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Mild Indigestion Or Diarrhoea? Let’s Find Out

Diarrhoea is a condition where an individual passes loose and watery stools multiple times a day. It can cause dehydration, a condition in the body lacks enough fluid and electrolytes to work properly. Also malabsorption can be a complication, in which the body does not absorb enough nutrients.

Diarrhoea can be of 3 types:

  1. Acute: lasting for 1 or 2 days

  2. Persistent: lasting longer than 2 weeks but lesser than 4 weeks.

  3. Chronic: lasting at least for a month and the symptoms keep appearing and disappearing

Symptoms of diarrhoea

People may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Passing loose and watery stools

  2. Cramps

  3. No control of bowel movements

  4. Nausea

  5. Pain in the abdomen

  6. Lightheadedness

  7. Fever and chills

  8. Bloody stools if diarrhoea is because of certain infection

Serious symptoms in adults

  1. Long lasting diarrhoea, typically more than 2 days

  2. High fever typically more than 102 degrees

  3. Frequent vomiting

  4. Multiple number of toilet visits to pass stools which are all loose and watery in 1 day

  5. Extreme pain in the abdomen or rectum

  6. Black, tarry or blood or pus contain stools

  7. Extreme dehydration causing high fatigue to body

Serious symptoms in infants, toddlers, and young children

  1. Long lasting diarrhoea, typically more than 1 day

  2. High fever typically more than 102 degrees

  3. Extreme pain in the abdomen or rectum

  4. Stools that are black, tarry in colour or contain blood or pus

  5. Dehydration

Causes

Acute and persistent diarrhoea

  1. Infections

  2. Viral infections. Diarrhoea can be caused by many viruses such as Norovirus, Rotavirus or Viral Gastroenteritis which is a common cause of acute diarrhoea.

  3. Bacterial infections. Contaminated food or water carry infectious bacteria which enter the body when consumed. Diarrhoea can be caused by many bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and Shigella .

  4. Parasitic infections. Contaminated food or water can carry infectious parasites too which enter the body when consumed settling in the digestive tract and the infections that spread through these foods and drinks in the digestive tract are called food borne illnesses.

  5. Side effects of medicines such as antibiotics, antacids or medicines used to treat cancer

Chronic diarrhoea

  1. Infections

  2. Food allergies and intolerances such as allergies to eggs, soy, seafood, certain grains or being lactose intolerant

  3. Digestive tract problems like ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestine bacterial growth, gastro disorders

  4. Abdominal surgery such as surgery of the appendix, gallbladder, large or small intestine, spleen, stomach, liver, pancreas etc.

  5. Long-term use of medicines


Diagnosis

  1. Medical and family history

  2. Eating habits and general lifestyle

  3. Physical exam such as checking for signs of dehydration or checking the blood pressure

  4. Digital Rectal Examination

  5. Stool test

  6. Blood tests

  7. Fasting tests

  8. Endoscopy such as colonoscopy or upper GI endoscopy

Management:

  1. Drink fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids is very important to avoid dehydration.

  2. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS): There are certain home made ORS or Oral Rehydration Solutions. These can be prepared easily such as salted rice water, soup with salt or even salted buttermilk.

  3. Medications: Doctors may prescribe antibiotics in cases of acute diarrhoea and not in all situations.

  4. Eating: It is very much recommended by WHO (World Health Organisation) to continue feeding a child with diarrhoea. The feeding will help in the speedy recovery and restore the normal functioning of the intestine.

References:

https://www.nhp.gov.in/

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Disclaimer

The content made available on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases in any way. BreathAndBeats.com, it’s team and it’s content partners strongly recommend that you consult a licensed medical practitioner for any medical or health condition.


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