How Is Rotavirus Diagnosed
If your child has signs of rotavirus, contact your healthcare provider. Providers can often diagnose rotavirus based on symptoms and a physical examination. In some cases, they may take a stool sample to test it for rotavirus. But, this step usually isnt needed.
If you do need to take a stool sample, your provider will give you a sterile container. You collect some of your childs stool in the container. A lab analyzes the stool for rotavirus.
How Diarrhea Is Diagnosed
Many people experience diarrhea and do not go on to receive an official diagnosis as it often clears up on its own. Individuals who experience persistent or chronic diarrhea should seek medical attention so a doctor can diagnose the cause.
Tests for diarrhea include a blood test, a stool test, colonoscopy, and flexible sigmoidoscopy, per the Mayo Clinic.
Research And Statistics: How Many People Are Affected By Diarrhea
According to a review published in April 2014 in The New England Journal of Medicine, approximately 179 million cases of acute diarrhea occur each year in the United States.
A paper published in 2017 in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology states chronic diarrhea affects as many as 5 percent of the population at any given time. 30501-8/pdf” rel=”nofollow”> 8)
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Can Antibiotics Cause Diarrhea
Most antibiotics can cause diarrhea. Antibiotics can change the balance of bacteria normally found in the intestines, allowing certain types of bacteria like C. difficile to thrive. When this happens, your colon can become overrun by bad bacteria that causes colitis .
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea can begin any time while youre taking the antibiotic or shortly thereafter. If you experience this side effect, call your healthcare provider to talk about the diarrhea and discuss the best option to relieve this side effect.
How Can Diarrhea Be Prevented
It’s almost impossible to prevent all cases diarrhea. But there are some ways to make it less likely:
- Wash your hands well and often, especially after using the toilet and before eating. Hand washing is the best way to prevent diarrheal infections that pass from person to person.
- Keep bathroom surfaces like sinks and toilets clean.
- Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating.
- Clean kitchen counters and cooking utensils well after they’ve been in contact with raw meat, especially poultry.
- Refrigerate meats as soon as possible after bringing them home from the store. Cook them until they’re no longer pink. Refrigerate all leftovers as soon as possible.
- Never drink from streams, springs, or lakes unless local health authorities have checked that the water is safe for drinking.
- Avoid washing pet cages or bowls in the same sink that you use to prepare food. And try to keep pet feeding areas separate from family eating areas.
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What Is Drug Addiction
Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. When youre addicted to drugs, you cant resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause. The earlier you get treatment for drug addiction, the more likely you are to avoid some of the more dire consequences of the disease.
Drug addiction isnt about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, sleep and anti-anxiety medications, and other legal substances.
When To See A Doctor
If you have frequent or chronic diarrhea, if might help to see a doctor. They can help you figure out if its linked with a food intolerance or a digestive system disorder.
Frequent diarrhea can be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or another gastrointestinal issue that could be treated.
See a doctor if you notice the following:
- frequent or chronic diarrhea
- severe abdominal pain or cramping
- serious symptoms of dehydration
- stool that contains blood or pus
If you arent sure what foods are causing diarrhea or other digestive symptoms, you might benefit from trying an elimination diet.
To do this, you eliminate certain foods to see if your symptoms improve. This helps you work out how different foods are affecting your body.
If you have chronic or severe diarrhea, or other worrying symptoms, see a doctor for advice about its causes and treatments.
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Diarrhoea Caused By Medicines
- antacid medicines that contain magnesium
- some medicines used in chemotherapy
- laxatives a type of medicine that can help you empty your bowels if you are having trouble going to the toilet
The consumer medicines information leaflet that comes with your medicine should state whether diarrhoea is a possible side effect. Or you can contact the Medicines Line on 1300 633 424, a national information service that provides Australians with information about their medicines over the phone, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm EST. If you need an interpreter, you can ring the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450
Acute Diarrhea In Adults
WENDY BARR, MD, MPH, MSCE, and ANDREW SMITH, MD, Lawrence Family Medicine Residency, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Am Fam Physician. 2014 Feb 1 89:180-189.
Patient information: See related handout on diarrhea, written by the authors of this article.
This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for continuing medical education . See CME Quiz Questions.
