Diarrhea – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses
By Dr. Chetan B. Mahajan , Gastroenterology
Diarrhea is a common condition which is characterized by watery and loose stools. The symptoms of this disease usually last for 3-4 days. In severe cases, it may last for 2-3 weeks. Diarrhea may also hint at other underlying health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
The symptoms of diarrhea are:
- Cramps in the abdominal region
- Bloating of the stomach
- Signs of fever
- Presence of blood in your stool
- You may feel thirsty due to the constant dehydration
The various causes of diarrhea are:
- Medications: Some medications such as antibiotics upset the balance of bacteria in the stomach, thus resulting in infections. These infections may result in diarrhea.
- Virus: Specific viruses like the cytomegalovirus, rotavirus and Norwalk virus can cause this disease.
- Parasites and Bacteria: If you eat contaminated food, then you may get affected by parasites such as cryptosporidium. Bacteria like E.coli and Shigella also cause diarrhea in the body.
- Trouble Digesting Fructose: If you have trouble digesting fructose which is a sugar found in fruits, then it may result in diarrhea.
- Surgery: Surprisingly, certain surgeries such as abdominal surgery may also lead to diarrhea.
The diagnosis for this disease usually includes a blood test, a stool test and a physical exam. The treatment for this disorder involves increasing fluid intake to replenish the lost fluids and antibiotics to treat the condition.