be a major factor in many drug users’ decision to stop drugs.
Diarrhea and stomach pain from diarrhea can be withdrawal symptoms in people who are addicted to certain drugs, particularly opiates, or even after a period of heavy substance use..Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Relief from diarrhea and stomach pain
The following strategies can help control diarrhea, gastrointestinal cramps, stomach pain, and vomiting:
- Boring foods: White toast, white rice, and bananas can help. If you also suffer from nausea and vomiting, it is better to avoid eating until the initial acute withdrawal phase has passed.
- Electrolytes: You may have lost important electrolytes, especially if you vomited..Drinking rehydration fluid available at drug stores can help prevent this from happening.
- Hydration: One of the main risks associated with diarrhea is dehydration. So drink plenty of water...
- Over-the-counter drugs: Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol (bismuth), or Imodium (loperamide) can help control diarrhea and slow down the bowel process...
- Probiotics: Live / active culture yogurt contains bacteria that, in some cases, may help reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea.
- Gastric irritants: Avoid hot drinks, sour fruits, and spicy foods as these can cause cramps that lead to diarrhea and associated stomach pain.
Causes of Withdrawal Symptoms
When drugs or alcohol are consumed constantly, the brain has to adapt to changes in the function of neurotransmitters, the chemicals in the brain that affect the nervous system. When these substances are stopped, the brain and body have to change again, leading to uncomfortable physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.
Diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting are common in people who stop taking opioids and other drugs. Although this can be a normal reaction of the body, correct treatment can reduce the severity and discomfort you experience. Therefore, it is a good idea to speak to your pharmacist or doctor about over-the-counter medications.
However, it is important to know that there are other causes of diarrhea and receive proper diagnosis and treatment. For example, a number of viral and bacterial infections can cause diarrhea and result from ingesting contaminated food, water, or medication, or from sexual activity..Diarrhea can also be a side effect of some medications.
Treat dehydration safely
Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluids and electrolytes through urination, sweating, vomiting, and / or diarrhea. However, drinking just water, especially in large quantities, can be harmful and result in water poisoning, which can be life-threatening...
For this reason, if you have severe diarrhea, drink rehydration fluid (available at drug stores) instead of normal water to replace lost fluids.
Make your own rehydration fluid inexpensively by adding 1 liter of water, 3/4 teaspoon of table salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. You can also add lemonade or orange and pineapple flavored sugar free mixture for flavor...
Fruit juice can also help replace lost electrolytes, but it can make diarrhea worse..Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on how to properly replace lost fluids.
When to see the doctor
If your diarrhea, stomach pain, or vomiting is severe or lasts for a long time, you should see a doctor as soon as possible..Although they may be viewed as bothersome withdrawal symptoms by some drug users, they can be troubling enough to derail attempts to quit smoking, leading to an increased risk of overdose.
Stomach symptoms can indicate an underlying treatable infection and lead to life-threatening dehydration. In an emergency, you can go to an emergency room where an IV drip can be used to quickly replace fluids and electrolytes.
One of the most serious effects of alcohol withdrawal, called delirium tremens (“the DTs”), affects about 3 to 5% of people who withdraw from heavy drinking. If left untreated, this condition can be fatal.
Medical treatments for withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal from substances can be done at home or in the healthcare sector. It is often easier to quit substance use with medical supervision as medication can be used to make the transition easier and less uncomfortable. Different treatments are available for different substances.
- alcohol: If alcohol withdrawal symptoms are moderate to severe, you may need to be in a supervised clinical setting..Regardless of whether you would like inpatient or outpatient treatment, you may be given sedatives to help ease the transition to total withdrawal in a medically safe manner. Treatment with B vitamins is also crucial for those who withdraw from alcohol consumption, as it can prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (or alcohol dementia), a number of neurological disorders that can be linked to a thiamine. Deficiency (vitamin B1).
- Barbiturates: Due to the possible complications of discontinuing barbiturate use, withdrawal should always be done under medical supervision. You may be given phenobarbital to make the transition easier.
- Stimulants: Treatment for stimulant withdrawal will likely include psychotherapy, but may also include antidepressants or other mood-affecting drugs.
Treatment may include the use of clonidine, which helps with anxiety, sweating, irritability, muscle spasms and pain, and runny nose, and / or buprenorphine or methadone, both of which can decrease the time it takes to detox and aid with withdrawal symptoms as well .
Gabapentin can help with a number of symptoms, including diarrhea..Antispasmodics like Bentyl can also help relieve gastrointestinal symptoms.
Read about the symptoms, schedule, and treatment for tramadol withdrawal.