Diarrhea: Symptoms and Causes
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is characterized as loose, watery and possibly more frequent bowel movements. Generally, it lasts for a couple of days but if it lasts for weeks, it can indicate a serious disorder.
It can be caused by:
- Viruses: Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, and viral hepatitis can cause diarrhea. Rotavirus is a common cause of acute childhood diarrhea.
- Bacteria and parasites: Parasites can enter your body through contaminated food or water and cause diarrhea. Some parasites are Giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium. Bacteria which can cause diarrhea include salmonella, Shigella, E.coli, and Campylobacter.
- Medication: Antibiotics can cause diarrhea as they destroy both good and bad bacteria, which can disturb the natural balance of bacteria in intestines.
- Lactose intolerance: People who have difficulty in digesting lactose have diarrhea after eating dairy products.
- Chronic diarrhea can be because of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Loose, watery stools
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool
- An urgent need to have a bowel movement
- A complete blood test count is done to determine the cause of diarrhea.
- The stool test is done to determine whether a bacterium or parasite is causing diarrhea.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is done to look at the lining of the colon.
Diarrhea treats on its own within a couple of days. The doctor might recommend medications or other treatments.
- Wash hands before and after preparing food.
- Wash hands after using the toilet, sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose.
- Lather with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer when washing is not possible.