We understand diarrhea to the alteration of feces in terms of volume, fluidity and frequency. Although it is a fairly “common” picture, many times we do not know exactly how we should or can treat a diarrhea at home. Here are some recommendations. The causes of a diarrheal picture can be diverse, therefore it is necessary to identify the characteristics in terms of start time, frequency, which was the last meal before the start, number of bowel movements, stool characteristics (color, appearance, and odor) if it is associated with other symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas, nausea, fever, among others.
All this is very useful for your doctor to provide an accurate clinical impression.
The Main Causes of Diarrhea are:
- Infectious origin, caused by bacteria or parasites.
- Syndromes or problems of malabsorption.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (colitis, Crohn’s disease)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Colon cancer
- Hormone secreting tumors
- Antibiotic use
- Among other
Regarding the use of antidiarrheals, the opinions can be diverse and the cases must be individualized. Diarrhea is a symptom / sign that in most cases is a “defense mechanism”, that is, a way in which the organism manifests the inadequate absorption of what we ingest, therefore discards it.
“It is recommended that before taking an antidiarrheal the table is allowed to evolve, initiating good hydration and special care in the diet”.
There are restorers of the intestinal flora, which do not eliminate the diarrheal process as such and can be used. Hydration should be with pure water or oral rehydration salts (oral serum), it is necessary to avoid the consumption of soft drinks, canned juices, coffee and isotonic moisturizers (commercially sold). The latter should be used exclusively to recover electrolytes and carbohydrates during exercise, as they can aggravate the diarrheal picture. In the case of people with diabetes, “oral serum for diabetics” should be requested, since conventional preparations contain an important load of glucose (sugar). The diet requires a low-fat diet and condiments, for example, cooked chicken, potatoes, carrots, rice, apples, bananas, plain yogurt. Avoid the consumption of dairy products such as milk, cheese, whole grains, sausages, red meat, salads, cauliflower or cabbage, cabbage, radish, among others. The goal is to provide the body with the amount of food needed per day, but that can be well tolerated, and does not require much work to be absorbed. Regarding the general symptoms that can be associated with diarrhea, if abdominal pain occurs, some anti-spasmodic can be used for free use, antipyretics such as acetaminophen if there is fever or over-the-counter lytic nausea if there is nausea or vomiting.
Remember: it is always necessary to consult with the doctor so that after a thorough evaluation you can determine the precise cause and give the definitive treatment. If bowel movements are abundant, associated with frequent vomiting, it is best to immediately consult a professional to be evaluated and start hydration through the vein (intravenous). This has to be especially considered in those people at higher risk of complications from severe dehydration, such as: children, the elderly, people with cancer, HIV, or some other basic condition that may expose it.