Going to the bathroom is usually an ordinary and private event. However, if you eat the wrong things or recently happened to eat the wrong particular thing, this otherwise ordinary event can seem unpleasantly extraordinary. Depending on the layout of your home or office and the proximity of the bathroom to other rooms, it might also become a not-so private event, and you’ll wish you knew how to firm up stool.
Even if you are able to either ignore or endure the unpleasant feeling and noise of loose or strangely watery and enthusiastic stool, your family members and co-workers might not be able to. Moreover, the cost associated with extra toilet paper can be aggravating. What can be even more aggravating or embarrassing is that sudden need to ask for a square or call out for someone to bring you an entire roll. In these troubled gastric times, it is a good idea to begin firming up your stool immediately because once loose stool sets in, it might take a day or more before you can get your bowels back into compliance.
Firm Up Stool With Compliant foods
Although it might seem funny to call foods compliant or non compliant, that is the actual term health advisors have given foods that either help or hinder solid stool. You obviously already know about the non-compliant foods, or you would not have wasted several critical minutes frantically searching for “how to firm up your stool” or “how to firm up stool.”
One of your searches must have worked, or you would not be reading this article and sweating for a please-God-help-me-right-now solution. Non-compliant foods that have created this dilemma for you, of course, include your all-time favorites, such as greasy hamburgers, potato chips, and coffee.
Of course, the following compliant foods are the ones you want to either begin eating or begin mixing into your diet. To help matters a little more, you can rest comfortably knowing that mixing them into your diet is one answer to the question of how to firm up stool, and you can expect results within 12 hours.
When it comes to loose or runny stool, rice is the all-time king of making things right. Rice proteins and starches bind as they move through your intestines. As these nutrients move, they also swell with water and help give form to the formless, so to speak. If you add a little broth to the rice, you will have a tasty, highly compliant lunch.
Like rice, bananas are a known aid to diarrhea sufferers. However, if this is your first bout, you should know that you really must like bananas as you will need to eat at least three to get the full benefit. The magic number of three bananas is based partially on the mass involved with three bananas. However, the number is also important in that three bananas have the perfect amount of potassium to help replenish all the potassium you will lose going to the bathroom.
Spaghetti is arguably the most delicious solution to the problem of how to firm up your stool. However, you will need to forego the sauce and meatballs as such delicious additions will add to your problems. If you do not like spaghetti, any pasta will work.
The key is the wheat flour, and you can make dry pasta palatable by adding the noodles into a bowl of broth. The result will be a compliant soup that will help firm your stool and get you back to your normal routine.
Note: if you are gluten intolerant, you can get an extra dose of stool-firming goodness by eating rice-based pasta.
Although pears are a fruit and high in fiber, they also contain what is known as pectin, which can alleviate sudden bouts of diarrhea. Although research has shown pectin to be less effective for adults, evidence does show it works for children.
Since you probably already have non-compliant chips in your house, you might also have some compliant pretzels. Pretzels have significantly less fat, and the wheat flour helps things congeal.
Of course, as you eat your pretzels, you do not have to superstitiously cast a spell or prayer of “stool firm, stool firm, stool firm.” All you have to do is remember to add them into your diet. If you are hurriedly eating a pretzel as a sort of self-prescribed antidote, you should stick to the recommended serving size and eat some every few minutes so as not to cause constipation problems.
6. White crackers
Otherwise known as a soda crackers, white crackers will be relatively easy on your stomach and help solidify your stool. They are low in saturated fat, which will not compound your problems, and they are available in low-salt varieties to account for varying tastes and dietary needs.
7. White potatoes
If you are coordinated enough on your next trip running to the bathroom, you should pop a potato into the microwave. The coordination requirement comes from the fact you will have to actually pound the buttons and hit the bake button. If you manage this correctly, you can enjoy a piping hot potato ready and waiting for you after you emerge from the bathroom.
It is understandable that food might not be on your mind so soon after returning from the bathroom. However, potatoes help bind the matter in your intestinal tract just like rice. You will want to avoid eating the skin, which can lead to more diarrhea. Of course, you will also want to avoid butter because butter is probably what got you into this mess in the first place.
Two Bonus Ways to Create Firmer Stool
As your intestines wage war on you, the bacteria in your guts will eventually need to be balanced, and probiotics can help do this. Probiotics have billions of microorganisms that help process nutrients and keep your guts operating normally.
2. Stress management
Excess cortisol can increase runny bowel movements, and cortisol is one of the hormones involved with increased stress. As a preventative measure, exercising or meditating can help reduce stress and lower cortisol. That said, if you are in immediate need, compliant food or probiotics will help faster.