What causes diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea may have many different causes including:
- Infection (with a virus, bacteria or parasite);
- Any sudden change in diet
- Food intolerance (e.g. lactose intolerance)
- Drinking excess alcohol
- Irritable bowel disease
- Malabsorption (e.g. due to problems with the pancreas)
- Surgery (e.g. when part of the bowel has been removed);
- Drug induced diarrhoea (e.g. side effect of antibiotics or some diabetes medications).
Infectious diarrhoea is most commonly caused due to eating or drinking food or water contaminated with viruses or bacteria. In young children diarrhoea is often resulted due to viral infections.
These infections can sometimes be caught during travel, especially to those areas with poor standards of public hygiene. This is termed as travellers' diarrhoea.
Symptoms of Diarrhoea
Depending upon the cause, various symptoms exhibits. The common associated symptoms can include:
- Urgent need to go to the toilet
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Change in colour of your stools
- Mucous, pus, blood, or fat in the stools
- General body weakness and tiredness.
Signs of Dehydration
- Increased thirst
- Little or no urine passed in the last eight hours
- Urine has dark colour and with foul smell
- Reduced saliva in the mouth, dry lips, no tears, sunken cheeks or eyes
- Dizziness, lethargy, floppiness
- Rapid heart rate and breathing
- Cold hands and feet
- Muscle cramps
- Cold hands and feet
When to go to a doctor???
Most people have experienced an episode of diarrhoea at some point of their lives. Generally, this resolves by its own.
However, seek medical advice if:
- Diarrhoea lasts for more than 5days
- Occurrence of blood in the stools, dark and tarry
- Difference in nature of the stool like, high fat content, which may be seen as pale, greasy, foul smelling stools that are difficult to flush.
- Severe dehydration
- Vomiting, weakness and dizziness persists
- Weight los
1. GINGER JUICE
Freshly extracted ginger juice, 2-3 tsp can be consumed which checks diarrhoea. Ayurveda says, ginger can be a successful home remedy for loose motions due to indigestion.
2. FENUGREEK SEEDS
Soak the fenugreek seeds in water for few minutes, grind them to a fine paste and consume the paste with a glass of water.
This remedy can immensely benefit in battling loose motions. Due to presence of high mucilage content in fenugreek seeds, it supports the antidiarrheal effect.
Ripened banana fruit can be consumed which helps the diarrhoea to subside. They are simple to digest and recommended in treating diarrhoea. The fruit is a rich source of Sodium and Potassium, which helps to gear up the digestion as well.
1/2tsp of nutmeg is to be grounded with quantity sufficient water. This checks watery stools immediately.
As it improves the intestinal tone, this is one of the effective home remedy for diarrhoea. Studies have proved that Nutmeg is efficient in treating the diarrhoea due to Rotavirus, a viral infection that causes loose bowels in children.
5. POMEGRANATE RIND
The dried rind of a pomegranate is an invaluable remedy for diarrhoea. 1 gm of fine powder of this rind taken with buttermilk helps to reduce the frequency of loose motions.
6. BUTTER MILK
A glass of butter milk with rock salt, roasted cumin seeds and black pepper is a very common home remedy for diarrhoea. This improves the condition and helps to regularise the digestive fire.
7. CURD & TURMERIC
Make a concoction of 2table spoon of curd, 1/4tsp turmeric, pinch of asafoetida, and half glass water. Mix the ingredients to form a uniform mixture, boil in low flame. And drink this warm thrice daily until the diarrhoea stops. Turmeric being antimicrobial, antiseptic helps to improve the intestinal flora.
8. BAEL FRUIT
Bael fruit is extensively used in case of loose stools. The pulp of bael fruit taken with warm water twice daily relives dysentery. Beal pulp can also be used with 1tsp of jaggery which reduces the condition.
9. BLACK TEA
Warm black tea with few drops of lemon juice mixed in it is a very popular and useful remedy to stop loose motions.