Most of us have experienced diarrhoea at some point every year. Usually, diarrhoea does not last long and goes away in a few days. However, if it persists longer, then it warrants your attention.
When you have diarrhoea, it is common to also feel the sense of urgency to rush to the toilet multiple times a day. You may also feel like vomiting in some cases, feel bloated or have stomach cramping.
Can diarrhoea be dangerous?
Diarrhoea is usually mild, but based on the causes and the severity, it can have dangerous complications, especially in children who suffer from losing a large part of their body fluid fast. The most significant dangers from diarrhoea all stem from the loss of water and electrolytes in your stool. Electrolytes help to keep the water in your body. When you lose them, your body not only loses the water it loses then but also can not keep more water that you try to take in, unless you correct the electrolytes. This dehydration causes dangerous complications such as:
What are the types of Diarrhoea?
What causes diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea can be caused by any factor that upsets the normal way your digestion and absorption work. If you retain more electrolytes in your digestive system or unabsorbed sugars, your stools will retain more water. Such changes can be caused by many factors like:
What are the symptoms of diarrhoea? When should I visit a doctor?
If you are an adult, diarrhoea is less problematic than it is for a child. However, you should visit a doctor if:
In children, especially younger children with lower body weight (and so, less fluid overall), the effect of diarrhoea can be drastic very quickly. So, more attention to be given to warning signs. Visit your doctor if:
What are the signs of dehydration?
In adults, the common symptoms are:
In infants and children, who can not speak to you, the following help to identify dehydration:
How is diarrhoea treated?
If your diarrhoea is serious, your doctor will recommend multiple tests that may include stool sample tests, urine tests or blood tests. If the situation looks serious endoscopic examinations may be done. Your doctor is the best guide to help you with the right course of treatment depending on the age and causes. One or more of the following methods may be recommended:
How to manage diarrhoea at home?
If the person with diarrhoea is a child, then attention must be given to any signs of dehydration and a doctor consulted as early as signs show. It is also important to note that certain over-the-counter medicines for adults may not work well in children and in fact, could be harmful. It is important to keep the child hydrated with breast milk, formula food or electrolyte drinks based on his/her age.
Some useful methods include:
If you are experiencing diarrhoea after consuming an antibiotic or other medication, always check with your doctor before discontinuing the medicine mid-dose.