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Diarrhea is when your stool becomes loose or watery. And this occurs 3 or more times in a day. It results when the lining of the intestine is unable to absorb fluid. In addition, it happens when the lining of the intestine secretes fluid. This is due to infection. It can be of sudden onset and can last for up to four weeks. The main concern is a lack of fluid in the body or dehydration. This can even be fatal in children. Thus, “How to Treat Diarrhea” focuses on preventing dehydration. Do this by drinking lots of water with little salt and sugar.
Infection of the gut is the most common cause that leads to sudden onset. This is called acute infectious diarrhea. In addition, Gastroenteritis is another cause. This is where infection arises due to food poisoning. It can also happen due to drinking contaminated water. Examples include norovirus, Clostridium difficile, and Escherichia coli. Campylobacter, salmonella, and cryptosporidium are also examples. Diarrhea can also occur due to side effects of some medicines. It may also occur due to persistent anxiety. Lastly, Ulcerative colitis in the gut causes persistent and chronic diarrhea.
It is best to consult your physician if there’s severe vomiting along with loose bowels. Acute diarrhea is accompanied by stomach cramps, abdominal pain, and fever. If the symptoms continue for more than two days, it is advised to consult a doctor. Consult your doctor right away for cases of infections caught over seas. Additionally, consult your doctor in cases of infection in the elderly, pregnant, or people with chronic illnesses.
How to Treat Diarrhea
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It is best to eat small, light meals even if one does not wish to eat. Avoid eating fatty, spicy or heavy meals. Plain foods such as wholemeal bread, vegetable soups, and rice are good foods.
Dehydration gives rise to many problems. These arise due to diarrhea. Additionally, salt (electrolyte) imbalance may also lead to complications due to diarrhea. Similarly, reactive complications may occur in the body. Complications such as inflammation in joints, skin or eye, for example. Salmonella spp. infection gives rise to reactive complications. Further, infectious diarrhea may give rise to Irritable bowel syndrome or Lactose intolerance. Diarrhea can also cause damage to the gut lining. This leads to a lack of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that digests lactose sugars. Lactose intolerance leads to bloating and abdominal pain. It also leads to excessive wind and watery stools. This happens after consuming milk or milk products. Escherichia coli infection leads to hemolytic uraemic syndrome. This is where anemia, a low platelet count in the blood, and kidney failure occurs. Medicines for epilepsy, diabetes, and contraception have reduced effectiveness during diarrhea.
Preventing the spread of infection
Diarrhea causing infections are easily transmitted. They transmit from one person to another. Thus, wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet. Don’t share towels and flannels. Regularly clean the toilets that you use. If your job involves food handling, you must leave the food-handling area. Infection with Cryptosporidium spp. can cause acute diarrhea. In this case, one must avoid swimming in public pools for two weeks after the last episode of diarrhea.