Categories: disorders

Diarrhea: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview

Diarrhea is described by the loose, watery stools and the everyday need to have a bowel movement. It usually lasts for a few days and frequently vanishes without doing any handling and treatment. It may be acute or chronic.

Acute diarrhea happens when the complaint lasts for only one to two days. The patient might have watery stools as a consequence of a viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes it could be due to food poisoning. There is another illness known as traveler’s diarrhea, which happens as a result when the patient has watery stools after exposure to the bacteria or parasites while on vacation.

Chronic diarrhea states the condition that continues for at least four weeks. The situation usually the result of intestinal diseases such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

Causes

The person may experience this disease as a result of many conditions. Possible causes of diarrhea comprise:

  • a food intolerance i.e. lactose intolerance
  • due to food allergy/poisoning
  • an adverse reaction to a medicine
  • a viral infection
  • a bacterial infection
  • due to the intestinal disease
  • a parasitic infection
  • due to stomach surgery

The Rotavirus is a more common cause of childhood diarrhea. Bacterial infections due to salmonella or E. coli are also very common. Chronic diarrhea may be due to the symptom of a more serious illness such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. The recurrent and severe diarrhea could be a sign of intestinal disease.

Symptoms

There are numerous diverse indications of this condition. The person may experience following signs and symptoms. The symptoms may be influenced by the cause. The person may feel one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • The abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration and sometimes severe
  • Fever
  • Bloody stools
  • Frequent urge to empty your bowels
  • The large volume of stools

The relation between dehydration and diarrhea

The loss of fluids rapidly and causes the possibility of dehydration. If the disease remains untreated, it may lead to very severe effects. The symptoms of dehydration comprise of

  • Fatigue
  • The dry mucous membranes
  • Tachycardia
  • Headache
  • lightheadedness
  • The increased thirst
  • Reduced urination

You must contact your doctor if your diarrhea is causing dehydration.

Diarrhea in children

Seek immediate treatment for the children, if they have

  • a loose motion for 24 hours or more.
  • fever of 102°F (39°C) or higher.
  • stools that contain blood.
  • stools that contain pus.
  • stools that are black and tarry.

Diagnosis

Your physician will do a thorough physical examination and reflect your medical history when determining the cause. The laboratory tests are useful to observe urine and blood samples.

Further tests may use to determine the actual cause of watery stools and other linked conditions.

  • The fasting tests to determine food intolerance or allergy.
  • The imaging tests to determine any inflammation and structural anomalies.
  • The stool culture to observe the bacteria and parasites.
  • The colonoscopy to observe the entire colon.
  • The sigmoidoscopy to check the rectum and lower colon.

Treatment choices

This is also known as loose and watery bowel movements, which is a common disorder that is typically not severe and that can frequently be cured with over-the-counter medicines. In some circumstances, including diarrhea that lasts an extensive period, or diarrhea with blood, should be treated.

The treatment for watery stools usually needs fluids. This just means that the patient may need to drink more water or electrolyte replacement drinks.

In more complicated cases, fluids through intravenous therapy are necessary. If the bacterial infection is the reason for watery stools then you should consult your doctor.

The physician will choose your treatment based on the ruthlessness of watery stools and linked condition, the occurrence of disease and related illness, the grade of your dehydration status, health, the medical history, patient age, the ability to tolerate different measures or medications and expectations for the advancement of your complaint.

Prevention

Even though watery stools can ensue for several causes, there are activities that can be used to avoid it.

  • Avoid diarrhea from food poisoning by washing the food preparation zones more regularly.
  • Serve the food instantly after making it.
  • Always melt frozen food in a refrigerator.

In the case of traveler’s diarrhea

The traveler’s diarrhea can be prevented by the following measures

  • The use of antibiotic treatment before you leave will significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease.
  • Avoid tap water, ice cubes.
  • Drink bottled water only during vacation.
  • Eat completely cooked food only while on vacation.

The spreading of disease due to the viral or bacterial infection can be prevented by washing the hands more commonly. When you wash down your hands, use soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. Use the hand sanitizer, if washing with soap is not possible.

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