Some Studies Show Gastrointestinal Symptoms Are More Common Than Previously Thought & Linked To Poorer Outcomes
The gastrointestinal symptoms of coronavirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and lack of appetite, according to the CDC.
A study conducted in China found that gastrointestinal symptoms might be more common than previously thought. Instead of the 4% initially suggested, the study found that 11.4% of 651 coronavirus patients presented with GI tract symptoms. In the studys conclusion, researchers noted, Attention to patients with COVID-19 with non-classic symptoms should increase to protect health providers.
Medical researchers attempting to understand why coronavirus appears to cause respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms conducted studies on coronavirus patients, using nasal swabs and testing their fecal matter. In a , they noted that the presence of coronavirus could indicate an alternative route of infection and might be the result of fecal-oral transmissions:
In over half of the patients, faecal samples remained positive for SARS-CoV2 RNA for a mean of 11 days after clearance of respiratory tract samples. A recent study further confirmed that 8 of 10 infected children had persistently positive viral rectal swabs after nasopharyngeal testing was negative. Importantly, live SARS-CoV-2 was detected on electron microscopy in stool samples from two patients who did not have diarrhoea, highlighting the potential of faecal-oral transmission.
Causes Of An Upset Stomach
If your stomach is bothering you, it is most likely due to irritation or inflammation of your stomach lining. There are several different reasons why the lining could get irritated or inflamed.
One of the reasons could be from eating or drinking too much. Sometimes its as simple as that you had too much food during you most recent meal. Instead of having two slices of pizza you ate seven.
Drinking too much of anything can also cause an upset stomach. That includes alcohol, soda, juice, sports drinks, and even water. Although you should drink plenty of water throughout the day, if you drink too much of it too fast it can cause your belly to hurt.
Food allergies are another cause of your problem. If you are unsure about foods you may be allergic to, you can consult with your doctor and get some tests run. Common food allergies include gluten, dairy, fish, or nuts. If certain foods bother your stomach every time you eat them, its best to avoid those and find out if you are allergic.
Its also possible to get sick from food that you are not allergic to. Food poising occurs when bacteria, viruses, or parasites are in the food youre eating. That can happen if your meal is not properly prepared. For example, undercooked meat or chicken can lead to food poisoning.
Indigestion is another common cause of stomach pain. It happens when your body cannot properly process the food you ate. Poor diet choices and dehydration can cause indigestion.
What Causes Chronic Pd
Chronic causes of PD are conditions that may need ongoing treatment in order to prevent PD symptoms. These conditions include:
Irritable bowel syndrome: IBS is a disorder that causes a variety of gastrointestinal issues. These include diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping. Its not clear what causes IBS.
Celiac disease: This autoimmune condition causes damage in your intestines each time you eat gluten. Gluten is a protein found most commonly in wheat products.
Microscopic colitis: This condition causes inflammation of your large intestine. In addition to diarrhea, symptoms include gas and abdominal cramping. The inflammation isnt always present, however. That means symptoms of PD can come and go.
Bile acid malabsorption: Your gallbladder produces bile to help break down and digest fats in your food. If these acids arent properly reabsorbed, they may irritate your large intestines. This can lead to watery stools and diarrhea.
Gallbladder removal: People who have their gallbladder removed may experience frequent diarrhea in the first few weeks and months after the surgery. In most cases, the diarrhea will eventually stop, but some people will continue to have chronic diarrhea or PD after the surgery.
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Should You Take A Prescription
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help control your symptoms if you often have diarrhea because of irritable bowel syndrome . These medicines include:
Rifaximin is an antibiotic that works on certain bacteria in your gut. Youâd likely only take it for 2 weeks. Itâs sometimes used to treat travelerâs diarrhea.
New IBS-D drugs are in the works. Ask your doctor if there are more options you can try.
Inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohnâs disease or ulcerative colitis, can cause ongoing diarrhea. Your doctor will give you another kind of prescription to manage those conditions.
What Should I Take For Upset Stomach And Diarrhea
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Remedies And Treatments For Upset Stomach And Diarrhea
Upset Stomach Remedies
Most stomach ailments can be treated at home. As soon as you start feeling sick, begin limiting your diet to clear liquids in frequent, small amounts. Make sure to drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or a pale yellow.
If youâre not able to keep liquids down and begin to vomit, start with sips of water or sucking on ice chips. Once you are able to keep that down, try other fluids like:
- Clear soup broth or bouillon
- Clear soft-drinks like 7-Up, Sprite, or Ginger Ale
- Juices like apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry
Once you are able to keep all liquids down, try some solid foods along with the liquids. Good foods to try are:
- White rice
- White toast
It may take several days to one week to regain your appetite, energy level, and for your bowels to regain normalcy.
