GENERAL HEALTH
October 30th, 2020
3 mins read

A Guide To Diarrhoea: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

A loose stool can have many causes but can also only be a one-time occurrence, which is easily treated

it helps to know a few home remedies for diarrhoea, here are some

be sure to try a loose motion remedy before self-administering any antibiotics for diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is among the more uncomfortable and distressing stomach problems you can face as it is normally accompanied by pain and the possibility of dehydration. In such cases, the first symptom is loose motion, meaning the passing of a watery stool.

A loose stool can have many causes but can also only be a one-time occurrence, which is easily treated with common home remedies for loose motion or loose motion medicine. However, if loose motions persist even after administering loose motion treatment, then it is possible to have a condition called diarrhoea. This is when the lining of the intestine is either unable to absorb any fluid or continually secrets fluid. There are quite a few causes of diarrhoea, but only 3 main types of diarrhoea. They are:

  1. Acute diarrhoea
  2. Persistent diarrhoea
  3. Chronic diarrhoea

These conditions can affect anyone and, if left untreated, can have adverse effects on health and general well-being. This is why is absolutely important to know what diarrhoea is caused by and the common symptoms associated with it. To add to that, it also helps to know a few home remedies for diarrhoea, as the disease can pass with adequate intervention. To arm you with this knowledge, here are few pointers.

Causes of diarrhoea

Diarrhoea can be caused by several factors and this is why, before administering any form of treatment, doctors perform a physical examination. In doing so, they may also inquire about your medical history as diarrhoea can also be a side-effect of medication. Additionally, knowing the causes of diarrhoea can also push you try home remedies for stomach pain and loose motion, which can offer relief. Here are the main causes of diarrhoea.

  • Bacteria and parasites

Organisms such as the Salmonella bacteria or the Cryptosporidium parasite present in contaminated foods can cause infection that leads to diarrhoea.

  • Medication

Antibiotics destroy all bacteria, good and bad, thus disrupting the natural balance in the intestines. A side effect of this can be diarrhoea.

  • Lactose intolerance

Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products and is hard to digest for some, which causes loose motion.

  • Fructose and artificial sweeteners

Similar to lactose intolerance, an inability to digest fructose or artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol can cause diarrhoea.

  • Viruses

Rotavirus, cytomegalovirus, viral hepatitis, and Norwalk virus are common viruses that cause this condition.

  • Digestive disorders

Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and microscopic colitis often cause chronic diarrhoea.

  • Surgery

Surgeries in the abdomen or gallbladder removal can also cause distress that results in diarrhoea.

  • Malabsorption

Incomplete absorption of certain nutrients like sugars can cause server cases of diarrhoea, even explosive diarrhoea.

Symptoms of diarrhoea

While frequent loose motions are the first sign of this condition, there are other symptoms that usually follow as well. Pay attention to these as they can lead to serious complications if ignored. Here are the symptoms you can expect to experience with diarrhoea:

  • Frequent loose, watery stools
  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • General weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Associated weight loss

Treatment for diarrhoea

In some cases, remedies for loose motion treatment at home can work to relieve the symptoms of diarrhoea. However, if you’re uncertain of the best way to address the condition, it is important to seek medical care. These are the typical treatments that you can expect for diarrhoea.

Oral hydration or intravenous (IV) rehydration

The first and best way to treat diarrhoea is to rehydrate the body. With this condition, large amounts of fluids are lost, and this loss should be treated first to avoid complications that can arise due to dehydration. Here, the doctor may suggest replacing the lost fluids with fluids rich in essential minerals, salts, and electrolytes. These help restore the body back to normal. However, if oral rehydration doesn’t work, for instance, if it causes vomiting, your doctor may resort to intravenous (IV) rehydration.

Antibiotics

Given that infection is among the causes of diarrhoea, a quick way to treat it is by the use of antibiotics. These are administered based on the cause – whether the disease is due to a bacteria or parasite. If it is found that a virus is responsible for the condition, then antibiotics will not help.

Readjusting your current medication

Diarrhoea can also be caused by medication and doctors may readjust your current dosage to reduce this side effect. If this doesn’t work, you may be advised to switch over to new medication altogether.

Home remedies for diarrhoea treatment

To effectively reduce the symptoms or relieve yourself of diarrhoea altogether, you can try these home remedies.

  • Rehydrate with sports drinks or rehydration solutions

Avoid dehydration at all costs. Simply consuming water isn’t enough, you need additional salts too. So, consider alternatives like sports drinks, rehydration solutions, broths or even juices.

  • Consume foods with probiotic content

Foods like yoghurt, pickles, cottage cheese and sourdough bread have ‘good’ bacteria, which help restore the gut and intestine to normal.

  • Eat low-fibre foods to firm up the stool

Stick to the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast – and other bland, easy-to-digest foods like crackers.

  • Avoid greasy and high-fibre foods

Apart from fried food, even vegetables like broccoli, chickpeas, and beans, which are otherwise good for you, should be avoided when trying to treat diarrhoea at home.

Whether you’re experiencing a case of traveller’s diarrhoea or if you’ve fallen sick at home, be sure to try a loose motion remedy before self-administering any antibiotics for diarrhoea. Ideally, you should only consider medications for such a condition under advisement of a doctor as this eliminates possibilities of any future complications.

In case of any doubts, you can find, book & consult a doctor from the comfort of your home, on Bajaj Finserv Health. View doctors’ years of experience, consulting hours, fees and more before booking an e-consult or in-person appointment. Apart from facilitating appointment booking, Bajaj Finserv Health also offers health plans for your family, medicine reminders, healthcare information and discounts from select hospitals and clinics.

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