Diarrhea

Diarrhea; loose, watery, and possibly more frequent bowel movements,  is often caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection. In most cases, diarrhea lasts a couple of days but when symptoms last for weeks, it can indicate a serious disorder such as persistent infection, inflammatory bowel disease, or a less serious condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Symptoms:

  • Frequent fluid bowel movements
  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Gaseousness
  • Fever

Treatment:

  • Self-care will suffice for most cases of diarrhea. Rest and consume clear liquids frequently to avoid dehydration. A "BRAT" diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast0 may be helpful. Avoid fruit juices, high fat food, and caffeinated beverages. If these do not work, try a non-

    prescription anti-diarrheal medication such as Imodium AD for 2-3 days.

Complications:

  • Seek medical advice if you experience sever pain, high fever (>102F), blood in the bowel movement, lightheadedness, or diarrhea that has not improved after 3-5 days.