How to Treat Diarrhea

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How to Treat Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition where there an increase number of bowel movements and a change in stool characteristics. Here are some things you should know to treat diarrhea.

Symptoms

  • Loose watery stools
  • Increased in bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain and cramps.

Diarrhea happens when both the frequency and stool characteristics are altered.

Causes

  • Gastroenteritis leads to diarrhea.  The common viruses that cause diarrhea are cytomegalo virus, herpes simplex virus and viral hepatitis. Diarrhea in children are usually caused by the Rota virus.
  • Bacterial infection and presence of parasites in the body may lead to diarrhea. Eating and drinking contaminated foods and water are the usual reasons for the presence of bacteria in the body. The bacteria that usually contaminate foods and water are salmonella and Escharichia Coli (E.Coli). Crptosporidium is an example of a parasite that causes diarrhea.
  • Diarrhea can also be a side effect of some medicines. Before taking any medication, it’s important that you learn its side effects so you are aware of what to do or avoid. Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotic therapy, especially when you don’t follow instructions and the recommended dose. Some drugs that may cause diarrhea are Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) , Metoclopramide (reglan) and chemotherapy drugs.
  • Being Lactose intolerant can cause diarrhea if you’re not careful of the foods you eat.
  • Ingestion of  frustose is a common cause of diarrhea in children. Frustose can be found in most fruits.
  • Frequent diarrhea may also signal an underlying illness. Some conditions that can result to diarrhea are  Celiac disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Dumping Syndrome.

Medications

An irritated bowel may heal on its own when the irritant is excreted out of the system. Unless you have an underlying condition that needs to be treated, you can take an anti-diarrheal drug to relieve symptoms of this condition. Here are some examples of anti-diarrheal and anti motility drugs that you can take.

  • Loperamide (Imodium)
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate ( Pepto-Bismol)
  • Diphenoxylate (Lomotil)

Antibiotics may also be given to treat diarrhea caused by bacterial infection.

Treatments

If your diarrhea gets worse, consult your doctor to get proper treatments.

  • Fluids and Electrolyte replacements. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration. If you’re at risk of or is already dehydrated because of the rapid loss of important nutrients in your body, your doctor may start replacing loss fluids and electrolytes. If you’re confined in a hospital, you may be given Intravenous fluids to manage dehydration.
  • Oral Rehydrating Solution (ORS) is a formula you can take to counter the effects of dehydration. Taking this solution would replace the fluids and electrolytes you’ve lost through diarrhea. This can be bought in powdered form. Add it to your water, following the proper measurements and directions.

Home Care

  • Have enough fluids. To replace lost fluids and electrolytes, make sure that you drink more than enough fluids. Avoid those that can dehydrate you more, like coffee and soda.
  • Decrease your fiber intake until diarrhea stops.
  • Avoid eating foods that can irritate your digestive system like spicy and fatty foods. Foods high in salt should also be avoided. Eat bland, soft or semi-solid foods like rice, soup, crackers, and bread.

Prevention

Diarrhea can easily prevented by following these tips.

  • If you’re lactose intolerant, avoid dairy products. Be careful of the foods you eat and make sure they don’t contain lactose.
  • Prepare foods properly. Unhygienic food preparation contaminates your foods and put you at risk of getting diarrhea and other diseases caused by ingestion of harmful microorganisms.
  • Be careful of what you eat. It’s very helpful to know the foods that irritates your stomach. These can vary from one person to another. If you’re the type of person can’t eat various types of foods, keeping a list handy would be very helpful.
  • When in doubt, don’t. If you’re not sure how the food is prepared or if you think the food is already spoiled, don’t eat it.
  • Store your foods in clean containers and cover them so bacteria don’t get in the food.
  • Avoid drinking tap water. If you can’t buy processed water, boiling your water is a good way of killing bacteria.

 

Comments

  1. on March 2nd, 2012 at 11:58 am

    [...] Diarrhea. It occurs because of partial obstruction of the bowels and excessive bacterial growth in the small bowels. Poor nutrient absorption, large intestine inflammation and bile acids can also cause this. Oftentimes, blood comes with the stool. (Tips on how to treat diarrhea) [...]

  2. Mike D said,

    on January 12th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I use Ceralyte every day, you have to figure out which product you need.
    It doesn’t contain SUGAR, which is great because Sugar increases my diarrhea.
    It doesn’t contain Red Dye or Yellow Dye like Gatorade.
    Powerade contains way to much sugar.

    Ceralyte has multiple flavors.

    If you buy in volume, you can get the price down.

    MD