We all go to toilet which is supposed to be fun, however, sometimes this process of getting waste out of your body changes and becomes loose or watery stool & it’s called diarrhea.
Diarrhea is a very common health issue & the main cause is uncertain and it usually goes away on its own after few days, but we do know for now that it can be caused by bacteria & virus
Diarrhea can happen for a wide variety of reasons. When you have diarrhea, you usually experience visiting the toilet with haste & urgency which may happen more frequently than normal. You may also feel bloated, have lower abdominal cramping and sometimes experience nausea.
What causes diarrhea?
The most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that infects your bowel. The infection usually lasts a few days and is sometimes called “intestinal flu.”It can also be caused by
• Infections by other organisms and pre-formed toxins• Eating foods that upset the digestive system.
• Allergies and intolerances to certain foods (Celiac disease or lactose intolerance).
• Medications (some antibiotics like clindamycin, erythromycin)
• Radiation therapy.
• Poor food absorption
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
You can experience moderate or severe symptoms when you have diarrhea & they vary depending what the cause of the diarrhea is.
The main symptom of diarrhea is loose or watery stool but a sufferer can also experience all or some of these other symptoms.
Mild diarrhea cases often have these signs
• Bloating or cramps in the abdomen.
• Nausea (upset stomach)While severe cases have the above with an addition of some of these
• Weight loss.
• Severe bowel pain.
• Vomiting (in some cases)Severe diarrhea can lead to significant complications. If you have these symptoms, call your healthcare provider and seek medical attention.
Diagnosis And Tests
Often times, the color of your poop (stool) can vary depending on the color of the food you eat. This shouldn’t be much of a worry except when you see blood in your stool or have a black bowel movement. You can help matters by keeping a record of any bowel movements such that are :
• Are black and tarry
• Have blood or pus in them
• Greasy or oily despite non-fatty meals
• Are very foul-smelling
Most times, mild diarrhea cases don’t need medical attention. They only lasts for a fixed amount of time & get better without medical intervention. Anyways. Staying hydrated and eating a bland diet can help against mild cases of diarrhea.
When it is involves the severe case, it may require medical attention. In such situations, here is what you should do :
• Stool test: Have samples of your stool collected to check for blood, bacterial infections, parasite and inflammations.
• Breath test: This is to check for lacking lactose or fructose intolerance & bacterial presence.
• Endoscopy: This is to evaluate the upper & lower digestive tract in search of organic abnormalities (ulcers, infections, neoplastic process).Prevention If you follow these steps, you can decrease your chances of having diarrhea:
• Vaccinations: Rotavirus, one of the causes of diarrhea, can be prevented with the rotavirus vaccine. This is given to infants in several stages during the first year of life.
• Washing hands: Make it a habit to wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, when cooking & after eating . Washing your hands thoroughly can really help keep you and those around you stay healthy.
• Proper food storage: keeping food stored at the right temperatures & not eating things that have gone bad or exposed to open air can prevent Diarrhea. You should also be careful when trying local foods from street vendors, eating raw or undercooked meats (and shellfish), as well as raw fruits and vegetables
• Treated water & liquids: When you drink water or other drinks that haven’t been treated correctly, you can get Diarrhea. This is often the case in developing countries. Watch what you drink (don’t drink if you aren’t sure of the source). Don’t drink or consume unpasteurized milk, milk products or unpasteurized juices. When in doubt, drink bottled water or something that’s been boiled first (coffee or tea).
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