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in 3 easy steps...

Step 1:
Fill out questionnaire

Step 2:
Video-call with a doctor

Step 3:
Get prescriptions to your pharmacy

Peace of Mind,
in 3 easy steps…
Step 1:
Fill out questionnaire
Step 2:
Video-call with a doctor
Step 3:
Get prescriptions to your pharmacy

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is when your bowel movements become loose or watery. It occurs 3 or more times in a day. Diarrhea occurs when the lining of the intestine is unable to absorb fluid. This article will focus on diarrhea, causes of diarrhea, and how to treat diarrhea.

Dr. Angela Payumo
Hi! I’m Dr. Angela Payumo

So you are having a case of Diarrhea, we are sorry to hear that. Let’s schedule a Video-Call so we can get you the treatment you need.

Diarrhea

Additionally, diarrhea occurs when the lining of the intestine secretes fluid 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. Therefore, how to treat diarrhea focuses mainly on preventing dehydration. Prevent dehydration by drinking lots of water with little salt and sugar.

Causes

Infection of the gut is the most common cause. This leads to sudden onset and is acute infectious diarrhea. In addition, Gastroenteritis is another cause. This is where infection arises due to food poisoning or drinking contaminated water. Examples of infectious diarrhea include norovirus, Clostridium difficile, Escherichia coli, campylobacter, salmonella, and cryptosporidium. Diarrhea can also occur due to side-effects of some medicines and persistent anxiety. 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. Immediately consult your doctor in cases of infections caught over seas. Additionally, consult your doctor in cases of infection in the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, or pregnant.

Symptoms

The main symptom of diarrhea is loose or watery stools (feces). Usually at least three times a day. Blood or mucus may appear in the stools. Cramps, pain in the abdomen are also common.

If vomiting occurs, visit a doctor to avoid dehydration.

How to Treat Diarrhea

Symptoms often settle within a few days. This is because the immune system clears up the infection.

The main treatment is to prevent a lack of fluid in the body or dehydration. How to treat diarrhea focuses on preventing dehydration. The person should drink one cup (200ml) of water after each bout of diarrhea. This extra fluid is in addition to what one would normally drink. For most adults, the best fluid is plain water. Avoid drinks containing sugar, such as cola or pop. Oral Rehydration Syrups are recommended for young children. Additionally, it is also recommended for old frail people who cannot drink water at will. The ORS is in the form of a powder, where the contents are added to water. The person can balance the amounts of water, salts, and sugar lost during bowels or vomiting. In addition, anti-secretory medicines along with rehydration treatments can reduce the amount of water in the gut.

How it Works

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Eat normally

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.

Complications

Dehydration gives rise to many complications. These arise due to diarrhea. Additionally, salt (electrolyte) imbalance may also give rise to complications due to diarrhea. Similarly, reactive complications may occur in the body. Complications such as inflammation in joints, skin or eye inflammation, for example. Salmonella spp. infection gives rise to reactive complications. Infectious diarrhea may give rise to Irritable bowel syndrome or Lactose intolerance. Diarrhea can cause damage to the gut lining. This leads to a lack of a lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that digest lactose sugars. Lactose intolerance leads to bloating, abdominal pain, excessive wind, and watery stools. This happens after consuming milk or milk products. Escherichia coli infection leads to a 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 from one person to another. 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 immediately leave the food-handling area. Infection with Cryptosporidium spp. is the cause of acute diarrhea. One must avoid swimming in public pools for two weeks after the last episode of diarrhea.

 

 

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