Diarrhea is a common problem in which loose and watery stools occurring more than three times a day. It generally lasts a day or two and goes off all by its own. There is no special treatment required. It is gain in the rate of bowel movements and a reduction in the form of stool. Diarrhea in adults is normal but in infants and children under age three, it can cause dehydration comparatively quick.
Diarrhea can further stimulate dehydration that means that the body lacks fluid that could make it function properly. Extended diarrhea is indeed a sign of some other problems. Patient of diarrhea can pass over a quart of stool in a day. People of all ages can get diarrhea.
Causes of Diarrhea
Some of the most common causes of diarrhea are-
- Bacterial infections-Different types of bacteria can cause diarrhea that may enter in your body through contaminated food or water. The examples are Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli.
- Viral infections-There are several viruses that can cause diarrhea, such as, Norwalk virus, rotavirus cytomegalovirus, viral hepatitis and herpes simplex virus. Viral gastroenteritis is a mild viral infection that gets alright on its own in some days.
- Food intolerances-In this case, the patients are not able to digest the food components, just like lactose.
- Parasites-Parasites can enter your body by water or food and affect your digestive system. Parasites cause diarrhea such as Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia.
Some people acquire diarrhea following the stomach surgery or taking away of the gallbladder. It can even be due to frequent changes in how fast food moves in your digestive system after surgery of stomach.
Signs and Symptoms of Diarrhea
The general signs of dehydration are thirst, less urination, dry skin, fatigue, lightheadedness, and dark color urine. Diarrhea may be followed by cramps, nausea, abdominal pain, bloating and a serious need to go to the bathroom. As per the cause, the patient can have fever or blood in stools.
Diarrhea can be acute that is, short-term or chronic, that is long-term. The acute form of Diarrhea may last less than four weeks. Chronic diarrhea lives on more than four weeks and is related to disorders such as bowel syndrome or celiac disease. As long as diarrhea leaves on its own, a wide search for the cause is not essential typically.
Tests and treatments
There are diagnostic tests that tell the cause of diarrhea:
Patient’s medical history and physical examination tell the doctor about patient’s eating habits and the use of medication to examine the signs of illness. With stool culture, the lab technicians examine a sample of stool and check for virus, bacteria, parasites or other infection or disease. Blood tests tell about diseases in the body. Fasting tests when the patient does not take in lactose, carbohydrates or other foods to observe the diarrhea infection. In Sigmoidoscopy, the doctor uses a particular tool to look inside the rectum and the lower part of the colon.
Medicines that treat diarrhea are helpful. But doctors do not recommend it for patients with bacterial infection or parasite diarrhea. Generally, in this case, doctors advice antibiotics.