Acute diarrhea is defined as stool with increased water content, volume, or frequency that lasts less than 14 days.1 Diarrheal illness accounts for 2.5 million deaths per year worldwide.2 In the United States, an estimated 48 million foodborne diarrheal illnesses occur annually, resulting in more than 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.3,4 In the developing world, infectious causes of acute diarrhea are largely related to contaminated food and water supplies.5 In the developed world, technological progress and an increase in mass production of food have paradoxically contributed to the persistence of foodborne illness, despite higher standards of food production.6
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
In patients with acute diarrhea, stool cultures should be reserved for grossly bloody stool, severe dehydration, signs of inflammatory disease, symptoms lasting more than three to seven days, immunosuppression, and suspected nosocomial infections.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
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Cognitive Function And Hedonic Tone
Cognitive functions, such as learning and , are impaired with zinc deficiency. Moderate and more severe zinc deficiencies are associated with behavioral abnormalities, such as irritability, lethargy, and depression . Zinc supplementation produces a rapid and dramatic improvement in hedonic tone under these circumstances. Zinc supplementation has been reported to improve symptoms of ADHD and depression.
Can I Manage Diarrhea Without Taking Any Medication
When you have an acute case of diarrhea, you can often take care of it without needing any medication. Several things you can do to care for diarrhea include:
- Drinking plenty of water and other electrolyte balanced fluids and caffeine-free sodas). Make sure to hydrate throughout day. Your body loses water each time you have diarrhea. By drinking plenty of extra fluids, you are protecting your body from dehydration.
- Changing your diet. Instead of picking greasy, fatty or fried foods, go for the BRAT diet:
- B: Bananas.
- A: Applesauce.
- T: Toast .
Sometimes, diarrhea can also make you lactose intolerant. This is usually temporary and it means that you need to avoid items with lactose until your diarrhea is gone.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Can vomiting and diarrhea be the signs of another health condition?
- What, if any, medicines can help treat vomiting and diarrhea?
- What should I do if I think my child has food poisoning?
- My child has frequent diarrhea. Should I be worried?
- My child has diarrhea occasionally. Should I be worried?
- What should I do if my child wont eat or drink anything when he or she is vomiting or has diarrhea?
How Is Diarrhoea Diagnosed
Diarrhoea may be diagnosed based on your symptoms and a medical history, taken by your doctor. If the diarrhoea goes away after a few days you may not find the cause.
Sometimes, tests will be needed to diagnose an underlying condition. These include:
If you have ongoing diarrhoea, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist or other specialist to work out the underlying cause.
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Can Diarrhoea Be Prevented
Gastroenteritis the most common cause of diarrhoea is highly infectious, and mostly spread by contact with another person who has the illness, or from contaminated food.
These measures can help to stop the spread:
- wash hands frequently using good handwashing technique
- follow good food safety practices
- if a household member has diarrhoea, they should not prepare food for the other members, and everyone should follow regular handwashing and hygiene practices
- anyone who has diarrhoea should not visit hospitals, aged care facilities, or swimming pools
- babies can be vaccinated against rotavirus
How Can I Prevent Rotavirus
The best way to prevent rotavirus and protect the health of your family is with one of the rotavirus vaccines.
About 70% of children who get vaccinated dont get rotavirus. For those who still get infected, the symptoms are much milder. Put another way, 90% of vaccinated children either get protected from severe rotavirus or avoid the disease altogether.
Talk to your healthcare provider about which rotavirus vaccine your child should get. The vaccines are not given as shots. Instead, the provider puts drops in your babys mouth over a series of visits, based on age. Options and vaccination schedules include:
- RotaTeq® is given in three doses: at two months, four months and six months.
- Rotarix® is given in two doses: at two months and four months.
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Ibs And Other Functional Gi Disorders
Functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome , functional abdominal bloating and distention, functional constipation, and functional dyspepsia may cause problems with gas symptoms.
Functional GI disorders are related to problems with how your brain and your gut work together. These problems can cause you to feel more bloating or abdominal pain or can affect how gas moves through your intestines.
What Symptoms Relate To Diarrhoea
As well as the loose and watery stools of diarrhoea, you may sometimes have other symptoms, including:
- bloating and flatulence
- abdominal cramps, with a colicky pattern
You may feel an urgent need to go to the toilet.
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How Is The Cause Of Diarrhea Diagnosed
To find the cause of diarrhea, your health care provider may
- Do a physical exam
- Ask about any medicines you are taking
- Test your stool or blood to look for bacteria, parasites, or other signs of disease or infection
- Ask you to stop eating certain foods to see whether your diarrhea goes away
If you have chronic diarrhea, your health care provider may perform other tests to look for signs of disease.
How Do You Diagnose Diarrhea
For the majority of mild diarrhea cases, you wont need medical attention. These cases are self-limited and get better without medical intervention. The key to mild diarrhea is supportive therapy staying hydrated and eating a bland diet.
More serious cases of diarrhea may require medical attention. In these situations, there are a few diagnostic tests that your provider may order. These tests can include:
- Discussing a detailed family history, as well as physical and medical conditions, your travel history, and any sick contacts you may have.
