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Home Health A-Z Winter Diarrhoea : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Winter Diarrhoea : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Verified By Apollo Doctors February 1, 2023 12038 0
Winter Diarrhoea : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention
Winter Diarrhoea : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Overview

Diarrhea is a disease that anybody can get at any point in time. It can be due to various causes like the spread of bacteria, parasites, lactose intolerance, or other digestive  issues. Bacterial diarrhea is more common in the warm months, while viral diarrhea, particularly rotavirus-related diarrhea, is most prevalent in the cooler, drier months. 

This blog is a comprehensive guide on symptoms, causes, and treatment options for diarrhea to help you this winter. 

What is Diarrhea? 

Diarrhea refers to bowel movements that are loose, watery, and possibly more frequent than it usually happens. It can be a symptom of some underlying diseases or coexist with other problems like nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, or weight loss. 

Typically, diarrhea lasts no longer than a few days. However, one that persists for more than a few days or weeks generally could be a sign of another issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) chronic infections or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and you may need to take medical advice .  

What are the Symptoms that can occur along with Diarrhea? 

The following are the  signs and symptoms of diarrhea: 

When to Visit a Doctor? 

If your diarrhea persists for more than two days without getting better, you may need to seek the help of a doctor. Also, look for intense rectal or abdominal pain, dark or crimson stools, fever accompanying diarrhea, or dehydration. These are some reasons you should visit a doctor for help.  

What are the Causes of Diarrhea? 

Diarrhea can be caused due to several factors, including: 

  • Viruses: Norwalk virus or norovirus, enteric adenoviruses, and astroviruses are some viruses that may cause diarrhea. The most typical cause of severe diarrhea in children is rotavirus. Coronavirus is also linked to gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea  
  • Bacteria and Parasites: One may also get diarrhea from exposure to parasites or harmful bacteria like E. coli through contaminated food or drink. Another bacterium that may cause diarrhea is Clostridium difficile. This happens after an antibiotic course or during a hospital stay. 
  • Medications: Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria in the human body to treat infections, but they may also eliminate good bacteria in the body. This may upset your intestines’ normal bacterial balance, resulting in diarrhea. Anti-cancer medications and antacids containing magnesium are additional medications that cause diarrhea. 
  • Synthetic sweeteners: Some otherwise healthy persons may get diarrhea after consuming artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, erythritol, and mannitol, which are non absorbable sugars used in chewing gum and other sugar-free goods. 
  • Lactose intolerance: A sugar called lactose is present in milk and other dairy products. Some people may not tolerate lactose, and consuming it may cause gastric issues. Lactose intolerance causes diarrhea in those who consume dairy products. As you age, the levels of the enzyme that aids in the digestion of lactose decline, and lactose intolerance may worsen. 
  • Fructose: Honey and fruits contain naturally occurring sugar fructose. It is occasionally used to sweeten various beverages. In those who struggle to digest it, fructose can cause diarrhea. 
  • Surgery: Diarrhea can occasionally result from surgery to remove the gallbladder or part of the intestine. 
  • Other stomach issues: IBS, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are other reasons for chronic diarrhea (SIBO). 

What are the Treatment Options for Diarrhea? 

Diarrhea brought on by bacteria or parasites may be treated with antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs. Antibiotics will not relieve diarrhea if a virus is at blame. 

Most likely, your doctor will ask you to replenish the salts and fluids in the diet. This involves drinking juice, broth, or water with electrolytes. Your healthcare provider may recommend receiving IV fluids if consuming liquids bothers your stomach or makes you vomit. Water intake is a good way to replenish lost fluids, but it is devoid of salts and electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, that your body needs to function. By consuming soups for salt or fruit drinks for potassium, you can assist in managing your electrolyte levels. However, some fruit liquids, such as apple juice, may aggravate diarrhea. To avoid dehydration or replenish lost fluids in children, talk to your doctor about using an oral rehydration solution

If your doctor finds that an antibiotic is a reason for your diarrhea, they may reduce your dose or change to a different drug. Your doctor will check if an underlying ailment is a cause. If yes, treatment will be started for that particular disease.  

What are the Complications that Diarrhea May Cause? 

Dehydration brought on by diarrhea is a significant problem. It can even turn fatal if left untreated. Dehydration is especially dangerous to babies, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. Seek medical attention if you exhibit severe dehydration-related symptoms like:  

  • Extreme thirst 
  • Weakness, lightheadedness, or vertigo 
  • Fatigue 
  • Dry skin or mouth 
  • No or little urination 
  • Dark colored urine 

Signs of dehydration in young children and newborns are:  

  • No wet diaper for at least three hours 
  • Dry tongue and mouth 
  • High fever  
  • Shedding no tears 
  • Fatigue, inattentiveness, or irritation 
  • The cheekbones, eyes, or abdomen appear sunken-in 

How to Prevent Diarrhea? 

To stop the spread of infectious diarrhea, wash your hands often. Do it before and after making and eating food. Bacteria may spread after handling raw meat, using the restroom, diaper-changing, sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose. So, clean your hand with soap for at least 20 seconds. 

When there is no opportunity to wash hands, use a hand sanitizer. Dispense the hand sanitizer evenly over the front and back of both hands. Utilize a product that has at least 60% alcohol .

Vaccination may help prevent diarrhea in babies. One of two licensed vaccines can help shield your baby from rotavirus, the most prevalent cause of viral diarrhea in kids. Consult your child’s doctor about immunizing them. 

Make sure you consume fresh and hot food. Refrain from having food from street vendors and drinking contaminated liquids. Most acute diarrhea cases resolve on their own in a few days, even without medical intervention. 

Conclusion 

Diarrhoea is a common ailment that many may develop. Winter season may aggravate the chances of getting this condition. So, it is essential to take appropriate preventive measures to keep the disease at bay. Wash your hands, stay away from outside food and consume clean water and food to stay safe this season.  

Verified By Apollo Doctors
At Apollo, we believe that easily accessible, reliable health information can make managing health conditions an empowering experience. AskApollo Online Health Library team consists of medical experts who create curated peer-reviewed medical content that is regularly updated and is easy-to-understand.

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