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Turmeric for Diarrhea

By Lynn DeVries ; Updated August 14, 2017

Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry dishes, but it’s also commonly used as a medicinal treatment, according to MedLinePlus. You may either apply it to your skin to treat certain skin conditions, or you may take turmeric supplements for a number of other ailments, including diarrhea. You might even use turmeric as a coloring or dye since it has such an intense yellow color. Before you use turmeric to treat a health condition, consult your health care provider.

Diarrhea Information

You have diarrhea when you have three or more loose, watery stools in one day, according to MedLinePlus. You may not have any identifiable cause for the condition, or it might be brought on by medicines you take, bacteria, parasites, or your body’s intolerance for certain foods. Some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract may cause diarrhea, too. If you have a child with diarrhea, you should seek the advice of your child’s health care provider, since diarrhea can be dangerous for children. Adults with diarrhea that lasts longer than three days should also discuss it with their health care provider.

Turmeric & Diarrhea

Turmeric may be able to help you relieve your diarrhea, says MedLinePlus. It may also lessen the symptoms of related disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. But you should be careful not to take high doses of turmeric, or it can make your diarrhea worse, reports the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine. If you have questions about dosing, your health care provider is the person to ask.

Turmeric Health Benefits

In addition to relief for diarrhea, turmeric is often used to treat infections, inflammation, kidney stones and for prevention of cancer, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. MedLinePlus adds that turmeric may be helpful in treating upset stomach, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, jaundice, fibromyalgia, headache and various skin problems. Turmeric may also be beneficial for eczema and wound healing, reports the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

Considerations

People undergoing chemotherapy should avoid the use of turmeric supplements and should stay away from foods containing turmeric due to possible dangerous interactions, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Turmeric should also be avoided if you have gallstones, stomach ulcers or acid reflux problems. MedLinePlus warns that pregnant women should not take medicinal amounts of turmeric because it could cause a miscarriage.

Possible Side Effects

Some people may have contact dermatitis, a form of allergic reaction, after handling turmeric, says the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Turmeric may increase the effects of blood thinning medications, and it should not be used for at least a week before you undergo surgery, according to MedLinePlus. Turmeric may also harmfully interact with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. The National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine cautions that instead of reducing diarrhea symptoms, taking high doses of turmeric may cause diarrhea to worsen.

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