Diarrhea TreatmentsMost cases of diarrhea clear on their own within a couple of days without treatment. If you’ve tried lifestyle changes and home remedies for an upset stomach and diarrhea without success, your doctor might recommend the following:
Antibiotics might help treat diarrhea caused by bacteria or parasites. If a virus is causing your diarrhea, antibiotics won’t help. Alternatively, if your doctor determines that antibiotics are whatâs causing your diarrhea, they will likely lower the dose or switch to another medication.
Treatment to Replace Fluids
Treating underlying conditions
Upset Stomach and Diarrhea Prevention
Dont Lie Down Too Early After Food
When you lie down, you increase the chances of acids in the stomach to travel backward and upward which can cause heartburn.
If you already looking to get rid of upset stomach and diarrhea, you should not lie down until it has relieved you.
If you must, then prop your head and neck at about an angle of 30 degrees.
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How Much Activated Charcoal Should I Take
Now that youre all caught up on activated charcoals health benefits, its time to stock up on this potent home remedy.
For optimal results, research suggests consuming a 10:1 ratio of activated charcoal to the toxin.
Activated charcoal powder is most effective when consumed within an hour of stomach problems. Its still beneficial if given up to four hours from the time of discomfort.
What Causes Acute Pd
Some conditions or issues may cause a brief bout of PD. Time may put a stop to the PD symptoms, or medicine may be required. These causes include:
Viral infection: Viral infections, like stomach bugs, can cause temporary PD and make your digestive tract extra sensitive. The PD may last for a few days, even after other symptoms have eased.
Lactose intolerance: People with an allergy to lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products, may experience PD if they eat foods containing lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
Food poisoning: The human body does a good job of knowing it has eaten something it shouldnt. When it detects the bad food, your body will probably try to expel it immediately. That may cause diarrhea or vomiting within a few minutes of eating the contaminated food.
Sugar malabsorption: This condition is very similar to lactose intolerance. Some peoples bodies cant properly absorb sugars like lactose and fructose. When these sugars enter the intestine, they can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Toddlers diarrhea: Toddlers and young children who drink a lot of fruit juice may develop PD. The high amounts of sugar in these drinks can draw water into the bowels, which can cause watery stools and diarrhea.
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Diagnosing Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea
To determine the cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea, your doctor will first perform a physical exam. Theyll also ask some questions about your health history and lifestyle. Traveling to certain countries may increase your risks of digestive disease. Be sure to mention any recent trips overseas. The doctor will also ask questions about any recent changes in your diet.
Your doctor may perform a stool culture, in which theyll send a sample of your feces to a lab to check for bacteria, viruses, and parasites. If this comes up negative, they may run a more complete analysis of your feces to look for possible digestive disorders.
Other common diagnostic tests include:
Endoscopy: In an endoscopy, a doctor sends a camera down your throat and into your stomach to check for problems, such as ulcers and signs of celiac disease.
Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy involves sending a camera into the rectum and intestines to check for signs of damage and signs of disease, such as ulcers and polyps.
Lower GI tract radiography: In a lower GI tract radiography, a technician will perform a real-time X-ray of the abdomen. This occurs after your doctor injects a barium-based contrast material into the rectum to check for intestinal obstructions and other conditions.
Medical treatments can help address the underlying condition causing your abdominal pain and diarrhea. If your symptoms are caused by stress or need to be managed, home remedies can help.
When Should You Not Use Activated Charcoal
For acute cases of stomach upsets, self-administered activated charcoal may be ineffective in resolving severe symptoms. Its best to consult a healthcare professional instead.
Also, activated charcoal is ineffective against:
In cases where youve accidentally ingested one of the above substances, seek medical assistance immediately.
If you are pregnant or have an underlying medical condition , refrain from using activated charcoal.
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Limit Coffee Alcohol And Smoking
The caffeine found in coffee does not directly cause stomach pain if you consume it in moderation. However, if you have too much caffeine by drinking coffee in excess, it can lead to dizziness, anxiety, irritability, and problems sleeping. Ultimately, these side effects also cause nausea and stomach pain.
Dont rely on coffee to keep you awake or functional throughout your day. If you want to indulge in coffee, try to limit yourself to one cup per day. Coffee is a diuretic, so it causes you to urinate more frequently. Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which leads to nausea and stomach aches.
Smoking is detrimental to your health, but it also causes stomach pain. Tobacco, nicotine, and smoke damage your vital internal organs. These digestive organs can have a problem processing the food you consume, which leads to inflammation in your stomach lining.
