Diarrhoea - Health Center

Diarrhoea

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Diarrhoea is known as the occurrence of loose, watery stools in more frequency as compared to the normal rate. Usually Diarrhoea is something which everyone goes through at one phase of their lives or the other.The signs and symptoms of Diarrhoea last for a couple of days. However, in some of the rare cases these symptoms can last for over some weeks. In these situations, diarrhoea can emerge as a sign of a more severe disorder, such as bowel inflammatory disease or irritable bowel syndrome. 

Causes of Diarrhoea:

Diarrhoea occurs when the ingested food passes off too quickly or in a very large amount across the colon. In normal circumstances, the colon goes out to absorb the liquids at a normal pace. However, if the liquids contained in the foods are not absorbed, they lead to watery bowels.

A number of reasons contribute towards causing Diarrhoea:

  1. Viral Infections: Viruses such as Norwalk Virus, Cytomegalovirus and virus Hepatitis are known to cause Diarrhoea. Rotavirus is very common amongst children.
  2. Bacteria: Food and drinks contaminated with bacteria and other parasites are known to cause Diarrhoea as well. Parasites such as Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium are known to cause Diarrhoea as well.
  3. Lactose Intolerance: Lactose is one of the major ingredients of milk and other dairy products. People suffering from lactose intolerance have problems digesting lactose and thus experience diarrhoea once eating dairy products.
  4. Surgery: People who have recently undergone abdominal or gallbladder surgery are known to suffer from diarrhoea.
  5. Digestive Disorders: Certain digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative celiac disease or microscopic colitis are known to cause diarrhoea. 

Signs and Symptoms of Diarrhoea:

The following are the major signs and symptoms associated with the disease:

  •       Frequent and loose, watery stools
  •       Cramps in the abdomen
  •       Pain in the abdomen
  •       Fever
  •       Passing of blood in the stools
  •       Abdominal bloating

It is recommended to visit a doctor if your diarrhoea persists for more than two days and you become severely dehydrated. Also, in case you have abdominal or rectal pain accompanied by bloody stools and fever, it is must to see a doctor as soon as possible. In young children, the diarrhoea can quickly lead to dehydration. Get your child tested in case his diarrhoea lasts for more than a day. 

Tests and Diagnosis of Diarrhoea:

The following tests and procedures are used for the diagnosis of Diarrhoea:

  1. Physical Examination: The doctor takes a measurement of your body temperature. The blood pressure and pulse is also measured in order to check for signs of dehydration. The abdomen is checked for signs of cramps.
  2. Review of medications: The doctors often check for the medications which have been taken by the patient in the past.
  3. Blood Tests: A complete blood test is done in order to determine the cause of diarrhoea.
  4. Stool Test: In some cases, a stool test is recommended in order to check out the bacterium or the parasite which is causing diarrhoea. 

Treatment and Drugs for Diarrhoea:

Most cases of Diarrhoea tend to clear out on their own within a couple of days without any treatment. However, certain drugs and medications are known to greatly help against treating diarrhoea.

Antibiotics: These are used in order to treat the diarrhoea which is being caused due to bacteria or parasites. However, if a virus is the causative agent of the disease, then antibiotics won’t help.

Replacement of the fluids and salts is necessary during diarrhoea. Doctors recommend drinking fluids, juices or broth. However, if the intake of the fluids is upsetting the stomach or is inducing nausea, the fluids can be inserted intravenously. It is recommended to drink electrolytic solutions, which are rich in both sodium and potassium. These minerals are known to maintain the electric currents within the body stable.

In some of the rarer cases if Diarrhoea is being caused due to an underlying condition such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the doctors work towards controlling that underlining condition. Specialist’s help may be needed in order to look for a treatment plan for the condition. 

 

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