A person is said to have diarrhea when he starts having loose watery stools/feces and cause indigestion along with vomiting. Usually diarrhea can resolve within a couple of days with proper medication or sometimes on its own but it can also take up to more than days to resolve. Based on this diarrhea can be categorized in two:
- Acute diarrhea: patient can take two to three days to fully recover.
- Chronic diarrhea: patient can take weeks to fully recover and can be a symptom of an underlying chronic disease.
Acute Diarrhea can be caused be caused any of the following infections:
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Parasitic infections
Which enter the body through unhygienic eat place environments and contaminated food and water. These condition occur when a person visit a different place other than one’s own home country.
Most common causes of chronic diarrhea are underlying diseases or conditions, including:
- Gluten intolerance (e.g. coeliac disease)
- Lactose intolerance (inability to properly digest lactose in dairy products)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (affects the large intestine)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Bowel cancer.
Antibiotics or drugs can also cause diarrhea.
Signs and symptoms
Accompanying signs and symptoms may include:
- Urgent need to go to the toilet
- Abdominal pain
- Change in color of your stools
- Mucous, pus, blood, or fat in your stools
- General body weakness and tiredness.
Diarrhea can be easily diagnosed by its symptoms. If it take longer than usual to recover from diarrhea and is accompanied by fever, blood in stools then it could also affect other internal organs can cause severe weakness.
These diagnostic tests could include:
- Daily stool test
- Blood tests
- Creatinine level test in blood
Severe diarrhea can cause extreme dehydration (loss of fluids from the body).Due to dehydration person may experience extreme thirst, dry lips, reduce amount of saliva. Diarrhea causes dehydration at very fast speed and due to sudden loss of minerals person can experience rapid low blood pressure which may turn in unconsciousness or nausea.
Since minor cases of diarrhea resolve on their own in two to three days some precautionary measures can be taken:
- Avoid dairy products or food that are high or fiber, cholesterol, sugar etc.
- Apply cream or gel in case of rash.
- Take anti-diarrheal medicines such as Imodium and novidat according to doctor’s prescription.
- To avoid dehydration take plenty of water and liquids that regain minerals in your body.
- Eat only liquid foods such as soups.
Following are the some guidelines which can be used to prevent diarrhea:
- Wash your hand thoroughly, especially before meals.
- Always prepare/cook food in clean environments.
- Drink uncontaminated water.
- Refrigerate foods that could spoil.
- Consult a doctor for keeping your digestion system in a good state.