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Original Content

Fast facts on diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is one of the most common health complaints. It can range from a light, timely condition, to a life-threatening one.

Fast facts on diarrhoea

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements and greater looseness of stool. Changes in the frequency of bowel movements and looseness of stools can vary independently.

Causes

Most cases of diarrhoea are caused by an infection in the gastrointestinal tract. The microbes responsible for this infection include:

1. bacteria

2. viruses

3. parasitic organisms

Symptoms

Diarrhoea refers to watery stools, but it may be accompanied by other symptoms.

These include:

1. stomach pain

2. abdominal cramps

3. bloating

4. thirst

 5. weight loss

6. fever

Diarrhoea is a symptom of other conditions, some of which can be serious.

Other possible symptoms are:

1. blood or pus in the stools

2. persistent vomiting

3. dehydration

Treatment

Mild cases of acute diarrhoea may resolve without treatment. Persistent or chronic diarrhoea will be diagnosed and any underlying causes will be treated in addition to the symptoms of diarrhoea.

 Dehydration

For all cases of diarrhoea, rehydration is key:

1. Fluids can be replaced by simply drinking more fluids, or they can be received intravenously in severe cases. Children and aged people are more unguarded to dehydration.

2. Oral rehydration solution or salts (ORS) refers to water that contains salt and glucose. It is absorbed by the small intestine to replace the water and electrolytes lost in the stool.

3. Zinc supplementation may reduce the severity and duration of diarrhoea in children. Various products are available to purchase online.

Antidiarrheal medication

Over-the-counter (OTC) antidiarrheal medicines are also available:

There is a chance that antidiarrheal medicines could extend bacterial infection.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are only used to treat diarrhoea caused by a bacterial infection. If a certain medication is a cause, then, switching to another drug might be possible.

Diet

Some nutritional tips for diarrhoea:

1. Sip on clear, still liquids such as fruit juice without added sugar.

2. After each loose stool, replace lost fluids with at least one cup of liquid.

3. Do most of the drinking between, not during meals.

4. Consume high-potassium foods and liquids, such as diluted fruit juices, potatoes without the skin, and bananas. Eat foods high in soluble fibre, such as banana, oatmeal and rice, as this help thicken the stool.

5. limit foods that may make diarrhoea worse, such as creamy, fried, and sugary foods.

Image source: www.mims.co.uk


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