Causes of diarrhea

Diarrhea usually involves the gastrointestinal tract being infected by a bacteria or virus. you also speak of a stomach flu. Characteristic of this is that there is more stool than is normal for someone and it is often also thin to water-thin. Diarrhea usually goes away within four to seven days.

Complaints of diarrhea

The most common symptoms of diarrhea are frequent trips to the toilet for stools that are thin to water-thin. Severe abdominal cramps are often present shortly before the diarrhea. Sometimes this is also accompanied by vomiting in the first days.

Rotavirus

This virus is especially common in babies and toddlers. It causes frequent vomiting and diarrhea that can sometimes be watery. A quarter of these children also have a cold, earache or respiratory problems.

Eating contaminated food

This diarrhea is caused by bacteria and often starts a day after eating contaminated food or water. This can also often cause vomiting with severe abdominal cramps followed by (water) thin diarrhea. No treatment is often required for diarrhea caused by a virus or bacteria.

Dehydration

Dehydration is an important complication that can occur when there is watery diarrhea. This is especially true for children under the age of two and the elderly over the age of seventy. The longer water-thin diarrhea persists, the greater the risk of dehydration. The risk of dehydration is greater if there is frequent vomiting and a fever. With fever, fluid is lost through the skin. It is therefore important if someone has diarrhea and/or vomiting to consume sufficient fluid, even if it is vomited again shortly afterwards. There is always at least some left in the stomach, and during the time of drinking and vomiting the body has been able to absorb some of the fluid in each.

Symptoms of dehydration

In any case, there must be diarrhea and/or vomiting and:

  • remarkably thirsty
  • drowsiness or confusion
  • (tendency) to faint
  • reduced urine production
  • in children: crying without tears

 

Traveler’s diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea often occurs within five days of arriving at a holiday destination or starts when people have just returned from holiday. The biggest reason for getting traveler’s diarrhea is eating and drinking contaminated food. This includes eating raw crusts, unpasteurized milk, fruit, shellfish, ice (cubes), undercooked food or drinks or food prepared with contaminated water.

Preventing traveler’s diarrhea

  • good hygiene
  • avoid contaminated water or food
  • Use bottled water for everything or boil the tap water thoroughly first.
  • do not eat from stalls
  • do not eat raw vegetables or other products
  • do not eat ice cubes or unwrapped ice

People going on holiday should take ORS and Lopera mide with them. This is available at the pharmacy. ORS ensures that fluid is retained in the body during diarrhea, which reduces the risk of dehydration.
Loperamide ensures that diarrhea decreases.

Advice

  • Drink more than usual
  • Just eat according to your needs, a special diet is not necessary
  • The use of medications is also not necessary
  • The diarrhea usually goes away on its own within a few days
  • Wash your hands well after going to the toilet or changing a diaper
  • Clean cups, cutlery, etc. immediately after use to prevent re-contamination.
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