What You Should Know About Diarrhea
Diarrhea is one of the most common health complaints. It can range from a mild, temporary condition to a potentially life threatening one.Globally, an estimated 2 billion cases of diarrheal disease occur each year. Also, around 1.9 million children under the age of 5 years — mostly in developing countries — die from diarrhea every year. This makes it the second leading cause of deathTrusted Source
Many cases of diarrhea are due to an infection in the gastrointestinal tract. The microbes responsibleTrusted Source for this infection include:
- parasitic organisms
The most commonly identified causes of acute diarrhea in the United States are the bacteria Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Escherichia coli.
The most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that infects your bowel (“viral gastroenteritis”). The infection usually lasts a couple of days and is sometimes called “intestinal flu.” Other possible causes of diarrhea can include: Infection by bacteria.
Schedule a doctor's visit for yourself if: Your diarrhea lasts more than two days without improvement. You become dehydrated — indicated by excessive thirst, dry mouth or skin, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness, or dark-colored urine. You have severe abdominal or rectal pain
The best (and most recommended) diet to follow when experiencing diarrhea is the BRAT diet. This curiously named food plan stands for: Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Notice a trend? These bland foods are low-fiber, which will help firm your stool and calm your stomach.
Diarrhea is usually caused by bacterial infections or stress and lasts several days. It can become dangerous when it lasts for weeks or more because it encourages water loss in the body. People with diarrhea can lose a lot of weight if they've been sick for a while, but they're losing mostly water weight.