Patient Awareness

Know Diarrhea: Common Causes & Treatment

Know diarrhea
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Diarrhea is an inconvenient disease in the sense that an individual would have bouts of loose-watery stools and would need to frequent the bathroom quite often. It is characterized by frequent bowel movement which can last for a few days and can disappear even without treatment. Know diarrhea and common facts associated with it:

Pain in the abdomen

Diarrhea can be chronic or acute. Chronic diarrhea can last for about four weeks and could be due to intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic infections, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), food allergy, etc. Individuals need to seek medical attention if they are suffering from diarrhea for more than three to four weeks.

Acute diarrhea could last for about one to two days and can be caused due to food poisoning or by a bacterial or a viral infection. A condition called traveler’s diarrhea occurs when an individual acquires diarrhea due to exposure to parasites or bacteria while travelling. It is quite common for people to have acute diarrhea and a large number of people have it at least once in six months hence it is relevant to know diarrhea disease. There are a number of reason for experiencing diarrhea and some of the most common causes for diarrhea are:

  • Eating food which upsets the working of digestive system
  • Food allergies
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Abusing laxatives or medications
  • Malabsorption
  • Radiation therapy or surgery (some cancers and some surgeries done on the digestive system)
  • Bacterial/ viral or parasitic infections

Diarrhea can cause extreme dehydration and also drain an individual of all their energy.Treating diarrhea involves replenishing the lost fluids in the body. Drinking water and electrolyte-rich beverages (oral rehydration) can help restore the lost water in the body. For mild cases, it is not even necessary to take any medication but for severe cases, patients have to be treated with intravenous fluids. If the diarrhea is caused due to a bacterial infection, doctors generally prescribe anti-biotics to treat the disease. Know diarrhea and act in time. Washing your hands with a good soap or using hand sanitizer (when soaps are unavailable) can reduce the chances of viral/bacterial infections which cause diarrhea.

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Most people are bound to have diarrhea at least once in their lifetime. Though there are numerous reasons as to why an individual can get diarrhea, adopting preventive measures like: thawing frozen food properly in a refrigerator, refrigerating leftovers properly, eating food immediately after serving, washing the food preparation areas properly to avoid food poisoning, avoiding food/water from roadside stalls, etc. can help reduce the chances of getting diarrhea. If you are travelling, it is advisable that you have food/water from hygienic places and avoiding caffeine can help a lot when affected with diarrhea. Do drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated. Having juices with high content in pulp or broth or sodas can also provide relief. At the same time, Know diarrhea and do not replace your meals with a liquid diet but rather have small sips of liquids in between the meals to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

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