What Are The 4 Types Of Diarrhea
It can be divided into three basic categories: watery, fatty , and inflammatory. Watery diarrhea can be categorized into osmotic, secretory, and functional types. Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common cause of watery diarrhea in children. Inflammatory diarrhea occurs when the bodys immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine, causing it to swell and become inflamed.
Wateriness in infants and young children is caused by a combination of factors, including the amount of water in the infants diet, the type of food the baby is eating, as well as other factors such as the mothers age and the childs weight. A babys water content is determined by the size of his or her stomach and intestines.
Babies who are small for their gestational age have a smaller stomach than larger babies, so their stomachs are smaller than those of their larger counterparts. This means that they have less room to absorb nutrients from the food they eat. As a result, they are more likely to be dehydrated and to have diarrhea.
Ways To Treat Diarrhea
Look for liquids with sugar and salt Pedialyte or full-salt soups work well,” he says. “If your urine is not clear, or you are not making much urine, you are not drinking enough.”
In terms of diarrhea treatment, Higgins says, if you dont have an infection and are not seeing blood, you can take over-the-counter loperamide to slow your bowel movements. But this kind of medication should only be taken for a day or two.
If diet and simple remedies aren’t working, and if symptoms persist for more than a few days and include bleeding, gas, and bloating, you should see a doctor. Your doctor can determine whether the diarrhea is caused by a more serious condition, and can recommend treatment.
Additional reporting by María Villaseñor.
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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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?
When To See A Doctor For Diarrhea
Dr. Cutler assures us that most cases of diarrhea will resolve on their own without treatment. But if you have diarrhea that lasts for three or more days without improvement, you should see a doctor, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You should also schedule an appointment if you have additional symptoms accompanying the diarrhea. “If there is no fever, abdominal pain, blood or pus in the stool, and good hydration is maintained, then there is no immediate concern, but a cause should be sought,” adds Dr. Cutler.
Seek help sooner if you have a weakened immune system, are unable to keep down fluids for more than 12 to 24 hours or if your diarrhea is accompanied by a fever. And you should seek urgent medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
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Foods To Eat When You Have Diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, the foods that you eat and the foods that you avoid can be critical to helping you recover quicker. This is where BRAT foods come in.
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, apples, toast. These foods are bland, so they wont aggravate the digestive system. Theyre also binding, so they help firm up stool.
Other foods that are included in the BRAT diet include:
- cooked cereal, like Cream of Wheat or farina
When Diarrhea Won’t Go Away
If you still have diarrhea after 4 weeks, then you have chronic diarrhea.
To figure out the cause, your doctor will want to know your symptoms and medical history. You’ll get the most out of your appointment if you can tell them:
- How long you’ve had diarrhea
- Whether your diarrhea comes and goes, or is continuous
- If you think certain foods and situations make things better or worse
- If your stool looks bloody, oily, fatty, or watery
- Other symptoms you have and how long youâve had them
- If you have a family history of chronic diarrhea
- Places you’ve traveled to recently
- Unusual foods you’ve tried in the last little while
- Any medication or supplements you’re taking
- If you’ve lost a lot of weight
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Diarrhoea And Vomiting
Speak to a pharmacist if:
- you or your child have signs of dehydration such as dark, smelly pee or peeing less than usual
- you need to stop diarrhoea for a few hours
They may recommend:
- oral rehydration sachets you mix with water to make a drink
- medicine to stop diarrhoea for a few hours not suitable for children under 12
What To Do About Nutrition When You Have Diarrhea
Do stick with bland foods. One tried-and-true diet for diarrhea is the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Low in fiber, bland, and starchy, these foods can help replace lost nutrients and firm up your stools. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , you can also try boiled potatoes, crackers, or cooked carrots.
Do eat small meals. Too much food will stimulate your gastrointestinal tract to move even more, says Ganjhu, and possibly worsen the diarrhea. Eating five or six small meals, rather than three large ones, can give your intestines a chance to digest the food more easily.
Dont eat fried food. Prepare foods like beef, pork, chicken, fish, or turkey by baking or broiling, not frying, which can worsen diarrhea. Cooked eggs are okay, too, according to MedlinePlus.
Do eat when hunger strikes. Listen to your body and dont force yourself to eat, which can worsen symptoms. Trust your body to tell you when and how much it can tolerate, notes Ganjhu.
