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Want to know what causes Diarrhea?
27 Sep 2021
Want to know what causes Diarrhea? image

Table of Contents

What is diarrhea?
What are the classifications of diarrhea?
What causes diarrhea?
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
When should you consult a doctor?
How to treat diarrhea?
How to prevent diarrhea?

We all have experienced that situation at least once a year where we go to the bathroom as we have a bowel movement or loose stools. When we have watery and loose stools, then it is called diarrhea. Diarrhea can cause many issues including pain and dehydration. In this article, we are going to see all that we need to know about diarrhea.

What is diarrhea?

When a person has loose or watery stools which occur continuously than usual, then the person is said to have diarrhea. Most of the time the cause of diarrhea is unknown and it goes away without any medical treatment.

Diarrhea can occur due to the intervention of bacteria. Diarrhea can lead to many serious issues such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance in the body, and in serious cases, it can even lead to kidney failure.

Anyone can have diarrhea but, diarrhea can be serious in people such as:

  • Children
  • Old people
  • People with chronic diseases

What are the classifications of diarrhea?

Diarrhea can be mainly classified into many types depending upon their nature. The three main types of diarrhea include:

  1. Acute diarrhea

It is the most common type of diarrhea. It includes bowel movements associated with loose, watery stools. Acute diarrhea usually lasts from one to two days and goes away without any medical interventions. 

  1. Persistent diarrhea

Persistent diarrhea is considered a serious health condition. It can last from two to four weeks. In a healthy person, persistent diarrhea can cause many serious health issues. People with weak immune systems are more prone to persistent diarrhea.

  1. Chronic diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea can be caused by issues related to the pancreas, intestinal disorders, and sometimes due to the side effects of certain medications and treatments. They can last for more than four weeks and often come regularly.

What causes diarrhea?

The most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that affects your bowel. The most common causes of diarrhea include:

  1. Infection by bacteria
  2. Food poisoning
  3. Allergies towards certain foods
  4. Medications and certain treatments
  5. Radiation therapy

What are the symptoms of diarrhea?

Symptoms of diarrhea can vary from person to person depending on the type of diarrhea they are experiencing. Sometimes people with diarrhea can have a few or all the symptoms mentioned below:

  1. Bloating
  2. Cramps in the abdomen
  3. Fever 
  4. Weight loss
  5. Dehydration

When should you consult a doctor?

As mentioned earlier, most cases of diarrhea will go away without any medical treatment. But you should not take every symptom of diarrhea carelessly. If you have the following symptoms then you should immediately seek medical help

  1. Dark coloration of urine
  2. Swift heart rate
  3. Headache
  4. Dizziness
  5. Nausea
  6. Vomiting
  7. Dry skin

How to treat diarrhea?

Diarrhea usually requires no advanced treatments. In cases when you are experiencing a condition where you need medical help. Some of the most common medical treatments include:

  1. Antibiotics

Antibiotic is many used to treat cases of diarrhea which is caused by bacteria or other parasites

  1. Probiotics

They are mainly used when the gut has more unhealthy bacteria that cause diarrhea. Probiotics help to maintain a proper ratio of bacteria in the gut.

  1. Replacing salts and fluids

In some cases, your doctor will advise you to drink fluids to restore electrolyte contents in the body. In cases, if consuming liquids upset your stomach, then you will be advised to consume IV fluids.

  1. Advising to adjust medications

If a specific medication or antibiotic is responsible for causing diarrhea then, your doctor may advise you to lower the dose.

How to prevent diarrhea?

Even though many cases of diarrhea can occur due to several other factors such as medications, there are ways to prevent diarrhea caused by our lifestyle and food habits. The most important way to prevent diarrhea is to curtail the contact with microorganisms that cause them. Some of the methods to prevent diarrhea include:

  1. Drink only boiled or bottled water
  2. Avoid eating foods that are exposed to open air 
  3. Never eat uncooked meat or seafood
  4. Avoid eating fruits and vegetables without proper washing
  5. Get hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines
  6. Check expiry dates for food before consuming
  7. Always wash your hands before you eat
  8. Make sure to wash your hand after you touch your pet
  9. In cases, you can’t wash your hands, use sanitizer

Diarrhea is a very common situation and there is nothing to be ashamed of to say about it. Consult a gastroenterologist, if you are experiencing severe symptoms of diarrhea.

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