Treat Diarrhea and Dehydration

Edited by Lor777, Charmed, Eng, Anonymous and 1 other

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Diarrhea (frequent, watery stools) takes place when solid waste is pushed through the intestines before the water in the waste has time to be reabsorbed by the body. Excessive loss of water, called dehydration, is the biggest health risk to having diarrhea.

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diarrhea is most commonly caused by viral infections. Other causes include bacterial infections and irritations of the digestive tract. It is frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Many medications may cause diarrhea, including antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, digitalis, anti-cancer drugs, gold compounds and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

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What is Diarrhea?

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Diarrhea is described as persistent and frequent passing of loose or watery stools which usually happens 3 times or more in a day. This can be further defined as "relative" or "absolute" depending on the frequency in the passing of stools and its aggregate consistency. If you pass stools more often than usual then you are typified into "absolute"; but if your stool has changed in consistency (like more watery than normal) then you are classified under "relative" diarrhea. This is usually not a major cause of concern in adults as most people get an irritated tummy every once in a while due to some allergies to medications or perhaps contaminated food and beverages. However, this gastrointestinal disorder is dubbed to infectious and contagious especially in poorly sanitized and crowded areas. Younger children are most prone to diarrhea because they tend to put in almost anything in their mouth without washing their hands thoroughly. But, if the symptoms tend to worsen progressively over time and exhibit blood in the stool, fever, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, or severe abdominal pain then it could signal a more serious problem which needs immediate medical attention.

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Types of Diarrhea:

  • Secretory diarrhea - this is defined as the body flushing out more water than usual even with reduced food intake or none at all. Allergic reaction to drugs or certain gastrointestinal infections can trigger this type of diarrhea.
  • Osmotic diarrhea - the body tend to pull water into the bowels which may be caused by a number of factors such as consumption of soy or dairy products, too much salt or sugar intake, taking laxatives, lactose intolerance, and vitamin c or magnesium intake. These compounds are not absorbed well by the body which results to watery stools.
  • Exudative diarrhea - the presence of mucus or blood in the stool with accompanying symptoms such as abdominal cramps, fever, and chills are characteristic of infectious inflammatory bowel diseases (ibd) such as dysentery and ulcerative colitis; to name some.

Causes of Diarrhea

The typical causes of diarrhea could be viral, bacterial, or parasitic in origin. Other causes that could trigger diarrhea infections are also discussed in length.

  1. 1
    Viral infection -
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    The most common culprit for the so-called "toddler's diarrhea" in younger children is caused by either a rotavirus or coxsackievirus - the "stomach flu" or "viral gastroenteritis"
    .
    There is now a way to steer clear of rotavirus infections by getting the rotavirus vaccine shots. The so-called "traveler's diarrhea" is also very common in seafarers or people who frequent varied tourist destinations. This can be passed on through body or hand contact and through contaminated food or utensils. Diarrhea bouts which are viral in nature tend to go away faster than that which are caused by bacterial and parasitic infections.
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  2. 2
    Bacterial infection -
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    Diarrhea caused by bacterial infections such as salmonella, e.Coli, and shigella are to blame for food poisoning
    .
    This is most commonly spread by unkempt food preparation and uncooked food. It is important to cook chicken and eggs well to prevent any food contamination that could lead to explosive diarrhea and aggravation of related symptoms.
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  3. 3
    Parasitic infection -
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    Be wary with unsanitary swimming pools when going out for recreational activities with the kids
    .
    It is recommended to bring safe distilled water to ensure that there are no cryptosporidium or giardia parasites that could contaminate your baby's drinking water.
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  4. 4
    Food intolerance or allergies -
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    There are certain individuals who are picky on food choices in order to avoid food allergies or intolerances that can cause watery diarrhea
    .
    Malabsorption deficiencies show up with lactose, fructose, or gluten food intolerances.
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  5. 5
    Reaction to medications -
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    The use of laxatives, antibiotics, antimotility, and chemotherapy drugs are known to trigger frequent diarrhea.
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  6. 6
    Habitual alcoholic or caffeine consumption -
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    Too much drinking of alcoholic beverages and coffee can precipitate diarrhea and cause dehydration especially when taken in excessive amounts.
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  7. 7
    Other related diseases -
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    There are certain illnesses that can aggravate or trigger diarrhea symptoms such as hypertension, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (ibd), irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer; among others.
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Common Signs and Symptoms of Diarrhea

