It is a condition wherein the patient passes 3 or more loose/liquid stools per day. It spreads through contaminated food or drinking water or from person to person as a result of poor hygiene.
The causes can be classified into two types namely Infectious causes and Non infectious causes.
- Infectious causes: It is mainly is due to viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites infections.
- Non infectious : This may be due to Mal absorption, hyperthyroidism, Lactose intolerance, Drugs, Tumors, Inflammatory bowel diseases or Irritable bowel syndrome.
Symptoms of diarrhea are as under:
- Loose watery stools
- Lower abdomen pain
- Urge to go to the toilet
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood in stools
- Dry mouth
Danger signs include reduced consciousness, unresponsive, decreased urine output, feeble pulse, decreased blood pressure, not able to drink fluids.
In children it may be sunken eyes, Excessive sleepy/ less active, decrease in the urine output, Sunken abdomen, Skin does not flatten after being pinched and irritable skin.
Investigations done are blood tests and Stool examination – microscopy & culture.
Treatment involves the following:
- Consuming plenty of fluids.
- ORS (oral rehydration solution)
- Taking antibiotics, anti motility drugs or zinc containing tablets.
- In case of females, continue breast feeding for infants.
- Eat when you feel you are hungry.
The below are the preventive measures that can be taken:
- Proper hand washing before cooking, eating and after coming from toilet.
- Wash the raw vegetables properly before cooking and use clean utensils.
- Drink boiled water
- Rotavirus vaccination
- Drink pasteurized milk
- Usage of Probiotics