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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.

  1. Infectious causes: It is mainly is due to viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites infections.
  2. 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
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blood in stools
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • 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

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