Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a condition in which feces are discharged from the bowels frequently and in a liquid form. It may be as a result of food poisoning. You may experience it as a result of bacterial and viral infections. It can last for a week. You also lose salts and minerals such as sodium, chloride, and potassium.
Diarrhea can be acute or chronic. Acute is a short term condition generally lasts for 2 days to 2 weeks. This condition is mild and resolves on its own. A chronic condition is long term and generally lasts for 4 weeks. A chronic condition is caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, and malabsorption syndromes.
Symptoms of Liquid Diarrhea
Symptoms of diarrhea are the following:
- The large volume of stool
- Loose, watery stools
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Mucus in the stool
- Bloating and nausea
- Bloody stools
- A frequent urge to defecate
Causes of Liquid Diarrhea
People experience diarrhea as a result of a number of conditions and factors. Some of the factors that cause this condition are the following:
Meals that are too large or high in saturated fat, caffeine, or alcohol may provoke symptoms like abdominal cramps and pain.
There are some viruses that cause this condition. Norovirus is the most common and contagious virus that causes diarrhea. Some other viruses are cytomegalovirus, viral hepatitis, and rotavirus.
Drinking contaminated water can transmit bacteria and parasites to your body. Some bacteria like Clostridium difficile, Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella, and Campylobacter cause this condition.
Medications that cause Liquid Diarrhea
Some medications can cause diarrhea. One of them is antibiotics. It can destroy both good and bad bacteria, which can disturb the balance of bacteria in the intestines. Other drugs that cause this condition are cancer drugs, antidepressants, antacids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and Proton pump inhibitors.
Just before your period begins, the cells that make up the lining of your uterus begin producing more prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause contractions that help your uterus shed its lining. It also causes contractions in your intestines, which can cause diarrhea and some other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Some peoples have food allergies which cause this condition. Such as lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Such patients have difficulty digesting lactose have diarrhea after eating dairy products.
Fructose is found in fruits such as peaches, pears, and cherries. It may cause this condition in people having fructose intolerance.
You can prevent diarrhea by washing hands and vaccination.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap or any hand wash before and after eating and preparing food. Wash your hands after handling uncooked meat, using the toilet, sneezing, and coughing. Use hand sanitizer when washing isn’t possible.
- You can help protect your infant from rotavirus, a common cause of viral diarrhea in children by vaccination.
- Breastfeed your child for the first six months of life.
Treatment of Liquid Diarrhea
The sections below will discuss some possible treatment options in detail.
Medical Nutrition Therapy(MNT)
Diarrhea is dangerous for infants who are easily dehydrated by large fluid losses. In these cases, the replacement of fluid and electrolytes must be immediate. Standard oral Rehydration Solution(ORS) recommend by the World Health Organization(WHO).
It is usually required for initial rehydration of severely dehydrated patients who are in shock and unable to drink.
Antibiotics to treat Liquid Diarrhea
Antibiotics might help treat diarrhea caused by bacteria or parasites. If a virus is causing your diarrhea, antibiotics won’t help.
Lifestyle Changes to Treat Liquid Diarrhea
Diarrhea usually clears up without treatment by drinking plenty of clear liquids, including water, broths, and juices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Avoid certain foods such as dairy products, fatty foods, and high-fiber foods.
Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
Give ORS to the baby at regular intervals to keep dehydration away and to make up for the loss of salts and fluids.
By taking medications you can treat this condition, some anti-diarrheal medications are loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate. These drugs aren’t always safe for children. Check with your doctor before taking these medications or giving them to a child.
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. This diet is effective due to the bland nature of these foods, and the fact that they’re starchy, low-fiber foods. These foods have a binding effect in the digestive tract to make stools bulkier. Bananas are especially useful as they help restore potassium lost through diarrhea.