Diarrhea is a condition where a patient has watery and loose stools. In most cases, this is related to an infection of the stomach and should subside in a day or two. However, diarrhea can be serious in some cases, especially when its related to IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.
Below are some of the facts worth knowing.
What are the symptoms?
Typically, patients suffering from diarrhea have loose and watery stools, and there might be some abdominal bloating and pain. You may feel the need to rush to the bathroom every now and then for bowel movement, along with other common signs, such as nausea and vomiting. While diarrhea isn’t a life-threatening condition, it can be related to many other gastrointestinal diseases. Experts of USPI always suggest patients to check their stool for color changes. If you see blood in your stool, call your doctor immediately. Also, keep an eye for the serious symptoms, including weight loss and fever. Diarrhea causes dehydration, and therefore, keep a check on your fluid intake, as well.
Check the causes
Commonly, diarrhea is a result of viral infection that affects the guts, and in such cases, the patient usually feels better after a couple of days. However, diarrhea can be associated with heavy drinking, food allergies and diabetes. It can occur owing to many of the intestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease. Eating certain foods, especially from unhygienic conditions, can also lead to stomach infection. Other causes include use of certain drugs, hyperthyroidism, stomach cancer, recent surgeries, and running.
For general mild cases, patients don’t need any medications. However, some people may choose to take over-the-counter medicines for reducing pain and discomfort. Follow the instructions of your doctor if you just had a surgery or are suffering from one of the serious ailments of the stomach. As mentioned above, staying hydrated is more than essential, because dehydration can lead to other serious complications. Consider if you need ORS, and if possible, stay away from restaurant food for a while. If you have dehydration, check for signs such as extreme thirst, dry mouth, unexplained weakness, yellow urine and fatigue. Talk to your doctor immediately if you don’t feel better after having enough water.
If you have any of the chronic stomach conditions, your doctor may suggest certain tests to find if diarrhea is related to underlying complications. Don’t delay in seeking medical help.