If you have an ulcer in your stomach, smoking will irritate it and could prevent it from healing properly. Stomach ulcers are extremely painful and can cause serious damage if they dont heal. Just like smoke, caffeine also irritates stomach ulcers.
Drinking alcohol in excess will cause stomach problems. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse damage your liver and kidneys, which cause stomach pain and other problems in your body.
Foods To Eat To Stop Diarrhea In Its Tracks
Everyone would probably agree that having diarrhea is the worst. An upset stomach greatly disrupts quality of life until symptoms are resolved. Whether you have got nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, there are a variety of foods that can help ease and even cure diarrhea. No matter your symptoms, choosing the right foods to help ease instead of exacerbate your pain.
Diarrhea can be caused by a variety of things such as a virus, food poisoning, eating or drinking too much, or a food allergy. The main thing to remember any time you are having stomach problems is to stay thoroughly hydrated. This means drinking plenty of clear liquids, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is best to stick to bland foods. Try to avoid fatty foods or dairy as these can make your symptoms worse. On the other hand, if you are experiencing constipation, try to stick to fibrous foods, while making sure you are drinking plenty of water.
Here are some foods you can stock up on, that address the unpleasant symptoms of diarrhea. Many of these are pantry staples, so they are easy to keep on hand for the next time you are not feeling well.
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Take A Look At Your Medications
Certain over the counter medicines like ibuprofen can cause stomach pain, especially if you take them on a regular basis. Always read the recommended dosage on over the counter pill bottles to ensure you can safely use them.
Prescription medication can also be a problem. Often, your prescription will come with instructions for the time of day to take a pill. If you are instructed to take your medicine before, during, or after a meal, make sure you follow those directions to avoid stomach problems.
Sometimes combining multiple prescriptions can be the origin of your abdominal pain or nausea. If you just started a new prescription and its causing you to feel sick or throw up, you should contact your doctor so they can help you come up with a solution.
How To Find Relief
Many of the conditions that cause PD require medical treatment, but these four lifestyle treatments may also ease the condition:
Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods may contribute to PD. If you arent sure what your trigger foods are, keep a food diary. Make note of what you eat and when you experience PD. Look for food commonly associated with PD, such as fatty foods, fiber, and dairy.
Practice food safety: Keep bad bacteria at bay by washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, cooking meat to the proper temperature, and properly refrigerating foods that need to be kept cold.
Eat smaller meals: Eat five to six small meals a day instead of three big ones. This may help your intestines more easily digest food, and that could reduce symptoms of PD.
Reduce stress: Your mind has a lot of power over your gut. When youre stressed or worried, you may make your stomach upset more easily. Learning to manage your stress and anxiety is good not only for your mental health, but also for your digestive health.
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Ginger: A Popular Spice To Calm Down The Upset Stomach & Diarrhea
Ginger has been used since ancient times to cure an upset stomach. Ginger was an all in one medicine at that time. Recently, clinical studies have revealed that ginger can be effectively used to settle an upset stomach. You will have this natural remedy probably sitting at your kitchen waiting to be used to settle an upset stomach and diarrhea. You can chew on a raw piece of ginger or take ginger supplements or even ginger beverages to settle an upset stomach and diarrhea naturally.
Ginger can also be used to counter the associated symptoms of diarrhea and stomach upset like nausea, vomiting and motion sickness.
Bed Rest & Diet Control
Acute Diarrhea symptoms can be reduced by taking proper rest and having a liquid diet. Application of heat to the lower abdomen usually helps if you have abdominal cramps. For children, an adequate diet is required so that the childâs body can go through intestinal mucosa regeneration. If children are taking solid food diet, it should have sufficient calories as well as macro and micronutrients.
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Home Remedies For Upset Stomach
The severity of an upset stomach can range from slightly annoying to extremely uncomfortable and even painful. But if treated timely and effectively, it is usually not a serious problem.
An upset stomach often is coupled with diarrhea, which is the frequent passage of stools that are loose and watery.
There can be many causes of this problem, including food poisoning, an infection, an allergic reaction, overeating, too much stress, excessive drinking, motion sickness, a side effect of medication, a gastrointestinal disease or even pregnancy.
Symptoms vary depending on the cause, but may include watery or loose stools, abdominal bloating, cramps, heartburn, chills, nausea and vomiting.
To quickly alleviate symptoms and prevent health complications, try some simple home remedies at the first sign of trouble to soothe an upset stomach and restore regularity to your GI system.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for upset stomach.