Diarrhea is a condition where one experiences loose or watery stool. It is a very common condition and usually resolves without intervention.
There are many different causes of diarrhea, and it typically goes away on its own in one to three days. An individual with diarrhea often experiences an urgent need to run to the bathroom more frequently than normal. One may also feel bloated, have lower abdominal cramping, and sometimes experience nausea.
Although in many cases diarrhea happens for a fixed amount of time and steady level of severity, sometimes diarrhea can lead to serious complications. It can cause dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance (loss of sodium, potassium, and magnesium) which plays a crucial role in bodily functions. Diarrhea can also cause kidney failure.
Causes of Diarrhea
The cause of self-limited diarrhea is generally not known. However, the most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that infects a person’s bowel. The virus is commonly known as, “viral gastroenteritis”.
Other possible causes of diarrhea may include:
Symptoms of Diarrhea
Depending on how severe or light a person’s diarrhea is, as well as its underlying cause, one may suffer a variety of symptoms, which include:
Diagnosis of Diarrhea
Diarrhea that is more severe can need medical treatment. The doctor might prescribe a few diagnostic tests in these circumstances. These tests may include:
Treatment of Diarrhea
Mild and uncomplicated cases of diarrhea can be treated at home by using over-the-counter products. However, an individual will need to see a healthcare provider for treatment if his/her diarrhea is caused by an infection or parasite since over-the-counter medications aren’t always the solution.
The following are some of the treatment options that may be recommended for an individual who has had diarrhea that lasted for a long period of time. The treatments are typically based on the cause.