Diarrhea Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea, the medical term describes watery, loose stools which tend to occur frequently than normal. Greater quantity of stools and repeated toilet trips is what exactly the person suffering from diarrhea may experience. Everyone faces the condition, wherein its symptoms mostly last for some days, though may last for even weeks. Moreover, in such situations, it can be the signal of a slight or severe disorder, for example irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease respectively.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
Symptoms of diarrhea include:
• Abdominal pain.
• Abdominal cramps.
• Recurrent, watery, loose stools.
• Bleeding stool.
When is the high time to consult a doctor?
• Adult: diarrhea continues more than 2 days, got dehydrated, have rectal or severe abdominal pain, black or bleeding stools, fever higher than 102 F.
• Children: diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, has fever higher than 102 F, no wet diaper for 3-4 hours, got dehydrated (no tears while crying or his mouth is dry), black or bleeding stools, is feeling unusually drowsy and sleepy, is irritable and irresponsible.
What are the causes of diarrhea?
The prominent cause of the conditions is the virus that tends to infect your gut. Consequently, the infection normally lasts for three days. Such infection is known as ‘stomach flu’ or ‘intestinal flu’. Besides, diarrhea can also be triggered due to:
• Allergies to specific foods.
• Radiation therapy.
• Infection through bacteria ( major cause of many kinds of food poisoning)
• Consuming food that can upset your digestive system.
• Laxative abuse.
• Some cancers.
• Alcohol abuse.
• Infections through other organisms.
• Intestines diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
• Malabsorption. (body’s inability to absorb specific nutrients from diet)
• Competitive running.
• Digestive tract surgery.
How is diarrhea diagnosed?
Certain procedures and tests your doctor may conduct for determining the underlying cause of diarrhea are:
• Physical exam.
• Review your medications.
• Blood test.
• Stool test.
How is diarrhea treated?
Mostly, diarrhea tends to clear itself within few days and thus needs no particular treatment. However, if not, despite trying certain home remedies, your doctor can recommend particular medicines or some other treatments to treat the condition.
• Antibiotic: diarrhea can be treated by antibiotics in case it is caused due to parasites or bacteria. In case the virus has triggered the condition, then antibiotics are of no use.
• Treatment for replacing the fluids: the doctor will advise the patient to take certain steps in order to replace the lost salts and fluids during the condition.
• Treating the causal conditions: in case diarrhea is triggered by a serious condition or disease, for example, inflammatory bowel syndrome, the doctor will focus to control such condition.
Mostly diarrhea tends to clear up itself within some days. Few steps that can help you greatly to cope with the symptoms are:
• Drink excessive fluids such as juices, broths and water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
• Add low-fiber and semisolid foods slowly.
• Avoid particular foods for example fatty foods, dairy products, highly seasoned and high-fiber foods for some days.
Few preventive measures can help you protect against diarrhea. Have a look:
• Wash your hands frequently: before and after having and preparing meals. Furthermore, wash them after changing diapers, using toilets, coughing and sneezing.
• Leather your hands with a good soap or hand wash for minimum 20 seconds.
• When washing your hands is not possible, use a hand sanitizer. (alcohol-based)
• Serve freshly cooked food, refrigerate the leftover food immediately.
• Frequently wash the work surfaces.
• To thaw the frozen item, use your refrigerator.
By : Natural Health News