Diarrhea - Identify It

Diarrhea - Identify It

Diarrhea is usually a symptom of bowel infection that is caused by bacteria, virus or a parasite. One can get infected through food poisoning – after consuming contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Getting diarrhea is a common case, with it happening to an individual at least once in their lifetime. This leads to more frequent, loose and watery stool as a result. The length of one’s diarrhea would depend on its cause, often lasting an average of 2 days. For more serious cases like Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, Intestinal cancer etc. its duration can vary from 7 days to several weeks.

Causes of short-term diarrhea

  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Food allergy
  •  Appendicitis
  • Damage to the lining of the intestines because of radiotherapy
  • Medicine side effects (laxatives, statins, antacids etc.)

Symptoms

  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Some symptoms are considered indicators of a more serious illness - blood or pus, fever, signs of dehydration, persistent vomiting, chronic diarrhea, or weight loss.

Treatment

  • For treatment of diarrhea, do provide the doctor with ample information which could be useful in helping him detect the source of the problem.
  • Consume plenty of water when having diarrhea to replace the loss of fluids and avoid dehydration.
  • Consume high-potassium foods and liquids - examples include diluted fruit juices, potatoes (without the skin), bananas etc.
  • Use high-sodium foods and liquids - broths, soups, sports drinks, salted crackers etc.
  • Oral rehydration solution/salts (ORS) water contains salt and glucose which helps rehydrate the body quickly.
  • OTC antidiarrheal medicines (Loperamide, Bismuth sub-salicylate) is also given by the doctor.

Disclaimer: Health articles posted at 65doctor.com are provided for information purposes only and reflect the views of the respective authors. They do not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of 65doctor.com. Advice on the treatment or care of individual patients should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient and is familiar with that patient's medical history.