Things You Should Know About Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is that when your bowel movements become loose or watery. In simple words diarrhoea is passing loose or watery bowel movements 3 or more times in a day or more frequently than usual. Diarrhoea ranges from Mild Condition and Temporary Condition to the Life Threatening State.These can be categorised into two:
- Acute Diarrhoea: In this state Diarrhoea is usually mild and doesn’t last long (Lasting for few days).
- Chronic Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea that lasts for few weeks or months and which can result in life threatening issues too(intestine or stomach).
Some Key Points About Diarrhoea
- Most cases of diarrhoea are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
- Antidiarrhoeal medications can reduce diarrhoeal output and zinc supplement is effective in children.
- Some nutritional and probiotic interventions may help prevent diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea may have many different causes including:
- Infection through a virus, bacteria or parasite.
- Change in diet.
- Caused by viral infection.
- Food intolerance (Allergies from food).
- Drinking excess alcohol.
- Due to problems with the pancreas.
- Surgery where part of the bowel has been removed.
- Irritable bowel disease.
- Medicines (because of the side effect of antibiotics or some diabetes medications).
Prevention of diarrhoea may be more challenging due to dirty water and poor sanitation
The following can help prevent diarrhoea:
- Drinking water must be clean and safe.
- Wash chopping boards with hot water and soap.
- Disinfect bench tops, stove tops and boards with a diluted bleach solution.
- Good sanitation systems (waste water and sewage).
- Breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life.
- Good hygiene practices, including washing hands with soap after defecation, after cleaning a child who has defecated, changing napkins, after disposing of a child’s stool, before preparing food and before eating.
- Avoid dairy products.
- Avoid fatty food.
- Consume digestible foods like soups, unseasoned rice, oats etc.
Diarrhoea refers to watery stools, it also have other symptoms
- Stomach ache.
- Persistent vomiting.
- Abdominal cramps.
- A feeling of Weakness.
- Change in the color of motions.
- Blood, Pus, or fat in the Motions.
- Sudden Weight Loss.
- Passing less urine than normal.
- Lack of energy.
- Dry mouth.
- Children will have less tears when crying.
Tests for Diarrhoea
- Full blood count: A raised platelet or anemia count will suggest inflammation.
- Liver function tests: This will also includes testing of albumin levels.
- Tests for malabsorption: This will check the absorption of calcium, vitamin B-12 and folate. It will also assess iron status and thyroid function.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate(ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP); Raised levels may show inflammatory bowel disease.
- Testing for antibodies: May detect celiac disease.
- Antibiotics : Used to treat diarrhoea caused by a bacterial infection.