Diarrhea – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

diarrheaWhen your stools are watery and loose, it means you have diarrhea. It is a common digestive disorder which is usually not serious. Most people have this condition once or twice a year and it lasts usually for 2 or 3 days. Over the counter medicines can treat this condition. It may also come as a symptom of other health conditions like the irritable bowel syndrome.

Diarrhea Symptoms

Some of the common diarrhea symptoms include the following:

  • Loose and watery stools
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • An urge to have a bowel movement

Serious diarrhea symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the stool

You may also become dehydrated if you have watery stools more than three times a day and you aren’t taking enough fluids. In such cases, the condition may worsen if left untreated.

Diarrhea Causes

Usually an infection of your gut by a virus causes this condition and is known as stomach flu or intestinal flu. Other common diarrhea causes include the following:

  • Taking foods that upsets the stomach
  • Diabetes
  • Certain foods that you may be allergic to
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Certain medications
  • Laxatives abuse
  • Infection by bacteria or other microorganisms
  • Hyerthyroidism
  • Certain cancers
  • Radiation therapy
  • Trouble in absorbing the nutrients
  • Surgery on any part of the digestive system

When to consult the doctor?

It is better to consult a doctor if you seem have the following symptoms:

  • High fever that lasts more than 24 hrs.
  • Blood in the stools
  • If diarrhea lasts longer than 2 days
  • Pain which is severe in the abdomen or rectum
  • Nausea if it prevents from taking fluids to replace lost fluids

Along with this condition, if you have the symptoms of dehydration like dry skin, irritability, headaches, dark urine and rapid heart rate, then also consult a doctor.

Treatment for Diarrhea

No need to take anything for mild conditions. If required take over the counter medicines which are available as tablets or liquids and follow the instructions on the pack. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink at least 3 liters of water per day. Have fresh fruit juices. Drink water between meals and not during the meals.

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