Causes for Diarrhea Treatment of Loose Stools, Cramps and Dehydration

Having diarrhea means passing loose, watery stools three times a day or more. Anyone can get diarrhea, and this very common issue can last a day or two, or months, or years, all depends on its cause.

Most get better on their own, but diarrhea can be serious for babies and older people if fluids are not replaced. People actually die from diarrhea due to large water and salts loss.

Your change in bowel may have accompanying symptoms like:

  • fever
  • chills
  • dehydration
  • anus discomfort
  • stomach bloating
  • urgent need to go
  • abdominal cramps
  • nauseated stomach
  • loss of bowel control

Diarrhea can be caused by:

  • cholera
  • metformin
  • colon cancer
  • cystic fibrosis
  • malabsorption
  • gastroenteritis
  • high fiber foods
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Whipple disease
  • very sweet foods
  • pancreatic cancer
  • Addison’s disease
  • viral gastroenteritis
  • Clostridium difficile
  • waterborne diseases
  • no identifiable cause
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • medicines ~ antibiotics
  • high-fat or greasy foods
  • peritoneal mesothelioma
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • bacteria, viruses, parasites
  • food intolerances ~ lactose, fructose

Diarrhea can be dangerous for children, and do not hesitate to call a doctor for consultation. The signs of dehydration in babies and young children are:

  • high fever
  • no tears crying
  • dry mouth and tongue
  • unusually sleepy or drowsy
  • no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
  • lose of skin elasticity ~ doesn’t flatten back when pinched

In most cases of diarrhea the only treatment necessary is replacing lost fluid and salts:

  • Adults ~ broth, soup, fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables.
  • Children ~ special liquids containing all the nutrients, such as Pedialyte, Ceralyte, or Infalyte

Taking medicines to stop diarrhea, like Imodium, Pepto Bismol and Kaopectate, can be helpful.

When you begin to feel better, start off by eating soft, bland food:

  • toast
  • bananas
  • crackers
  • plain rice
  • cooked carrots
  • boiled potatoes
  • baked chicken ~ no skin

Children should eat the BRAT diet ~ bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

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