Diarrhea Causes and Prevention

Diarrhea is a problem that could affect anyone. It could affect children, women and men of all ages and regardless of status in life. Although it is not a serious condition, it is a health problem that needs attention because it could lead to a more serious complication, particularly dehydration which could be fatal on the patient.

Many track and field athletes suffer from diarrhea from time to time. This is especially true because some athletes are not very careful with what they eat or drink during practice or during a race. And when an athlete suffers from diarrhea, it could mean not being able to join the race because its symptoms such as increased bowel movement, abdominal cramping, bloating, or nausea could render a person weak and helpless. However, this is a least serious diarrhea problem compared to diarrhea in toddlers and diarrhea during pregnancy.

In developing countries, millions of toddlers and young children die of malnutrition. And one of the leading causes of malnutrition is diarrhea. Aside from that, there are also children who die from dehydration which is one of the complications of untreated diarrhea. On the other hand, many pregnant women also suffer from diarrhea. And diarrhea during pregnancy can be difficult to treat because some medications could affect the unborn baby.

There are different factors that can cause contamination in food and water causing diarrhea on people. Food and water that are contaminated with virus, bacteria or parasitic organisms are the major causes of diarrhea. Contamination is common if there is no proper or adequate sanitation and hygiene during food preparation, cooking, food storage and drinking. Also, consuming seafood caught from polluted water may also cause diarrhea.

There are also cases of diarrhea caused by a person’s intolerance to certain foods such as milk for those who are lactose intolerant. People who undergo chemotherapy, or those who have taken certain medications especially those containing magnesium may also experience diarrhea. And in some cases, patients with Crohn’s disease may also suffer from diarrhea.

Some cases of diarrhea can be prevented such as those caused by water or food contamination. In this case, observance of proper hygiene and sanitation is really important. And when there is uncertainty as to the safety of the drinking water, it is best to boil the water first before drinking. Also, always observe proper hand washing with soap after going to the restroom and before and after eating.

When a person suffers from diarrhea, one of the main priorities for treatment is rehydration. Taking oral rehydration salt (ORS) can help replace the lost fluid and electrolytes in the body. Some doctors may also recommend taking zinc supplement to improve the condition of the patient. In severe cases, rehydration through intravenous fluid may be necessary to aid the patient to rehydrate faster.

Although diarrhea can be treated at home, if the patient is pregnant or is a toddler, it is best to just see your doctor for medical advice on the proper treatment. This is also the safest option for pregnant women since certain medications can be unsafe during pregnancy.

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