- Doing a stool test on a collected stool sample to check for blood, bacterial infections, parasite and inflammatory markers.
- Doing a breath test to check for lactose or fructose intolerance, and bacterial overgrowth.
- Doing blood work to rule out medical causes of diarrhea such as a thyroid disorder, celiac sprue and pancreatic disorders.
- Doing endoscopic evaluations of your upper and lower digestive tract to rule out organic abnormalities .
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What Is Bacterial Overgrowth In The Intestine
Normally, small amounts of bacteria are found in the intestine. If there is a large increase in the amount of bacteria, food and nutrients are not being absorbed properly.
Bacterial overgrowth can result from a slow transit of food through the bowels, or from certain medications. Symptoms of bacterial overgrowth may include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
How To Treat Diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, remember to drink plenty of water and prevent dehydration. Your body is losing more water than usual through watery stool.
The amount of water you need each day varies based on your sex, age, activity level, and build, so there are no official guidelines, but many sources suggest 8 or more 8-ounce glasses per day. Read more here.
Eating certain foods can also help ease diarrhea. The following diets can help:
- the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast
- a bland diet that includes soft, low fiber foods like low fat dairy, processed grains, and lean protein
Potassium-rich bananas are gentle on the stomach lining and help you absorb water and electrolytes you might otherwise lose through waste.
A caffeine-free, herbal tea with ginger or peppermint might also calm your bowels.
If you need to take over-the-counter medication, plenty of choices are available.
Loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate are the most common active ingredients in medications that help relieve diarrhea. However, dont take OTC medications for diarrhea if your symptoms also include fever or blood in your stool.
You can usually treat diarrhea at home with plenty of water and low fiber foods. Medications are also available.
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How Can I Feel Better
Your rectal area may become sore because of all the bowel movements that diarrhea brings. You may have itching, burning, or pain when you go to the bathroom.
For relief, take a warm bath. Afterward, pat the area dry with a clean, soft towel. You may also try using a hemorrhoid cream or petroleum jelly on the affected area.
Whats The Outlook For Children With Rotavirus
Most children recover from rotavirus without long-term health effects. Symptoms last about a week.
If your child becomes dehydrated, it could lead to serious complications and even death. Call your healthcare provider right away if your child shows symptoms of rotavirus. Your provider can help you prevent dehydration.
Also make sure to follow your childs immunization schedule. The rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect your childs health.
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What Is Bloody Diarrhea
Spotting blood in the toilet or on the toilet paper can be upsetting. And blood is always cause for concern. That said, a trace of blood in your stool can be caused by a relatively minor condition, such as mild constipation or hemorrhoids.
But if youre noticing more than a trace, or if the blood is accompanied by other stomach issues, you may need to see a doctor. Possible culprits include a bacterial or parasite infection, inflammatory bowel diseases , and colorectal cancer.
Resources We Love: Diarrhea
Brought to you by an institute within the federal National Institutes of Health outside Washington, DC, this website offers information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. You can also learn about chronic diarrhea or find out how to participate in clinical trials.
According to the CDC, 30 to 70 percent of travelers experience diarrhea every year, depending on where they go. Find out how to prevent and treat the condition.
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How Can Dehydration From Diarrhea Be Prevented And Treated
Oral rehydration solutions are liquids that contain a carbohydrate and electrolyte . Originally, the World Health Organization developed the WHO-ORS to rapidly rehydrate victims of the severe diarrheal illness, cholera. The WHO-ORS solution contains glucose and electrolytes. The glucose in the solution is important because it forces the small intestine to quickly absorb the fluid and the electrolytes. The purpose of the electrolytes in the solution is the prevention and treatment of electrolyte deficiencies.
In the U.S., convenient, premixed commercial ORS products that are similar to the WHO-ORS are available for rehydration and prevention of dehydration. Examples of these products are Pedialyte, Rehydralyte, Infalyte, and Resol.
Most of the commercially available ORS products in the U.S. contain glucose. Infalyte is the only one that contains rice carbohydrate instead of glucose. Most doctors believe that there are no important differences in effectiveness between glucose and rice carbohydrate.
Whats The Difference Between Normal Diarrhea And Severe Diarrhea
There are actually several different ways to classify diarrhea. These types of diarrhea include:
- Acute diarrhea: The most common, acute diarrhea is loose watery diarrhea that lasts one to two days. This type doesnt need treatment and it usually goes away after a few days.
- Persistent diarrhea: This type of diarrhea generally persists for several weeks two to four weeks
- Chronic diarrhea: Diarrhea that lasts for more than four weeks or comes and goes regularly over a long period of time is called chronic diarrhea.
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