A medical condition characterized by loose, frequent and watery stools, diarrhea can last for a week or more. Medical professionals believe that this is one of our body’s ways to expel the harmful organisms that are damaging our systems. Some people agree to let diarrhea run its course to expel the toxins inside us. What needs to be prevented though is the dehydration as it can be life threatening especially for children and older adults. How to stop diarrhea?
To prevent dehydration, the patient should keep the electrolytes up in the body. There are some ways that we can do when we have this medical condition. Knowing how to treat diarrhea is essential to save us or our loved ones from dehydration that can put our lives at risk.
Before we proceed with how to treat diarrhea, it is important that we have even for just a small look, the background on the causes of diarrhea. It will help us more because by knowing the cause we can treat diarrhea and not just its symptoms.
Causes of Diarrhea
So what are the different causes of diarrhea? Below are the most prominent causes of this medical condition.
There are good bacteria that we call. A good example of this are the probiotics. Meanwhile, there are what some people call as bad bacteria. These are the ones that cause diseases by destroying or damaging our body functions. When bad bacteria entered our system and attacked our digestive system, they cause gastrointestinal conditions. One of them is diarrhea. Many gastroenterologists believe that food contamination is the cause of diarrhea due to bacteria. According to some of them, unrefrigerated foods were the most common cause of diarrhea. Unwashed foods and improper food handling also contribute to the risk.
In addition to bacteria, viruses can also cause this medical condition. Some infections due to virus exhibit other symptoms aside from watery and frequent stools. In some cases, it comes with vomiting.
Viral infections in the digestive system are mostly due to improper hand washing and sharing of utensils with those that have the infections. Food contamination is also another cause. One way of preventing these is to avoid contact with infected people as the viruses are contagious and can be easily spread.
Another cause of diarrhea that we should be aware of are medications. There are some medications that have this medical condition as one of its side effects. Most of the medications that can result to us having diarrhea are antibiotics.
There are instances wherein we suffer from this condition due to food intolerance. Some reports say that around 30 to 50 million people in the U.S. have lactose intolerance. So when lactose intolerant individuals eat foods or drink beverages with dairy products, it can result to them having diarrhea.
Medical professionals can help patients address this because they can provide us with supplements that can enhance the way our digestive system functions. They also believe that these supplements can also help those with lactose intolerance problems become more immune to dairy items.
How To Stop Diarrhea
Since we now have a background of the causes of the condition, we can proceed with exploring the different ways to learn how to treat diarrhea.
Save Yourself From Dehydration
As mentioned dehydration is the one to watch out. To avoid this, while having diarrhea, the patient should frequently take clear drinks. Alcoholic drinks as well as those with caffeine are a big no. It also goes with beverages that have milk. Many nutritionists and experts agree that drinking milk while suffering from this condition can make diarrhea longer as it should be. Drinking sports drink and others that have electrolytes can also help especially those who have severe and moderate cases.
Go for BRAT Foods
Another tip on how to treat diarrhea is to go for BRAT foods. These are the foods that are perfect for fighting diarrhea especially for kids. Bananas, rice, apples and toast are what make the BRAT foods. Medical professionals commonly recommend this diet because they show promise in shortening the episodes of the condition.
Pump Your Diet With Probiotics
You heard it right. Pumping your diet with probiotics can help improve and clean up your digestive system. Some researchers found that the bacteria cultured in yogurt with probiotics are effective to cut the duration of the condition.
If your child is not a fan of yogurt or other foods with probiotics, you can always try the supplements form. One research that was conducted when it comes to probiotics is that it can help shorten the disease by a single day.
Always Seek Medical Help
If diarrhea symptoms continue for several days or much more over a week, it is best to consult with a medical professional. Medical experts consider it to be no longer acute and instead a chronic one if the symptoms do not go away in a week’s time. Remember that having the proper diet and keeping ourselves hydrated will only help, but if the condition gets worse, then it is about time to seek medical help.
How will we know if the condition warrants assistance from a medical professional? There are some symptoms that you need to look at and observe. One of these is if the diarrhea comes with vomiting. When this happens, especially if the patient is aged three months and below, then it is best to go to the doctor as soon as the symptoms occur. For older kids, vomiting over half day warrant a medical assistance.
It is also best to observe the color of the stools. Bloody, oily or black stools need to be looked at since many medical research point them as signs of serious diseases. Dizziness, dehydration symptoms, high fever, muscle cramps and weakness are the other alarming signs to be aware of. By seeking professional help, we are sure that the doctors know and treat the real cause of the condition. They will also prescribe the appropriate treatments or medication such as drinking over the counter drugs like bismuth subsalicylate or loperamide. Moreover, in moderate and severe cases, having medical professionals watching and helping us will ensure our recovery from diarrhea and other complications to be fast.