Diarrhea can be explained as a situation of illness where bowels are discharged frequently and in a liquid form. It can be mild and temporary condition to a condition that can be life threating also. Diarrhea should not be confused with frequent passing of stool of normal consistency. Diarrhea is specifically passing of abnormally loose or watery stools. As per the statistical figure children under the age of 5 mostly from the developing countries die because of diarrhea.
DIARRHEA SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS: The specific symptom od diarrhea is its condition itself that is passing of watery loose stool. It can however be followed by other symptoms like:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Weight loss
- CAUSES OF DIARRHEA:
Diarrhea is mostly caused due to infection in the gastrointestinal tract. The microbes that are responsible for this infection is:
3] Parasitic organism
Some chronic cases of diarrhea are referred as functional because the clear root cause cannot be identified. In the developed countries Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common cause of functional diarrhea.
Treatment for diarrhea:
Usually diarrhea lasts a few days only. Severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts a few days needs to be taken care of and usually a doctor needs to be consulted. Diarrhea can affect adults as well as kids and thus the medications or treatment for the two are different. In case of kids without any delay a pediatrician should be consulted. The three ways that can ease the discomfort of diarrhea are as follows:
1] Stay hydrated- Diarrhea may result in loss of liquid and salts from the body. This brings the fear of dehydration. Frequent loose and watery stools results in fluid loss. To stay hydrated sports drink may be opted. Sports drink have sugar and salt content so the water can be easily absorbed and the taste is also good. At any point of diarrhea caffeinated, alcoholic and sugary drinks should be avoided as they can worsen the situation. Milk and other dairy products should also be avoided as it can lead to lactose intolerance.
2] Try eating a bland diet- While being affected with diarrhea one should keep the diet bland. It is advisable to stay on clear liquids for the first 24 hours. Gradually bland food can be introduced in the diet. For the bland diet banana, rice, applesauce and toast can be consumed this is also known as BRAT diet. These days the diet has been modified to BRATT where this additional T refers to tea. The tea can help in providing relief from stomach pain. Bananas are good for adults but in case of kids if they are struggling from vomiting issue also then banana should be avoided. There is also a possibility that some of the foods may also worsen the situation of diarrhea. The foods that usually irritate the bowel are food that have high content of fiber, like bran, whole grains and brown rice also greasy and excessively sweet foods. If you can claim that diarrhea is a result of a particular food avoid it if the situation remains the same then include it back in your diet.
3] Try some over the counter medication- If the case is of mild diarrhea then certain over the counter medicines can help to ease the situation. Especially if diarrhea has occurred due to consumption of contaminated food or water while travelling in the foreign country. These medicines are available easily and do not require the prescription of a doctor and have no side effects. However, if the medicines have been consumed for two days and still there is no comfort, then medical advice from a specialist should be sought
Home remedies for diarrhea:
1] In case of diarrhea it is important to replenish your body with water, sodium, potassium and chloride so to fulfill this need half teaspoon of salt with for spoon of sugar in one liter of water should be consumed. To enhance the taste and adding potassium in it add a little orange juice or lemon juice in it.
2] As you start to eat food in case of diarrhea start consuming see through food like chicken broth or Jell- O.
3] Consuming carrot is also a good option. Boil some carrots and then blend it to bring to baby food consistency. Eat half cup of it every hour to soothe the irritation from diarrhea.
4] Yogurt is full of healthy bacteria and helps to restore their levels in your gut. It is advisable to consume yogurt during diarrhea but avoid the flavored yogurt.
Fruit juices and foods that are rich in roughage should be avoided.