Diarrhea is a common illness that everyone experiences. It is characterized by passing stools and by abdominal pain or cramps. Diarrhea usually goes away on its own in a few days, but severe or chronic diarrhea that lasts for weeks can be a sign of a serious health problem that needs attention.
Symptoms of diarrhea
The most important and noticeable symptom of diarrhea is watery stools, which occur three times a day. Diarrhea can also lead to the following symptoms:
•Pain or tightness in the abdomen
•Go to the bathroom often
• Loss of control over bowel movements
If diarrhea is caused by an infection, people may also experience some signs:
• Bloody stools
• Fever and chill
• Light-headedness and dizziness
Causes of diarrhea
Diarrhea can be caused by a number of factors. The most common causes of diarrhea are:
Infections: There are three types of infections that cause diarrhea:
Viral infections, including norovirus and rotavirus
• Bacterial infections that can enter the body through contaminated food or water. Common bacteria that causes diarrhea include Campylobacter, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and Shigella.
• A parasitic infection that enters the body through food or water and enters the digestive tract. The parasites that cause the bacteria include: Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia.
Traveller diarrhea: This type of diarrhea is caused by eating food or water that contains bacteria, viruses or parasites when traveling abroad, usually in developing countries. Traveller diarrhea is usually short-lived, but some parasites cause long-lasting diarrhea.
Side effects of medications: Many medications can cause diarrhea. If you believe your medication is causing diarrhea, consult your healthcare provider. He or she may change the dose or suggest that you switch to another medication.
Food allergies: Sometimes diarrhea can be caused by an allergy to certain foods, such as milk, beans, eggs or seafood. In these cases, the diarrhea is always chronic. Lactose intolerance is a common condition that can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms after you eat or drink water containing milk or milk products.
Digestive disorders: Diarrhea can be a sign of serious health problems such as digestive problems. These can include inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease.
Prevention of diarrhea
To prevent diarrhea, you should practice hygiene by washing your hands regularly before eating and after going to the bathroom.
Another important way to prevent diarrhea in children is to be vaccinated against diarrhea, which causes severe diarrhea, mostly in infants and children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that infants be vaccinated against this type of diarrhea for the first time at 2 months of age. The second round should be used at 4 months of age and the third if necessary, at 6 months of age.
Article by:Health.D Cam