Diarrhea usually occurs abruptly and can last less than 4 weeks or persistent. In most instances, diarrhea settles within several days but can last longer. One health risk with this condition is dehydration. The condition can be triggered by bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.
What are the indications of infectious diarrhea?
- Diarrhea along with vomiting for at least 3 times in 24 hours. Mucus or blood might be present in the stools in some cases.
- Fever, headache and aching limbs
- Abdominal cramping that eases every time diarrhea is passed
The symptoms typically settle within a few days or once the immune system clears up the infection. In some cases, hospitalization is required if the symptoms are severe or if complications develop.
Increased intake of fluids
The objective is to prevent fluid loss or deal with dehydration if it has developed. It is recommended to drink at least 200 ml after every episode of diarrhea. If the individual vomited, wait for 5-10 minutes and provide water. It is best to sip every 2-3 minutes.
Among adults, water is the ideal choice since those that contain sugar can aggravate diarrhea. The rehydration beverages are recommended for sick individuals, elderly or those who have underlying health conditions.
It is recommended to eat small, light meals if possible. The individual should eat as soon as he/she is able but should continue drinking. In case the individual does has diminished appetite, it is best to avoid spicy, fatty or heavy foods initially.
Plain foods such as rice and whole meal bread are the ideal foods to eat first.
Anti-diarrheal medications are not usually required. On the other hand, it might be suitable for those who want to reduce the number of trips to the toilet. Loperamide is considered as the most effective and safe to use which works by slowing down the activity in the GI tract.