Dont eat fruits and vegetables that cause gas. Eating gassy food when you have diarrhea can increase intestinal gas and should be avoided. This includes fruits and vegetables like beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and leafy greens and sweet foods like cookies or cakes, per the Mayo Clinic.
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Benefits Of A Diarrhea Diet
If you have diarrhea and potentially related symptoms like nausea, stomach cramps, and bloating, a temporary switch to a limited diet may reduce stress on your digestive system. The diarrhea diet gives your bowels a chance to rest and helps to restore your bodys fluid and electrolyte balance.
Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids, like sodium and potassium. They’re important chemical messengers needed for heart beats, nerve signals, and other functions. The fluid loss in diarrhea may lead to electrolyte imbalance, which may cause serious medical issues.
Simple food choices decrease the amount of residue, or undigested waste, in your colon. The colon is the last part of your digestive tract before waste leaves the body, so less waste means fewer urgent bowel movements.
Foods that move slowly through your system give it more time to absorb nutrients you need to stay healthy, and they help to calm the diarrhea.
Is It Possible To Have Diarrhea With No Fever
Some people may experience diarrhea without other flu-like symptoms, like a fever. Diarrhea can be the first symptom of COVID-19.
In some cases, flu symptoms may come on after diarrhea. Some people may only experience gastrointestinal symptoms without developing any of the more common symptoms.
Research suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19 can enter your digestive system through cell surface receptors for an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 . Receptors for this enzyme are 100 times more common in the gastrointestinal tract than the respiratory tract.
increased risk of developing some types of viral infections.
However, research hasnât yet found that people with IBD are more likely to develop COVID-19 than people without IBD.
New information about COVID-19 is emerging rapidly. As researchers collect more data, itâs possible that research will find that having IBD does increase your risk for developing COVID-19.
According to at an IBD center in Milan, people with IBD should take extra precautions to avoid the virus. These include:
- frequent handwashing
- covering your face when coughing and sneezing
- avoiding people with flu-like symptoms
- staying at home when possible
If you have IBD and have tested positive for COVID-19, speak to your doctor about whether you should stop taking certain medications.
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Eating When You Have Diarrhea
You can bake or broil beef, pork, chicken, fish, or turkey. Cooked eggs are also OK. Use low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt.
If you have very severe diarrhea, you may need to stop eating or drinking dairy products for a few days.
Eat bread products made from refined, white flour. Pasta, white rice, and cereals such as cream of wheat, farina, oatmeal, and cornflakes are OK. You may also try pancakes and waffles made with white flour, and cornbread. But don’t add too much honey or syrup.
You should eat vegetables, including carrots, green beans, mushrooms, beets, asparagus tips, acorn squash, and peeled zucchini. Cook them first. Baked potatoes are OK. In general, removing seeds and skins is best.
You can include desserts and snacks such as fruit-flavored gelatin, fruit-flavored ice pops, cakes, cookies, or sherbet.
When To Contact A Doctor
Blood or mucus may appear in the stool in more serious cases of diarrhea, which can also involve fever. Anyone with these symptoms should speak with a doctor as soon as possible.
Untreated diarrhea can also lead to serious complications, including dehydration. A person with severe diarrhea may require hospitalization and intravenous electrolytes.
Anyone experiencing a fever higher than 102°F or severe abdominal pains should speak with a doctor.
Parents or caregivers should carefully monitor any children with diarrhea. If the symptoms do not clear up within 24 hours, they should call a doctor for guidance.
If a child shows any signs of dehydration, it is essential to seek immediate medical care. The signs
- dry diaper for 3 hours or more
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Lean Chicken Or Turkey
Greasy foods with a high fat content can make your diarrhea worse, so opt for low-fat meat options like skinless chicken or turkey. Mundkur recommends baking the meat and eating it unseasoned, since spices and seasonings can irritate your system. You can use dry or fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or cilantro to flavor the meat, says Mundkur.
Treatments For Eye Problems
If you have thyroid eye disease but your symptoms arenât severe, you can usually manage them by avoiding bright lights and wind, raising the head of your bed, and using eye drops. Your doctor may suggest a selenium supplement. In some cases, your doctor might prescribe a medication called teprotumumab-trbw . Itâs FDA-approved to treat the symptoms of thyroid eye disease. They might also suggest steroids or other medications to help control the swelling behind your eyes.
