Diarrhea- Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Diarrheacan be best described as bowel movements or stools that are loose and watery. It is very common and not very serious as many of us face such problems on a day to day basis. But it also depends on the type of diarrhea that you are suffering from. Generally, it lasts for a day or two and can be cured with some medicines but in severe cases you need to consult your physician.


Acute Diarrheais the kind of diarrhea which is not very long term. It is for a very short period of time and can be cured by some prescribed medicines. Do not consume any medicine without a doctor’s prescription as each dose is given keeping in mind the kind of diarrhea you have. It is more in babies and children of developing nations as they have poor diet. Bu tit can be cured within a period of five to twelve days. Such an acute diseaseis called acute diarrhea.

Chronic diarrhea is the kind of diarrhea which lasts for a long period of time and is one of the reasons of death in many babies and kids of developing countries. People with such a chronic disease have blood in their stools and also fever very often.  You tend to experience inflammatory bowel syndrome or any kind of allergy in case of chronic disease.

  • Babies and small kids are more prone to this disease as even a small portion of fluid loss can lead to diarrhoea due to their tender and growing age.


Diarrhea can be

  • uncomplicated diarrhea which is the non-serious type and
  • complicated diarrhea which is a serious kind of an illness

The symptoms of non-seriousdiarrhea are

1.    Cramps in your stomach or abdominal bloating

2.    loose stools could be a serious and the most general symptom

3.    you also may experience watery stool

4.    when you feel a sense of urgency to have a bowel movement

5.    when you feel nausea and  a feel like vomiting

Symptoms of complicated or serious diarrhea are:

1.    Unusual weight loss

2.   When there is blood in the stool or mucus or undigested food, all these are symptoms of severe diarrhoea


There are many causes of diarrhea. It could be

  • Food poisoning
  • Infection by some kind of bacteria or other organisms
  • Intestinal diseases like ulcerative colitis
  • Some people are allergic to some kind of foods
  • Medication or some kind of radiation therapy may be the causes of diarrhea
  • Weird eating habits or eating of junk that could upset your stomach

Diagnosis / Tests

In case of acute diarrhea you need not worry as you will be fine in five days or so. Consume some prescribed medicines and you will be able to breathe once again. But there are many patients who suffer from 102 degree fever, stools with blood, dehydration, low immunity and severe stomach pain. In such cases it is essential for you to consult a doctor and stool samples should be tested. Combination of blood, stool and urine tests is very much needed for assessment of chronic disease.


If you are suffering from a mild diarrhea, you can cure it by over the counter medicines. Bt at times some cases are severe, which cannot be treated by these medicines. Common brands names to cure the early stage of diarrhea are Imodium A-D,Pepto-bismol etc. these medicines are available as liquids and also as tablets. You can consume it the way you wish to but please follow the instructions on the wrapper of the medicine or the bottle and consult a doctor before consuming any kind of medicines.

You also should drink at least 8-ounce glasses of any kind of fluid per day. You could consume little fruit juices but without pulp as lot of it could be a problem, have soda without caffeine. Chicken lovers can have the chicken broth but without the fat, you can mix tea with one teaspoon of honey and also consume sports drink. You can have all these things and avoid drinking between your meals but have liquid drinks you can consume little amounts of these kinds of fluids frequently.


  • Try using only bottled water, even while brushing your teeth
  • Avoid eating junk food from streets
  • Avoid having ice which is made with tap water
  • Consume only those juicy fruits and vegetables that are peeled
  • Make sure that all foodstuffs you eat are properly cooked and warmed
  • Avoid eating raw meat or seafood which is undercooked

Home Remedies

  • Drink electrolyte by mixing the most appropriate amount of salt and sugar so that you have a balanced amount of both.
  • eat yogurt
  • You can also have carrots; cook them properly till they become soft
  • Drink black tea and also you can have blackberries.

Warnings / Precautions

Warning signals and some signs are to be noted in order to avoid diarrhoea from infecting you.  Keep your hands clean as it might have germs which can lead to food poisoning. Wash the food items properly so that all the bacteria are washed off. Do not cook food repeatedly. Avoid eating junk food and foodstuffs from streets. Do not eat expired medicines and vegetables which are overcooked. Too much of fruit juices should be avoided. When you go out use packaged water for your daily purposes because you do not know how many bacteria’s enter your body when you drink stale water with lot of germs and fungi.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • ask your doctor if you are suffering from the serious kind of diarrhoea or it’s a severe one by letting him know the symptoms that you are facing
  • Howdiarrhea can be prevented?
  • What are the causes so that it can be avoided?
  • Are there any medications which can be used as and when you suffer from diarrhea or is it necessary to consult a doctor every time you face this issue?
  •  Can diarrhoea affect my health in any case?