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  • Siddhant Sugandhi

Lose Your Loose Motions

Diarrhea is a common symptom characterized by loose, watery stools and an urgent, frequent need to defecate. It usually lasts for 2-4 days and often gets resolved even without treatment. Diarrhea can be acute or chronic in nature depending on the cause.

Acute diarrhea occurs following an infection that is usually viral or bacterial in origin. It lasts for 1-2 days before it gets resolved. Sometimes, it could be caused due to food poisoning, hence it’s always advised to have healthy, hygienic food. A recent common example of acute diarrhea can be seen in COVID-19 patients.


Chronic diarrhea is a manifestation that should be carefully examined and may be caused by a more severe condition corresponding to the gastrointestinal track such as a Celiac Disease of Crohn’s Disease. It lasts for more than 3-4 weeks and needs prompt treatment including treatment of the underlying cause.


There is also a third specific type of diarrhea usually seen in travelers especially ones travelling by ships. It’s called Traveler’s Diarrhea and is caused by an intestinal parasitic infestation.


Diarrhea could also be caused due to some other problems:

  1. Adverse reaction of a drug

  2. Food allergy or intolerance

  3. Gall bladder or intestinal surgery

  4. Chronic Intestinal disease

Symptoms

Diarrhea can be rather easily diagnosed. It must be diagnosed promptly as it maybe a result of some major complication. Some of its symptoms include:

  1. Fatigue

  2. Dry mucous membranes

  3. Increased heart rate

  4. Headache

  5. Lightheadedness

  6. Increased thirst

  7. Decreased urination

  8. Dry mouth

These symptoms are easy to identify even without the aid of a doctor. Although it is critical to visit a doctor given one is faced with such symptoms for a long time.


Treatment

Acute diarrhea usually doesn’t require any specialized treatment and often resolves on its own with simple rehydration therapy.

The treatment protocol for Chronic diarrhea is a little complex and highly variable depending on the cause. One might be subjected to a lot of diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the problem and then provide adequate treatment.


The mainstay of treatment for Diarrhea is rehydration therapy that may be achieved by oral or intravenous routes depending on the condition of the patient.


Prevention

Diarrhea is an easily preventable complication that can be prevented by maintaining basic hygiene and eating healthy food. Some of the measure you can take to prevent diarrhea are listed below:

  1. Wash hands before having meals

  2. Clean fruits and vegetables thoroughly

  3. Make sure to eat at hygienic places

  4. Serve food directly after cooking

  5. Promptly refrigerate left-over food

  6. Always thaw frozen food in a refrigerator



Conclusion

Diarrhea is a common health issue that is often overlooked. However, if you have frequent episodes of the same or it lasts for more than 2 weeks, it is essential to visit a medical practitioner.


Prescription medicines can be expensive and hence its vital to be informed about alternate medicine options that can save you a significant amount on your medical bills.


The best way to deal with diarrhea is to have plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. So, don’t forget to have water!

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