Diarrhea is a common situation not to be taken seriously. A frequent loose, watery bowel motion characterizes it. It affects people from time to time and is usually nothing to worry about. Although it may take days or weeks for it to pass, making it unpleasant and distressful at the time.
Diarrhea is usually an infection inside the intestinal tract. It can be caused by any parasitic organism, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It spreads through contaminated food and water and person to person due to poor hygiene. There are three types of diarrhea clinically.
- Acute watery diarrhea – may last several hours to even days includes cholera
- Persistent nature – may last 15 to 20 days
- Severe bloody diarrhea – last few days to weeks also called as dysentery
There are many causes of diarrhea in adults and children. The most common cause is bowel infection, otherwise known as gastroenteritis. It is caused by any viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection inside the bowels. Traveling to places where climate or sanitary practices differ from one’s home may also cause short term diarrhea. Some people have diarrhea due to the intolerance of foods containing fructose or artificial sweeteners. Pancreatic or inflammatory bowel diseases may also cause acute watery diarrhea.
The obvious symptom of diarrhea includes loose, watery bowel motions (stools or feces). It may be consistent occurring two or three times a day. The associated signs may consist of as follows.
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Body weakness
- Change in the color of stools or feces
- Mucous, pus, blood or fat in stools
If loose motions persists even after 3-4 days, then it can accompany symptoms like fever, bloody feces, and weakness. Your physician may take diagnostic tests to determine the cause. The diagnosis may include the following criteria:
- Stool Culture test for infection
- Blood test
- Food intolerance test using a fasting test
Excessive loose motion prevailing more than four days may cause dehydration. Hence, it is advised that the patient should drink plenty of fluids until it passes. The physician may also suggest an oral rehydration solution (ORS) if you or your child are in danger of dehydration. Some forms of Loose motions , such as those due to medical conditions, are unavoidable. However, infectious diarrhea can be prevented. The easy way to avoid diarrhea is by avoiding contact with the contagious agent. It can be done by having good hygienic practices and washing hands daily.
Following things should also be avoided including:
- Eating raw or uncooked meat
- Avoid eating food from street vendors
- Avoid ice with tap water
- Drink only bottled water even when using a toothbrush
Diarrhea usually leaves your system after a few days without any treatment. Until it goes your order, remember to take rest, avoid hard diet or street food, and drink lots of fluids. Self-care to prevent progress disease is the best treatment. It includes the following procedures:
- Take anti-diarrhoea medicine such as Imodium and Paracetamol
- Avoid anti-inflammatory medication
- Keep your body hydrated
- Wash hands and keep a good hygiene
- Placing a hot water bottle or cloth may reduce abdominal pain