Patient's Complete Guide to Diarrhoea

Overview of Diarrhoea

Loose watery stools or a frequent bowel movement are the classic symptoms of Diarrhea. Sometimes in more severe cases, Diarrhoea can be paired with severe vomiting and fever.

Signs and Symptoms of Diarrhoea

Loose watery stools or a frequent bowel movement are the classic symptoms of Diarrhea. Depending upon the condition, it can be acute or chronic. It is a pretty common issue among children and adults. It usually goes away on its own but sometimes can linger for an extended amount of time.

If you have Diarrhoea for longer than 1 week, it may be an indication of some other underlying issue.

Types of Diarrhoea

There are many symptoms of Diarrhoea. You may fell most of them or only some of them depending upon your overall health and your immune system. Usually the symptoms you are feeling depend upon the cause of the disease in the first place. The symptoms that most people feel are:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • A frequent need to pass the stool
  • Body aches
  • Feverish body
  • Bloating
  • Cramps

Causes of Diarrhoea

Generally, there are two types of Diarrhoea.

  1. Acute Diarrhea

Acute Diarrhoea remains for a course of one to two days. You may suffer from this because of some viral or bacterial infection.

  1. Chronic Diarrhea

Chronic Diarrhoea remains for a course of up to 4 weeks. Chronic Diarrhoea occurs as a result of some intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
Some people also suffer from Traveller’s Diarrhea. This happens when one is exposed to some bacteria or parasites while being on vacation.

Risk Factors of Diarrhoea

From over-eating to some viral infection, you can have Diarrhoea for any number of reasons. Some pretty common reasons are:

  • Consuming food you have an intolerance for. Like consuming lactose when you are lactose intolerant.
  • You have some sort of food allergy
  • Food poisoning
  • Some times, you can have Diarrhoea as a side effect of some high potency medication
  • A viral infection can also make you sick
  • You may have Diarrhoea as a result of some intestinal disease
  • A parasitic infection can also make you have Diarrhoea
  • Artificial sweeteners are also known to cause Diarrhoea in people
  • Undergoing a gallbladder or abdominal surgery can also cause Diarrhoea.
  • In some people, fructose can also cause Diarrhoea
  • Some other digestive issues can also cause Diarrhoea

Among children, rotavirus is the most common cause of Diarrhoea. Some bacterial infections due to E. Coli or Salmonella are also common causes of Diarrhoea.

Prevention

Diarrhea makes you lose the fluids quickly and greatly increases your chances of being dehydrated. Proper treatment and diet are pretty crucial to stay healthy and not trigger any complications.
Watch out for these symptoms of dehydration in your body:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased urination
  • Headache
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased thirst
  • A lightness

Young children and infants having Diarrhoea also face dehydration issues. Proper intake of fluid is very important for a speedy recovery. Look out for these symptoms in younger children:

  • Dry mouth/lips
  • Fatigue
  • Increased irritability
  • Dry skin
  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased urination
  • Headache

Sometimes in more severe cases, Diarrhoea can be paired with severe vomiting and fever. It is a must to consult a doctor for proper treatment. Some complications that require immediate medical attention may include:

  • A young child having Diarrhoea for longer than 24 hours
  • Having a fever higher or equal to 102 F.
  • Passing stools that contain blood
  • Passing stool that contains pus
  • Black colored or tarry stools

All of these symptoms indicate some sort of infection and require immediate medical consultation.

Diagnosis

You can prevent Diarrhoea by following several simple practices. Some of these tips can also help you:

  • Wash the cooking utensils, raw food items, and your hands properly.
  • Serve food immediately after preparing it
  • Refrigerating the leftovers properly
  • Eating cooked food while being on vacation
  • Drink only bottled water while being on vacation
  • Washing hands

Treatment of Diarrhoea | When to Consult a Doctor

Diarrhea is diagnosed through a couple of physical examination procedures. Your doctor will also require your medical history and some medical lab tests to examine your urine or blood samples.

Some tests that can be helpful in diagnosis and treatment are:

  • Fasting tests - these tests are conducted to rule out any food intolerance or food allergy
  • Imaging tests - these tests are used to check for any inflammation or the occurrence of any abdominal abnormalities
  • Stool culture - this is done to check for any bacterial, parasitical, or some other disease in your body
  • Colonoscopy - This is done to thoroughly check the colon for any signs of intestinal disease
  • Sigmoidoscopy - this is done to check the lower colon and rectum for any possible intestinal disease.

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Diarrhoea

Dr.m Shoaib Khan, Medical Specialist
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Dr Jahanzeb Afridi, General Physician
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Dr. Ayusha Khan, Medical Specialist
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Dr. Bushra Ali, Gastroenterologist
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Dr. Arif Amir Nawaz, Gastroenterologist
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Dr. Kamran Shafiq, Gastroenterologist
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Dr. Abdul Jabbar, Medical Specialist
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Dr. Abdul Jabbar

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