Diarrhea is a medical condition which can be easily described as watery, loose stools, which occur three or even more times during one single day. If a person suffers from acute diarrhea, it lasts for no more than two days, and the condition resolves on its own. Chronic diarrhea lasts for more than 4 weeks and it is usually a sign of some serious underlying medical condition. The symptoms of chronic diarrhea may be reoccurring or continual, depending on the case. Any type of diarrhea may lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a medical condition in which the body loses precious amounts of water, chloride, potassium and sodium. These substances are electrolytes and they are very important factors in numerous different types of functions in the human body. Diarrhea may affect all persons from all different age groups.
Causes of Diarrhea
The most common causes of diarrhea include reactions to different kinds of medications such as antacids, cancer drugs and antibiotics. Food sensitivities and intolerances, usually the ones involving milk and different dairy products can also be held responsible for the onset of diarrhea. Various intestinal diseases such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease can also be the causes of diarrhea. The same can be said for certain functional bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Parasites that enter the human body through contaminated water or food may also cause diarrhea. Different kinds of viral infections are among the most common causes of both acute and chronic diarrhea. Perhaps the most common causes of diarrhea are various types of bacterial infections. Diarrhea may also occur after stomach surgery. Traveler’s diarrhea occurs when a person visits foreign countries and gets affected by contaminated food or water.
The most important thing in all different treatment methods is to replace the lost electrolytes and fluids in order to prevent the onset of dehydration. There are certain over the counter medications which can be used for the treatment of diarrhea. Some cases triggered by infections usually need to be treated with prescribed antibiotics. One should avoid sweet foods, foods which are rich in fiber, grease foods and caffeine as much as possible because they are known for aggravating diarrhea. It is highly recommended to consume yogurt, baked chicken, cooked carrots, crackers, toast, boiled potatoes, white rice and bananas. Most cases of acute diarrhea resolve on their own, without the need for any specific treatment.