OVER VIEW

Diarrhoea is described as a condition where a person passes three or more watery stools a day. Stomach Infection commonly results in acute diarrhoea. The disease occurs when the intestinal lining is unable to absorb fluid, or it actively secretes fluid.

CAUSES

Diarrhoea may have many different causes including:

  • Infection (with a virus, bacteria or parasite);
  • Any sudden change in diet
  • Food intolerance (e.g. lactose intolerance)
  • Drinking excess alcohol
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Malabsorption (e.g. due to problems with the pancreas)
  • Surgery (e.g. when part of the bowel has been removed);
  • Drug induced diarrhoea (e.g. side effect of antibiotics or some diabetes medications).

Infectious diarrhoea is most commonly caused due to eating or drinking food or water contaminated with viruses or bacteria. In young children diarrhoea is often resulted due to viral infections. These infections can sometimes be caught during travel, especially to those areas with poor standards of public hygiene. This is termed as travellers’ diarrhoea.

SYMPTOMS  

Depending upon the cause, various symptoms exhibits. The common associated symptoms can include:

  • Urgent need to go to the toilet
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in colour of your stools
  • Mucous, pus, blood, or fat in the stools
  • General body weakness and tiredness.

Due to loose stools, excessive loss of water happens which may lead to dehydration, which is to be treated quickly

Signs of Dehydration

  • Increased thirst
  • Little or no urine passed in the last eight hours
  • Urine has dark colour and with foul smell
  • Reduced saliva in the mouth, dry lips, no tears, sunken cheeks or eyes
  • Dizziness, lethargy, floppiness
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cold hands and feet

Most people have experienced an episode of diarrhoea at some point of their lives. Generally, this resolves by its own.

However, seek medical advice if:

  • Diarrhoea lasts for more than 5days
  • Occurrence of blood in the stools, dark and tarry
  • Difference in nature of the stool like, high fat content, which may be seen as pale, greasy, foul smelling stools that are difficult to flush. 
  • Severe dehydration
  • Vomiting, weakness and dizziness persists
  • Weight loss

DIET

Eat food when you feel hungry. Intake of very light and easily digestible foods should be preferred.  Do not eat heavy, hot, spicy food. Restrict eating fatty, sweet or spicy foods until u feel well.

  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Carrot, Beans, Cucumber, green beans, white pumpkins, bitter gourd, Beetroot, Curry leaves etc.
  • Fruits: apples, Bananas, Blueberries, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Strawberries
  • Grains: old rice, barley, green gram, Most beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas
  • Spices: Coriander, Ginger, Garlic, Pepper, Methi seeds, turmeric, Asafoetida
  • Nuts: Almonds, cashews, raisins, walnuts, and Flax seeds
  • Freshly prepared Buttermilk

Consume plenty of fluids like water, tender coconut water, sugar cane juice, lemon juice, etc. Drink oral rehydration fluids (ORS) in case of dehydration.