Diarrhea or what is often known as diarrhea is a disease that attacks the digestive tract of a person, which is generally caused by viruses or bacteria.
Diarrhea will make the sufferer continue to defecate, at least 3 times a day. In addition, the stool is also liquid because the absorption of water in the intestine is disturbed.
Diarrhea in general, it often occurs in developing countries, this disease can even cause death in children under five. According to reports, the death rate reaches 2.6 million per year.
Diarrhea is the biggest health problem experienced by our country. It is known, in 2003 diarrhea caused by contamination by bacteria claimed the lives of up to 100,000 people, and became the main reason for hospitalization.
What Symptoms Are Shown When Someone Has Diarrhea?
The symptoms of diarrhea that arise can be seen depending on the cause and who is experiencing it, such as adults or children. Symptoms for each person are usually different, where sufferers of diarrhea may only experience brief abdominal pain with slightly watery stools, or some experience stomach cramps with very watery stools. In cases of severe diarrhea, it is likely that the sufferer will experience a fever accompanied by severe stomach cramps.
What are the factors that cause diarrhea?
In general, diarrhea is caused by an intestinal infection. Intestinal infection itself occurs because the sufferer consumes food that has been contaminated by viruses, bacteria, parasites and so on.
Viruses and bacteria
One of the viruses that can cause diarrhea is stomach influenza. This one virus is usually attached to intestinal mucosal cells, so that the absorption capacity will decrease, and will interfere with the process of water and electrolyte secretion. Diarrhea caused by a virus will usually go away on its own along with the virus that causes diarrhea.
Meanwhile, diarrhea caused by bacteria is usually triggered by the poor quality of community sanitation. The bacteria that cause diarrhea will enter the food, so the food will be accidentally consumed. There are several types of bacteria that cause diarrhea, such as Sigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter and certain types of Coli.
Actually, not all parasites will cause diarrhea. There are several types of parasites that can cause diarrhea, such as the protozoa Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lambia, Cyptosporidium. Usually this situation will occur mainly in sub-tropical and tropical areas. There are also characteristics of diarrhea caused by parasites such as abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, anorexia, and fatigue or malaise.
Certain diseases can actually cause diarrhea for sufferers. For example, colon cancer, as well as several types of diseases caused by worms.
Food and medicine
As we already know, there are certain foods that can cause diarrhea. For those who cannot stand food that tastes spicy, when they consume it it will cause diarrhea.
Diarrhea caused by drugs, usually caused by side effects of using the drug itself.
Psychic and Other Causes
Have you ever had a stomachache when you were groggy? Like stomach aches, diarrhea can also be caused by mental conditions, such as stress, depression, and so on. When someone lives uncomfortable, it will make their lifestyle become irregular. For example, eating unhealthy and irregularly, sleeping uneasily and so on. When in a situation like this, there will be excessive stimulation of the nerves, especially in the hypothalamus area so that it will eventually cause hyperperistalsis. When the peristalsis increases, it will result in disruption of water and electrolyte absorption, so that diarrhea occurs.
Apart from the above causes, excessive alcohol consumption can also cause diarrhea.
How To Treat Diarrhea?
When the diarrhea situation gets worse, it will lead to dehydration. Dehydration has a very fatal consequence, it can even kill the sufferer, especially if it happens to children. Why is that? This is because the resistance of children’s bodies will be less against dehydration than adults. Therefore, parents are expected to be aware of signs of dehydration in children, and sufferers are advised to drink lots of fluids while diarrhea is still ongoing. One of the fluids that can be drunk when you are dehydrated is ORS, but the thing to pay attention to is that you have to consult your doctor first, especially if you have a history of certain diseases such as heart disease.
Anti-diarrheal drugs are usually not really needed, except for those who will travel long distances or those who have a fairly dense activity.
Mostly, diarrhea will heal in sufferers after a few days without doing any treatment. In adults, diarrhea usually resolves after two to four days. Meanwhile, in children, diarrhea will last longer than that, which is about five to seven days.
When to See a Doctor?
If the diarrhea that attacks your child is getting worse or persistent, or if your child is already showing signs of dehydration, then you should immediately take your child to the doctor. Immediately consult a doctor if you experience diarrhea 6 or more times in a 24 hour period.
Whereas in adults, a doctor’s examination must be done immediately if the sufferer experiences the following conditions:
- Diarrhea accompanied by vomiting
- Bleeding in the anus
- The presence of blood in the stool
- Diarrhea is a risk of dehydration
- Diarrhea at night so it will disturb sleep
- Diarrhea occurs for a week
- Diarrhea after undergoing hospital treatment
- Weight loss drastically
Diarrhea that affects adults and lasts several weeks is usually the result of bowel cancer, bowel irrigation syndrome, or Crohn’s disease.
How to Prevent Diarrhea?
Diarrhea not only affects sufferers, but diarrhea will also spread to people around them, especially family members. Therefore, diarrhea must be prevented as early as possible. Here are the steps to prevent diarrhea:
- Make it a habit to wash your hands after and before eating
- Avoid foods that are not hygienic or of questionable hygiene, and avoid drinking tap water
- Get used to separate raw food from cooked food
- Eat foods made from fresh ingredients
- Always try to store food in the refrigerator, and do not store food in the sun or at room temperature
If you are already experiencing diarrhea, then you can take the steps below to prevent diarrhea from spreading to the people around you.
- Make sure people around or family do not use the same towels or utensils as the sufferer
- After every bowel movement, clean the toilet using a disinfectant
- Stay home f
or at least 48 hours after the last diarrhea period
- Wash your hands after going to the toilet, when preparing food or before and after eating
Diarrhea disease cannot be ignored just like that. After you know the symptoms, causes and ways to prevent it, now you can be careful again so that diarrhea is not experienced by you or the people you care about. Hope it is useful.