Most of us consider diarrhoea as a health condition or an illness where we get more frequent, watery and loose stools. The most dangerous aspect of diarrhoea is that it causes dehydration, which can be life threatening.
Diarrhoea that comes on suddenly and goes away soon is called acute diarrhoea, which mostly gets better on its own. Diarrhoea that lasts for a month or longer needs a doctor’s attention and treatment for any resultant complications.
What causes diarrhoea?
There are a number of ways a person can get diarrhoea and here are a few of them.
Infections can happen anywhere and anytime. It can come from contact with an infected person, from contaminated food or water, undercooked food which is also called food poisoning. People who travel to distant countries get ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’ by drinking water that’s unhygienic or food that is infected.
Some medicines like antacids, laxatives, metformin, some antibiotics, cholesterol lowering medicines, thyroid hormones and more causes diarrhoea.
Too much of alcohol can lead to acute diarrhoea similarly drinking too much of caffeine can also cause diarrhoea.
Toxins are found in insecticides, pesticides and in arsenic, which when consumed from the food you eat, lead to diarrhoea.
Conditions like lactose intolerance, celiac disease or pancreatic problems can cause diarrhoea.
Conditions like hormonal disorder, certain carcinoid tumours, inflammatory bowel diseases like IBS and radiation therapy to control cancer can also cause diarrhoea.
What is the treatment for diarrhoea?
The treatment for diarrhoea include drinking plenty of fluids, taking oral rehydration drinks, IV fluid replacement, antibiotics, nausea drugs and anti-diarrhoeal medicines under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
As far as diet is concerned limit of fatty, sweet or spicy foods and increase consumption of yoghurt to populate good bacteria in the stomach. In young children diarrhoea can be controlled in children by avoiding things like fruit juices which is one of the biggest reason for diarrhoea in children.