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Diarrhea Guide

Christine Jeffries

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The Poop about Diarrhea

By MC Kelby HERWriter
 
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Photo: Getty Images

Diarrhea does not discriminate. Anyone at any age can be affected by diarrhea.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, U.S. adults average one bout of acute diarrhea each year, and young children have an average of two episodes of acute diarrhea each year.

The NIH also stated, "the most common causes of diarrhea include bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections; functional bowel disorders; intestinal diseases; food intolerances and sensitivities; and reactions to medicines."

Symptoms of diarrhea according to the University of Maryland Medical Center include:

• Stomach cramping
• Frequent and loose stools
• Abdominal pain
• General sick feeling
• Thirst
• Weight loss
• Fever
• Chills

The NIH website also added the following important medical information regarding diarrhea:

• Diarrhea is a common problem that usually goes away on its own.
• Diarrhea is loose, watery stools.
• Having diarrhea means passing loose stools three or more times a day.
• Diarrhea can cause dehydration.
• Diarrhea is particularly dangerous in children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
• Children with diarrhea should be given oral rehydration solutions to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
• Children with any of the following symptoms should see a health care provider: signs of dehydration, diarrhea for more than 24 hours, a fever of 102 degrees or higher, stools containing blood or pus, or stools that are black and tarry.
• Adults with any of the following symptoms should see a health care provider: signs of dehydration, diarrhea for more than 2 days, severe pain in the abdomen or rectum, a fever of 102 degrees or higher, stools containing blood or pus, or stools that are black and tarry.
• People can take steps to prevent two types of diarrhea—rotavirus diarrhea and traveler’s diarrhea.
• Treatment involves replacing lost fluids and electrolytes. Depending on the cause of the problem, medication may also be needed to stop the diarrhea or treat an infection.

Many medical experts recommend allowing the diarrhea to run its course.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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