  1. 1
    Dehydration -
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    You lose lots of water and electrolytes with frequent diarrhea especially if it's accompanied by night sweats and fever
    .
    It is important to keep yourself hydrated and the body be replenished with more fluids and electrolytes for proper body functioning.
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  2. 2
    Fever -
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    This symptom may or may not be present with diarrhea
    .
    If it is a bacterial or parasitic infection then it could be accompanied with fever and chills.
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  3. 3
    Abdominal pain -
    Virtual.marian abdominal pain man.jpeg
    Gastrointestinal pain and distention are commonly associated with diarrhea
    .
    This is most common in cases of food poisoning or contamination.
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  4. 4
    Nausea -
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    Too much loss of essential body fluids and salt can make you feel out of breath or nauseous
    .
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  5. 5
    Vomiting -
    Virtual.marian vomiting lady.jpeg
    This symptom is usually coupled with nausea and dizzy spells
    .
    Bacterial or parasitic infections are the typical culprits for vomiting. Diarrhea and vomiting can cause severe dehydration and warrant immediate medical attention.
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  6. 6
    Loss of appetite -
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    Changes in taste and texture accompanied with fever, diarrhea, and vomiting can make you lose your cravings for food
    .
    Frequent diarrhea with gas or abdominal pain will make you feel less interested with food which can result to significant weight loss. It is important to maintain a well-balanced diet especially rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables served in bite-sized pieces that you can consume throughout the day. Soups and crackers are also recommended for sensitive tummies.
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  7. 7
    Weight loss -
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    Explosive and frequent vomiting with diarrhea can lead to weight loss
    .
    It is recommended to continue with feeding small servings given in a more frequent basis. Light meals (soft diet) are recommended for diarrhea patients.
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How to Treat Diarrhea

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  1. 1
    Slowly sip sports drinks.
    Such as gatorade and recharge, either full strength or diluted to half drink, half water.
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  2. 2
    Slowly sip non-prescription electrolyte supplements.
    Such as pedialyte, found in the infant formula grocery store aisle.
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  3. 3
    Slowly sip clear liquids.
    Such as water and bouillon, unless your doctor has restricted sodium.
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  4. 4
    Avoid juices and sodas.
    Since these can actually worsen diarrhea, cause an imbalance of salt in the blood, and increase the risk of dehydration.
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  5. 5
    When symptoms improve.
    You can offer butter less rice, potatoes or noodles; crackers or toast; unsweetened hot or cold cereals; soups with rice and meat; and yogurt, bananas, and applesauce.
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  6. 6
    Avoid.:
    spicy foods,alcohol, and foods high in fat for several days.
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  7. 7
    You may take over the counter preparations like pepto bismol and kaopectate.
    That will make the stools more solid; however, these medications should be avoided for about the first six hours.
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Dehydration

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Dehydration is excessive loss of water in the body and is a dangerous risk of both vomiting and diarrhea. It can occur quickly, particularly in older adults and children. Dehydration also depletes the body of two essential minerals, sodium and potassium, which are electrolytes. Severe dehydration can be dangerous, and symptoms should be carefully monitored.

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Common Signs of Dehydration

  1. 1
    Unusual thirst.
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  2. 2
    Difficulty in breathing.
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  3. 3
    Sunken looking eyes.
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  4. 4
    Dry mouth and dark yellow urine.
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  5. 5
    Skin that is no longer elastic.
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How to Prevent Dehydration from Occurring or Getting Worse

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  1. 1
    Drink clear liquids.
    Like water and bouillon after vomiting is under control.
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  2. 2
    At the first sign of dehydration, increase your fluid intake to eight to ten large glasses of water a day.
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  3. 3
    You may also drink a rehydration fluid or oral rehydration salts (ORS) like pedialyte to replenish lost electrolytes and fluids.
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  4. 4
    If you regularly take a diuretic and you think you may be dehydrated due to a recent illness, ask your doctor if you should continue taking your medicine or discontinue and replace with another medication.
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Tips, Tricks, & Warnings

  • Talk with your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications.
  • Go to the emergency room if your stool is deep red, black or tar like, with dizziness, or feeling weak.
  • Go to the emergency room if you have severe abdominal pain.
  • Call your doctor if you have diarrhea and recently traveled to a foreign country.
  • Call your doctor if your diarrhea persists for three days or more.
  • Call your doctor if you suspect your medications are causing your diarrhea.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Categories : Stomach

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Eng, Charmed

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