Diarrhoea/اسہال - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Summary about Diarrhoea in Urdu

اسہال کی صورت میں پاخانہ پتلا اور بار بار آنے کی شکایت ہوتی ہے۔ اس کی کئی وجوہات ہو سکتی ہیں جن میں انفیکشن، فوڈ پوائزننگ یا وائرس شامل ہیں۔ اسہال کی صورت میں علکاج کے ساتھ ساتھ پانی زیادہ پینے کی سفارش کی جاتی ہے تاکہ پانی کی کمی سے بچا جاسکے۔

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Summary about Diarrhoea in English

When you eat food nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. The waste is pushed into the large intestine where the water is removed. Stool obtained is temporarily stored in the rectum and expelled from the body via the anus. The stools of a healthy person are usually firm, moist and easy to evacuate. Diarrhea is a frequent passage of soft, watery and unformed dung. Acute diarrhea is the sudden appearance of three or more stools, lasting less than 14 days. The most common cause of acute diarrhea is an intestinal infection, such as gastroenteritis or food poisoning. Viruses are responsible for most cases. The intestinal mucosa becomes irritated and inflamed, making it difficult for villi to absorb water. Acute diarrhea usually disappears after one to two days. Chronic diarrhea, which lasts four weeks or more, can be caused by many diseases affecting the intestines, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

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Symptoms of Diarrhoea

Signs and symptoms related to diarrhea can be:

  • Stool that is in the form of thin fluid
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool
  • Nausea
  • Urgent need for a bowel movement

Causes of Diarrhoea

There are a number of reasons for diarrhea:

Virus:

Viruses that can cause diarrhea are Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, and viral hepatitis. In children the most common cause of diarrhea is Rotavirus.

Bacteria and Parasites:

Parasites and bacteria can be transmitted through water and contaminated food. Parasites like Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea.

Common bacterial causes of diarrhea are Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Escherichia coli. When traveling to developing countries, diarrhea caused by bacteria and parasites is often referred to as traveler's diarrhea. Infection with Clostridium difficile can occur especially after antibiotic therapy.

Medications :

Many medications like antibiotics can cause diarrhea. Antibiotics can alter the natural balance of bacteria in the gut. Other drugs that cause diarrhea are anticancer drugs and antacids that contain magnesium.

Milk Allergy:

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. By eating dairy products some people face difficulty in digesting lactose.  Your body produces an enzyme that contributes to the digestion of lactose. In most people, however, the level decreases rapidly after childhood. This leads to an increased risk of lactose intolerance with age.

Fructose:

 Fructose, a sugar found naturally in fruits and honey and added to certain beverages as a sweetener, can cause diarrhea in people who have difficulty digesting it.

Artificial Sweeteners:

Artificial sweeteners found in chewing gum and other sugar-free products can cause diarrhea in some healthy people.

Surgery:

Some people suffer from diarrhea following abdominal surgery or gall bladder removal. Other causes, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome can also lead to diarrhea.



Risk Factors of Diarrhoea

Risk factors for diarrhea include:
Age:
Children and infants are at an elevated risk of diarrhea due to susceptibility to dehydration. Elderly people also face similar concerns.

Environmental factors:
Lack of sanitation facilities and hygienic practices is one of the biggest risk factors associated with diarrhea.

Medicines:

Some medicines including antibiotics have the capability to disrupt normal intestinal functioning.

Co-morbidities:

Diseases like kidney problems and diabetes can lead to diarrhea.

Preventive Measures of Diarrhoea

Wash your hands to prevent the spread of diarrhea. To ensure adequate hand washing:

Wash hands Frequently:

Wash hands before and after preparing food. Wash your hands after handling raw meat, using the toilet, changing nappies, sneezing, coughing and tasting the nose.

Foam with Soap for at least 20 Seconds:

Rub your hands at least 20 seconds after putting soap in your hands. This is the time to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.

Use Hand Sanitizer:

Use a hand sanitizer if it is not possible to wash it. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can not go to the sink. Apply the hand sanitizer as a hand lotion and be sure to cover the front and back with both hands. Use a product that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Vaccination:

With one of two approved vaccines, your child can be protected from rotavirus, the most common cause of diarrhea in children. Ask your baby's doctor to get vaccinated.

Prevent Diarrhea by Travelers:

Diarrhea usually affects people traveling to countries where hygiene is inadequate and the food is contaminated. To reduce your risks:

Look What You Eat: 

Eat hot and well-cooked food. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables if you can not peel it yourself. Also, avoid meat and dairy products that are raw or undercooked.

Look What you Drink:

 Drink bottled water, soft drinks, beer or wine in the original packaging. Avoid tap water and ice cubes. Use bottled water, even to brush your teeth. Keep your mouth closed while showering.

Drinks based on boiled water, such as coffee and tea, are probably safe. Remember that alcohol and caffeine can make diarrhea and dehydration worse.

Ask your doctor for Antibiotics:

If you travel to a developing country for a long time, ask your doctor if you need to start taking antibiotics before you take them, especially if your immune system is weakened. In some cases, taking an antibiotic may reduce the risk of traveler's diarrhea.

Check the Travel Warnings: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain a health website for travelers on which disease warnings for various countries are published. If you plan to travel outside the United States, read the warnings and tips to reduce the risk.