Tips to get rid of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a nasty ailment in which the stool is thin and watery. People with diarrhea often suffer from this several times a day. Often there is also an urgent feeling that you always have to go to the toilet.
Fortunately, diarrhea is usually harmless and takes a few days at the most to clear. However, does the diarrhea persist for a longer period of time or are there certain complaints? Then contact your doctor and read this article.
What are the causes of diarrhea?
Diarrhea can have various causes, such as:
- A virus. There are several viruses that can cause diarrhea (and stomach flu), for example the norovirus, rotavirus or coronavirus.
- Bacteria and parasites. Food or water can become contaminated with malignant bacteria or parasites that can cause infections. Diarrhea is often one of the symptoms.
- Medication. Many medications, such as antibiotics, also kill the good bacteria in the body. This disrupts the balance in the intestines and can cause diarrhea.
- Lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance are less good at digesting the lactose in dairy products. This can lead to diarrhea.
- Artificial sweeteners. Some artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol and mannitol, can cause diarrhea in some people.
- Digestive disorders. Some disorders of the immune system, stomach and / or intestines can cause diarrhea, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.
The coronavirus can infect cells in the gut and multiply there. Some of the Covid-19 patients therefore have intestinal complaints, such as abdominal pain or diarrhea.
What complaints are there with diarrhea?
Most people get diarrhea once or twice a year. This takes an average of two to three days.
If you have diarrhea, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Thin stools
- Watery stools
- Bloated stomach
- Feeling urgent to go to the toilet
- Nausea and vomiting
Some people experience more serious symptoms, such as (severe) fever, dehydration, severe abdominal pain or rectal pain or blood in the stool. With these kinds of complaints it is always advisable to call the doctor.
Are you dealing with another worrying situation? Do not hesitate to contact a doctor.
Diarrhea can also result in dehydration in children and adults.
Signs of Dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Practically no urination
- Dark urine
- Fatigue or dizziness
In babies and young children, there are also other symptoms of dehydration, such as:
- No wet diaper after more than 3 hours
- Dry mouth and / or tongue
- Fever (39 degrees or higher)
- Cry without tears
- Drowsiness or irritability
- Little response to external factors
- Call your doctor if your child’s diarrhea does not improve within 24 hours or if there are serious symptoms such as a high fever or bloody / dark stools.
How can I prevent diarrhea?
Diarrhea can often be prevented. But how?
- Everything starts with good hygiene. It is essential to prevent diarrhea through contamination from others.
- Wash your hands regularly: before meals, after meals and after each time you go to the toilet.
- Rub hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse.
- Important: Also dry your hands well with a clean towel or a piece of disposable paper.
- Use clean knives and cutting boards for food and use separate knives and cutting boards for raw meat.
A healthy lifestyle can also contribute to the prevention of diarrhea:
Drink enough and avoid (as much as possible) caffeine and alcohol
Provide a healthy diet: limit fat and sugar. If necessary, contact a dietician.
Consider probiotics to restore or maintain the balance of good bacteria in the gut
Young children (6 to 24 months) who are born prematurely or have a low birth weight can be vulnerable to the rotavirus. They are often offered a (free) vaccination that offers extra protection .
In less developed (warm) countries where the conditions and facilities are less good than in the Netherlands, you run an increased risk of getting traveler’s diarrhea.
Travelers’ diarrhea can be prevented by being careful about what you eat and drink abroad. This is especially true in less developed countries.
- Only drink bottled or purified water. Avoid tap water.
- Only use bottled or purified water to brush your teeth, make ice cubes, and clean fruits and vegetables.
- Keep your mouth shut while showering.
- Avoid raw or undercooked meat products and dairy.
- Preferably eat hot and cooked food. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables unless they have been cleaned with bottled water.
- Before your trip, look for reliable information about the drinking water and food supply in the country of destination.
What to do in case of diarrhea?
If you have diarrhea, it is important that you drink enough (2 to 3 liters per day), because you will lose more fluid than usual in the stool. The worse the diarrhea, the more you actually have to drink to combat dehydration.
A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water, tea or broth after each bowel movement. Try to avoid soft drinks and sugary drinks (they are heavier on the stomach and intestines).
If you vomit or have a fever in addition to diarrhea, it is even more important to drink enough. You lose a lot of moisture through sweat and vomit.