Diarrhoea Awareness: What You Should Know About Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day. 

In most cases, diarrhoea usually lasts for a couple of days. 

Diarrhoea occurs when the lining of the intestine is unable to absorb fluid. It can also occur when it actively secretes fluid.

Causes of Diarrhoea

Certain conditions may cause diarrhoea. There are:

  • Viruses:  These includes Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, and viral hepatitis. Rotavirus is a common cause of acute childhood diarrhoea.
  • Lactose intolerance: Lactose is a form of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Normally, the body will make an enzyme that helps to digest lactose. However, some people have difficulty digesting lactose, resulting in diarrhoea.
  • Medications: Many medications, such as antibiotics also can cause diarrhoea. They disturb the natural balance of bacteria in the intestines thus causing this condition.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of diarrhoea includes:

  • Loose, watery stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

Although diarrhoea is a common condition, the awareness of its management is still low.

This debilitating condition can cause dehydration which may be life-threatening if left untreated.

It is particularly dangerous in children, older adults and those with weak immune systems. 

In fact, CDC reports 1 in 9 child death is due to diarrhoea.

So, it is really important to increase hydration when experiencing this condition.

If you have signs of serious dehydration, do seek medical help.

Treatment

There are 3 types of drugs used to treat diarrhoea:

  • Antimotility Agents: Diphenoxylate + Atropine (Lomotil) , Loperamide
  • Adsorbents: Aluminium Hydroxide, Methylcellulose
  • Agents That Modify Fluid and Electrolyte Transport: Bismuth Subsalicylate
However, it is advisable to get doctor’s or pharmacist’s consultation before taking these medications.
 

Diagnosis

Besides conducting a physical exam and reviewing medications, the doctor might order tests to determine what’s causing diarrhoea.

These tests include:

  • Blood test: A complete blood count test can help determine what’s causing diarrhoea.
  • Stool test:  A doctor might recommend a stool test to determine whether a bacterium or parasite is causing diarrhoea.

Prevention

Some types of diarrhoea can very easily be passed on to other people. 

Transmission can occur via dirty hands, contaminated food as well as pets.

Likewise, do not prepare food for people if you are suffering from diarrhoea since you may be transmitting the disease through the food you prepare.

So, it is crucial to wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after going to the toilet and also before food preparation. 

Moreover, hand sanitisers are useful when you are not near a sink to wash your hand.

On the other hand, children mustn’t go to school or childcare when they are having diarrhoea.

Though diarrhoea is a common condition experienced by most people at least two to three times a year, the awareness of its management is still low.

Hence, it is crucial to increase awareness by practising the precautions and teaching our children to do the same. 

We at Mayflax also provides drug for diarrhoea such as Lomotil and Bismol. Feel free to contact us here to get our fast and effective services.

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