For some people, especially those with severe thyroid eye disease, surgery is the best option. There are two kinds that can help severe symptoms:
- Orbital decompression surgery involves removing the bone between your sinuses and eye socket. It can make more room for your eyes so that they go back to their normal position. It can help improve your vision. There are risks to the surgery, including double vision.
- Eye muscle surgery is sometimes used to correct double vision. It works by cutting muscles in your eyeball that are covered in scar tissue. Thyroid eye disease can cause this. The cut muscles are then reattached in a different position, which can put your eyes back in proper alignment. You may need this surgery more than once to get the right results.
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When To See A Doctor For Food Poisoning
See your doctor or healthcare provider if you have symptoms that are severe, including:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, including little or no urination, a very dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days
When To See A Healthcare Provider
In many cases, diarrhea will clear up in a few days without the need for treatment or seeing a healthcare provider.¹
However, you should contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea and:²
- You have a fever of 102 degrees F or higher
- You are showing signs of dehydration
- You are an adult with diarrhea for more than two days
- Your child has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours
- You have severe pain in the rectum or abdomen
- You have stool that is tarry or black
- Your stool contains pus
- Your stool contains blood
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What Do I Do If My Baby Or Young Child Has Diarrhea
If your child has severe diarrhea, call your healthcare provider. Young children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults. You also cant treat a childs diarrhea the same way you would an adult case. Over-the-counter medications can be dangerous in young children and all treatments of diarrhea in children should be guided by their healthcare provider. Its important to keep your child hydrated. Your provider will help you determine the best way to do this, but options often include:
- Electrolyte drinks for older children this is not recommended for babies.
The best option to keep your child hydrated might change as the child ages. Always check with your provider before giving your child a new liquid or treatment of any kind.
If you have any questions or concerns about your childs diarrhea, dont hesitate to call your provider.
Foods To Avoid After You Have Your Gallbladder Removed
You may develop diarrhea after having your gallbladder removed. The reason is that without your gallbladder, bile flows directly into your intestines and acts as a laxative.
The diarrhea caused by that process usually goes away in a few weeks to a few months. For quickest results, try avoiding the following:â
High-fat foods. Because high-fat foods are harder to digest, you should avoid them if you’re having gas, bloating, or diarrhea after your surgery. In general, fat should make up no more than 30% of your daily calories. Saturated fat should make up no more than 10% of your daily calories.
Try to stick with foods that contain less than 3 grams of fat per serving. Foods that are high in fat include:
- Tropical oils such as palm and coconut
- Processed baked goods such as cookies, pastries, and cakes
Spicy foods. Foods that contain capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers, can irritate your stomach lining. This can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Foods that generally make diarrhea worse. You may get some relief by avoiding caffeine, dairy products, and very sweet foods.
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What Is Starvation Diarrhea
A major component of starvation diarrhea appears to be an organ-specific malnutrition of the inestinal epithelium, not bacterial overgrowth. The ion cant be salvaged due to the insufficiency of the epitheliums capacity to absorb them. The epithelial cells are unable to repair the damage caused by the overabundance of ions, which leads to the development of a chronic inflammatory state.
What Causes Diarrhoea
There are many different causes of diarrhoea, but a bowel infection is a common cause in both adults and children.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by:
- a virus such as norovirus or rotavirus
- bacteria such as campylobacter and Escherichia coli , which are often picked up from contaminated food
- a parasite such as the parasite that causes giardiasis, which is spread in contaminated water
These infections can sometimes be caught during travel abroad, particularly to areas with poor standards of public hygiene. This is known as travellers’ diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea can also be the result of anxiety, a food allergy, medication, or a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome .
- you’ve lost a lot of weight
- you have passed a large amount of very watery diarrhoea
- it occurs at night and is disturbing your sleep
- you have recently taken antibiotics or been treated in hospital
- you have symptoms of dehydration
- your poo is dark or black this may be a sign of bleeding inside your stomach
You should also contact your GP if you have persistent diarrhoea. Most cases in adults will pass in 2 to 4 days.
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What Not To Drink
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, and soda, may overstimulate the digestive system and make the symptoms worse.
Carbonated drinks may also irritate or contribute to other symptoms, such as bloating and cramps. People should also avoid alcohol when dealing with diarrhea.
Although many sports drinks contain electrolytes that may help with dehydration, they often have added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Coconut water and electrolyte-enhanced water are good alternatives.