Supportive Management


  • To regulate bowel function, avoid skipping meals and eat at the same time every day.
  • If excessive gas and bloating are problems, avoid sipping through a straw and chewing gum. Avoid eating gas-producing food (e.g. cabbage, beans, broccoli, and cauliflower).
  • Avoid the following food which may increase gastrointestinal pain: alcohol, chocolate, coffee, soda, dairy products.

For Diarrhea

  • Rehydrate.
    • Take an oral rehydration solution (ORS) which includes sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade) or the commercially sold Oresol. Take one glass with each bowel movement.
    • A home-made oral rehydration solution (ORS) may also be taken. Take one glass with each bowel movement.
      • Six (6) level teaspoons of Sugar
      • Half (1/2) level teaspoon of Salt
      • One liter of clean drinking or boiled water and then cooled
    • Avoid dehydrating drinks such as caffeinated drinks (e.g. cola, coffee, tea, energy drinks), as well as alcohol.
  • Eat small, frequent meals of bland food (e.g. banana, rice, crackers, toast, lugaw).
  • Avoid personal trigger(s) for diarrhea.

For Constipation

  • If having constipation, increase roughage in diet. Note that although fiber helps in alleviating constipation, it also causes bloating and gas. For this reason, gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks. The following are good sources of fiber: fruits, vegetables, whole-wheat bread, beans, and whole-grains.
  • Drink plenty of water (up to 2 liters a day or 8 glasses of water a day).
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks (e.g. cola, coffee, tea, energy drinks), as they have dehydrating effect.
  • Move about and exercise regularly. Aside from improving constipation, this also brings down stress levels. Even brisk walking (at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week) is a good exercise.
  • Avoid personal trigger(s) for constipation.

For Stress

  • Manage stress levels.
    • Have plenty of rest. Sleep for 7-8 hours every night in a dark room, as melatonin – a powerful anti-oxidant that promotes healing through boosting the immune function – are found to be produced in higher amounts when sleeping in darkness. If sleeping in a dark room is not possible, wear an eye patch instead.
    • Take breaks from stressful situations (e.g. go for a short walk).
    • Stay away from situations that induce stress (e.g. avoid driving along congested roads, set the time advanced by 5-10 minutes to avoid stressing over being late).
    • Schedule time for hobbies and other enjoyable recreational activities. Every day, do one pleasurable activity, even just for 15 minutes. The perception of a pleasurable activity may vary from one person to another – it’s something personal. Pleasurable activities may involve simple activities such as writing a journal entry, reading a favorite book, watching a favorite movie or series, listening or singing to favorite songs, walking in nature, playing favorite sports, or taking up a new hobby (e.g. sewing, knitting, cooking).
    • Learn to say no. Acknowledge own limits.
    • Spend time with loved ones.
    • Let go of grudges. Learn to forgive.
    • Express gratitude.
    • Perform relaxation exercises (e.g. deep breathing, music therapy, meditation).
      • Deep breathing
        • Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can be alone with yourself.
        • Sit upright in bed or chair, and find a comfortable position.
        • Place one or both hands over the abdomen, just below the ribs.
        • Deeply breathe in through the nose, while keeping mouth closed. Breathe in for a count of four.
        • Feel the abdomen rise with each inhalation, and as far as possible.
        • Through a pursed-lip, breathe out. Breathe out for a count of seven.
        • Feel the abdomen sink with each exhalation.
        • Perform deep-breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes at a time, and as many times each day.
      • Music therapy
        • Choose a soothing, therapeutic song. Research findings indicate that music with slower tempo (60 beats per minute) induces a calming, relaxing effect. Sounds of nature (drops of rain, flowing waterfalls) are also relaxing. But the best relaxation music ultimately depends on each person’s preference – whichever music one finds relaxing (albeit upbeat or moderately loud) – may be used for music therapy.
        • Relax before and during the music therapy by performing deep breathing exercises (see instructions above).
        • Listen actively to the music. Feel the music. Focus your mind on the music, get lost in it – listen to every beat and every silence in between. Let the music’s mood influence yours.
      • Meditation

