Diarrhea is a common type of problem that is related to the stomach issue. Which usually happens when an individual consumes some food or drink that is contaminated with bacteria and parasites. These impure substances present in food can lead to stomach flu and intestinal flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis. It disappears after a few days. Diarrhea results due to food poisoning. Which might contribute to several other problems such as vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and weight loss.
Diarrhea: symptoms and causes
An individual suffering from diarrhea may have frequent bowel movements. Which leads to watery stools. The bacteria or parasites that enter via the contaminated food or water causes the walls of the stomach and intestines to become inflamed and irritated. Which causes persistent bowel movements. While passing the stools on a repeated basis, the individual might lose too much body fluids and electrolytes. Which leads to dehydration and weakness in them.
Symptoms of diarrhea include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps or pain
- Frequent urge to pass stools
- Blood or mucus in stools
Causes of diarrhea include:
- Bacterial or parasitic infection
- Food poisoning
- Allergies or intolerance to certain types of foods
- Upset stomach or digestive system irritation
- Poor absorption of food
- Medication side effects
- Radiation therapy
This issue will go away on its own in 2 to 3 days, but if it persists for longer and causes you trouble, then it is necessary to see your doctor. As it makes you rush to the loo frequently, it can make your body lose too much fluid and it may also cause electrolytic imbalance in the body. If the problem remains beyond 2 days, it might cause severe dehydration in the body, and hence it potentiates the need to get treatment to prevent any other health issue.
Types of diarrhea
In this case, the individual may pass watery stools for one or two days, and then they recover as their normal bowel movement gets restored on its own. This may not require medical attention.
This type of issue might remain for several weeks, that is two to four weeks. It can lead to weakness and dehydration, which is why one must see their doctor to seek proper treatment.
When diarrhea becomes a chronic condition, it persists beyond four weeks. It might keep suddenly happening frequently. This type of condition requires proper diagnosis, otherwise, it can lead to severe health issues, causing serious health damage.
How to manage diarrhea at home
Diarrhea is treatable at home. One must drink plenty of fluids to maintain adequate levels of water in the body. This helps in replenishing the fluids in the body that were previously lost due to loose and watery stools. Adequate rest is crucial, and do not engage yourself in some strenuous physical activity.
Also, it is better to eat something that is not too spicy or oily. Foods such as boiled potato, fruits like banana and apple, rice, porridge, coconut water, bread, and toast can be excellent during such a period. Avoid having junk, fried, or processed foods, it can worsen the condition.
Moreover, one can manage this issue with the help of OTC medications, however, it is not safe to do so. Some OTC medications can exacerbate the condition; therefore, it is better to consult your doctor rather than buy some OTC drugs.
Foods one needs to avoid during diarrhea
Oily and fatty foods must be completely avoided during diarrhea. It can worsen the symptoms by irritating the digestive system even more.
Spices can irritate the linings of the stomach and intestines and cause inflammation.
Foods such as grains, cereals, rice, barley, seeds, nuts, etc. can speed up the process of digestion and bowel movement, therefore, it is necessary to avoid such foods during diarrhea.
Caffeine-based drinks such as coffee, cold drinks, etc. can make the condition worse, as caffeine is a laxative. Which is responsible for increasing bowel movement.
Tips to prevent diarrhea
Follow proper hygiene
Always wash your hands with a disinfectant soap after using the bathroom or before having food.
Eat home-cooked food
Street food or junk food may not necessarily be prepared healthily and hygienically; one cannot rest assured about its quality. So, it is better to prepare your meals and wash your vegetables and fruits properly before consuming them.
This is crucial in the case of infants and children. The guardians must get them vaccinated which will prevent the attack of such viruses and bacteria that contribute to diarrhea.
When to see a doctor?
The right time to consult your doctor is when you experience any of the following issues:
- When the condition persists beyond two days, and you do not see any sign of improvement.
- The stools become darker and bloody.
- You develop a high fever.
- When you experience severe pain in your abdomen.
- You might develop symptoms such as fever, dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, rash, vomiting, bloody stools, and weight loss.
The doctor might prescribe you some medications or even vaccines. If the condition is severe, then they might even suggest you get a stool test done, which will help them with the identification of the root cause of diarrhea. If the condition lasts for up to two days, and you start feeling better, then there is no need to worry, however, if the condition stays beyond three days and does not improve, then it is necessary to see your doctor. Which will help you in preventing any further harm to your health.