Diarrhea is characterized by watery stools and usually lasts for a short period of time. However, it can also become a severe problem. For example, if diarrhea lasts for more than a few days, there may be a risk of chronic diarrhea which lasts about four weeks, and it can be a symptom of a chronic disease. This symptom may be continuous, or they might come and go.
Diarrhea can be divided into two types, namely acute diarrhea and chronic diarrhea. Acute diarrhea is a common condition and usually lasts for one to two days; chronic diarrhea is more severe and lasts at least four weeks.
What causes diarrhea?
For acute diarrhea
1. Food poisoning
Poor sanitation, improper food handling, and food being stored at the wrong temperature.
2. Traveler's diarrhea
Consuming food or drinking water that is contaminated with bacteria or parasites.
3.Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
Viruses which caused by bacteria or parasites.
For chronic diarrhea
1. Celiac disease
Celiac disease is caused by Gluten, which is a kind of storage protein common to most grains or for those of us following a gluten-free diet.
2. Food allergy
Begin within minutes to hours following ingestion of trigger food.
3. Food intolerance
Caused by a deficiency or insufficiency of enzymes required for proper digestion of certain types of food.
4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation in the digestive tract. It is not caused by or related to a specific food, but rather a result of an abnormal immune response that leads to chronic inflammation in the gut.
5. Irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS )
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that is not related to a specific food, although certain foods may exacerbate the symptoms.
Blood in the stool
Body temperature of 40 degrees
Loss of appetite
For acute diarrhea
Drinking fluids that contain a proper balance of water, salt, and sugar. The best first-line treatment is an oral rehydration solution (ORS), which is a specific mixture of glucose and sodium. Commercial preparations of ORS are available over-the-counter.
For chronic diarrhea
Anti-diarrheal medicines: Can be helpful in treating chronic diarrhea by slowing down the movement of intestines or by making bowel movements less watery. Common types of anti-diarrhea medicines include loperamide and bismuth salicylate.
Medical nutrition therapy: Work with experts from Nutrition Services who specialize in gastrointestinal disorders. The goal of this therapy is to find foods that are less likely to cause diarrhea. This may include avoiding food that is high in fat or fiber, as well as limiting the intake of certain fruits or vegetables.
Tube feeding: Helps you get adequate nutrition when your body is not getting enough nutrients from the food by mouth. Tube feeding works by delivering specially formulated liquid nutrition directly to your stomach through a special tube, also known as a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube.
In addition, like acute diarrhea, chronic diarrhea can also be treated with ORS.
The principles of these treatments
ORS：Replacement of ongoing fluid losses from vomiting and diarrhea with ORS, and frequent feeding of appropriate foods as soon as dehydration is corrected.
Anti-diarrheal medicine: Slowing down the movement of fluid through the gut. This allows for overall greater absorption of valuable fluids and salts back into your system and treats diarrhea symptoms.
Medical nutrition therapy: Address individual nutritional needs based on personal and cultural preferences, health literacy and numeracy, and access to healthful food choices.
Tube feeding: The presence of feed in the stomach encourages gastric emptying and regular aspiration reduces the risk of aspiration.
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