Almost everyone in their lifetime experiences an episode of diarrhea, usually after eating something unpleasant which results to watery stools. It usually goes away after taking medication but can be dangerous if left untreated. Diarrhea is a common digestive disorder that causes loose and frequent bowel movements. There are several factors that cause diarrhea which include:
- Lactose intolerance
- Medications like antibiotics
- Certain viruses (rotavirus), bacteria, and parasites
- Fructose and artificial sweeteners
Diarrhea lasts for a few days and doesn’t usually require you to visit your doctor unless symptoms persist longer than usual.
Loose bowel movement (LBM) can be painful and embarrassing for some people since it causes frequent visits to the toilet. Those who get it may experience nausea, abdominal cramps, and in some severe cases blood in your stools. Watch out for early signs of dehydration due to diarrhea like dry mouth, excessive thirst, and dizziness.
Who are at risk
Diarrhea usually happens when you eat something that wasn’t cooked well or was contaminated by certain parasites. Traveler’s diarrhea is a common occurrence for those who travel to other countries and consume exotic dishes which their stomachs are not used to. LBM is a serious disorder which can cause severe dehydration, most especially in children.
The easiest way to cure diarrhea is to always have some antimotility pills (loperamide) in your medicine kit. Staying hydrated is very important when you have LBM since you are losing lots of fluids and electrolytes. Consider taking oral rehydration salts to replace lost fluids. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for severe cases but never administer any kind of drug without a proper prescription from your physician.
There are many ways to avoid getting diarrhea like not eating suspected food and beverages which may be unsafe for consumption. Practicing good hand hygiene can help eliminate germs and stop the spread of other diseases. In an article published on CBS, it was reported that those who are suffering from diarrhea should avoid using public baths and swimming pools since some infectious bacteria like cryptosporidium are able to survive chlorine exposure. It is also recommended that you vaccinate your child against rotavirus to add a layer of protection against acute diarrhea.
For healthcare workers
Healthcare providers should exercise proper sanitation when handling patients with diarrhea. Ensure proper disposal of human waste and always make sure that clean water is available at all times. Always consult your doctor before drinking any kind of medication, including vitamins. Keep in mind that your physician is in the best position to prescribe the right kind of treatment for your condition. Immediately stop using a product if you experience negative side effects.