Treat Diarrhea and Dehydration
Edited by Lor777, Charmed, Eng, Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles
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.
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).
What is Diarrhea?
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.
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.
- 1There 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.
- 2This 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.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Diarrhea
- 1It is important to keep yourself hydrated and the body be replenished with more fluids and electrolytes for proper body functioning.
How to Treat Diarrhea
- 1Such as gatorade and recharge, either full strength or diluted to half drink, half water.Slowly sip sports drinks.
- 2Such as pedialyte, found in the infant formula grocery store aisle.Slowly sip non-prescription electrolyte supplements.
- 3Such as water and bouillon, unless your doctor has restricted sodium.Slowly sip clear liquids.
- 4Since these can actually worsen diarrhea, cause an imbalance of salt in the blood, and increase the risk of dehydration.Avoid juices and sodas.
- 5You 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.When symptoms improve.
- 6spicy foods,alcohol, and foods high in fat for several days.Avoid.:
- 7That will make the stools more solid; however, these medications should be avoided for about the first six hours.You may take over the counter preparations like pepto bismol and kaopectate.
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.
Common Signs of Dehydration
- 1Unusual thirst.
- 2Difficulty in breathing.
- 3Sunken looking eyes.
- 4Dry mouth and dark yellow urine.
- 5Skin that is no longer elastic.
How to Prevent Dehydration from Occurring or Getting Worse
- 1Like water and bouillon after vomiting is under control.Drink clear liquids.
- 2At the first sign of dehydration, increase your fluid intake to eight to ten large glasses of water a day.
- 3You may also drink a rehydration fluid or oral rehydration salts (ORS) like pedialyte to replenish lost electrolytes and fluids.
- 4If 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.
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.