It is a relatively common thing to take antibiotics in order to treat various different kinds of infections and eventually end up with severe bouts of diarrhea. Some types of antibiotics are known for causing diarrhea in a large number of people.
Why Antibiotics Cause Diarrhea
The intestines of a healthy person contain billions of different bacteria, and they are all perfectly balanced. Most of them are friendly bacteria which are very important in the process of digestion and they are also very efficient in fighting off all the harmful types of bacteria. Antibiotics serve the purpose of killing bacteria, but unfortunately they cannot tell the different between the good and the bad bacteria which inhabit the intestines in the human body. The good bacteria get destroyed as well and the balance gets disrupted so it all leads to the onset of diarrhea. The bad bacteria called C difficile start taking over, since there are no healthy bacteria to keep them at low levels. These harmful bacteria start producing certain toxic substances and those are actually the exact cause of diarrhea. If left untreated it all can lead to certain serious medical conditions such as colitis and sometimes even the life threatening condition medically referred to as toxic megacolon. Diarrhea triggered by antibiotics usually occurs when a person takes more than one prescribed antibiotic at the same time. The same thing occurs when powerful antibiotics are used or perhaps when antibiotics are taken for prolonged periods of time.
If a person suffers from diarrhea triggered by prescribed medications, he or she should inform the prescribing doctor. In most cases, diarrhea resolves on its own once the course of antibiotics is complete. Some cases require switching to some other type of antibiotic. If a person suffers from bloody stools, rectal pain, abdominal pain or diarrhea which lasts for more than three days, immediate medical attention needs to be sought. In cases of C difficile, another type of antibiotic may be used in order to treat the condition. These alternative types of antibiotics are specially designed to destroy the harmful types of bacteria so that the friendly ones can multiply again and maintain a healthy balance in the intestines.
Prevention of Dehydration
In order to prevent and treat dehydration which often accompanies diarrhea, it is very important to drink plenty of water, fruit juices and sports drinks. Fresh fruits are also highly recommended, as well as beef and chicken broth. Yogurt can also be of great help in the treatment.