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Herbal Medicine

  • Sabila (Aloe Vera) Juice
    • For irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion
    • Mix small amounts (around a teaspoon) of aloe vera juice (extract juice from the leaves of the plant) with water. Take after meals. Avoid prolonged use as it may result to formation of hemorrhoids.
  • Salabat
    • For indigestion, flatulence, and vomiting
    • Boil three middle-finger-sized luya in 3 glasses of water. Boil in low heat for 15-minutes. Strain and serve. May add calamansi and honey for flavor.
  • Bayabas (Guava) Leaves Decoction
    • For diarrhea and stomach ache
    • The amount of guava leaves to be used corresponds to the age of the person the decoction is intended for. For a person aged 2-6, use either 1 ½ tablespoons of dried leaves or 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves; for a person aged 7-12, use either 3 tablespoons of dried leaves or 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves; and for those older than 12, use either 6 tablespoons of dried leaves or 8 tablespoons of fresh leaves. Boil the leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes or until the water is halved. Divide the decoction in 4 doses, and take each dose every 2-3 hours.
  • Sambong Leaves Decoction
    • For diarrhea
    • Boil either three handfuls of fresh sambong leaves or one handful of dried sambong leaves for every 2 cups of water. Boil for 15-30 minutes and then, strain. Divide the decoction into 3-4 doses to be taken in one day. Use the decoction the same day it was prepared.
  • Coconut Water
    • For fluid and electrolyte replacement
    • For every 2 glasses of plain coconut water, add 2 glasses of clean water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Take as needed.
  • Strong Ginger Tincture
    • For stomach ache and gas pain
    • For adult use only.
    • Fill a jar with 50g peeled fresh ginger. Pour 90% alcohol (e.g. tuba) over the top to make 100 mL. Shake the jar well. Keep the jar stored in a dark cabinet and shake periodically for two weeks. After two to three weeks, strain and store the ginger tincture in a cool, dark place. For use, take 0.25 to 0.5 mL.
  • Tanglad Roots and Luya Decoction
    • For diarrhea, stomach ache, and flatulence
    • There is no fixed dose for the tanglad roots. Boil tanglad roots with luya for 5-10 minutes. Strain and take the decoction.
  • Lubigan Rhizome Decoction
    • For diarrhea and stomach ache
    • Remove the rootlets. Rinse the rhizomes, cut them into parts, and dry them. If lubigan is dried, use 6-13 tablespoons of it for the decoction, whereas if fresh lubigan is to be used, use 4-6 tablespoons instead. Boil rhizome in 5 glasses of water to make 2 glasses of decoction.
  • Banana Fruit
    • For controlling diarrhea
    • Eat the ripe banana fruit (latundan variety is preferable), mashed and mixed with one glass of warm water. Take every after a loose bowel movement.
    • Duhat Fruit
    • For diarrhea
    • Eat as much as can be taken or tolerated.
  • Papaya Fruit
    • For relieving constipation
    • Eat ripe papaya fruit liberally.
    • This may cause harmless yellow discoloration of the skin.
  • Niyog
    • For relieving constipation
    • Take 1-2 tablespoons of gata (milk or cream of the coconut).
  • Linga (Sesame seeds)
    • For relieving chronic constipation
    • Eat roasted sesame seeds liberally. May be mixed with other food.
  • Sampalok fruit
    • For relieving constipation; also for alleviating fever
    • Eat pulp of sampaloc fruit liberally.
  • Malunggay Leaves
    • For relieving constipation
    • Eat 1-2 cups of cooked malunggay leaves at suppertime.
  • Other Fiber-rich Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole Grains
    • For relieving constipation
    • Include high-fiber food in the diet. Fruits rich in fiber include avocados, guavas, kiwi, bananas, apples, berries, oranges, papaya, mangoes, pineapples, and grapes. For vegetables, choose especially the dark, leafy ones. Whole grains include oats, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.


Consult doctor immediately if you are having

  • Sudden constipation with abdominal pain, and inability to pass any stool or gas
  • Pain so severe you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days

Consult doctor

  • For appropriate diagnosis and proper management.