Diarrhea is a common health problem in India. It happens when there is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or when there is an increase in the looseness of stool. It can sometimes be mild, temporary or can also be a life-threatening one. Usually, it lasts for a couple of days in few individuals. But if diarrhea lasts for weeks, it can indicate a serious disorder which can be a persistent infection, inflammatory bowel disease, or a less serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- Loose watery stools
- Bloating in the belly
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
It affects the stomach, intestines and the digestive system, which leads to dysentery, vomiting, and dehydration. It is caused when there is increased secretion of fluid into the intestine, reduced absorption of fluid from the intestine or rapid passage of stool through the intestine. The main reason for diarrhea is when there is consumption of contaminated food and water.
- Allergies to certain foods
- Alcohol abuse
- Laxative abuse
- Some cancers
- Surgery on digestive system
- Radiation therapy
Dehydration can be caused by diarrhea, which can be life-threatening if untreated. It is particularly dangerous in children, older adults and those with have a weak immune system. If it doesn’t improve within 24 hours call your doctor.
Few common signs of serious dehydration in adults and infants
- Dry mouth or skin
- Little or no urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Not having a wet diaper in three or more hours
- Excessive thirst
Prevent diarrhea by drinking boiled water and home-cooked food. Roadside food should be avoided, always keep the surrounding clean and practice good hygiene. Infants can be protected from rotavirus (the most common cause of viral diarrhea in children) with approved vaccines.
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