How long does diarrhea last?
Having diarrhea means passing out very soft to loose, watery stool at least three times a day. It is very common in adults and children. How long does diarrhea last usually depends on its type, cause, and treatment. Diarrhea is common in almost everywhere in the world. However, there are more cases tallied in third-world countries and it is said that poverty and malnutrition are major factors in controlling and treating diarrhea. A person with diarrhea may experience nausea, belatedness, fever, and vomiting. These symptoms may also be accompanied by abdominal pain, loss of bowel control, and bloody stools.
How long does diarrhea last?
There are two types of diarrhea. Acute diarrhea is caused by food intolerances, drug sensitivities, and infections. Bacterial infections come from ingesting bacteria’s, such as E.coli, Salmonella, and Shigella, through unhealthy food and water preparation. Viral infections are commonly caused by rotavirus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Parasitic infections are due to parasites like Entamoeba histolytica, enters our body. Chronic diarrhea is caused by some serious diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome is said to be idiopathic but several situations may trigger it, such as stress and anxiety. Inflammatory bowel diseases cause inflammation to the gastrointestinal tract, resulting to watery and bloody diarrhea. HIV and AIDS make human cells weak and more susceptible to disease, thus making diarrhea its most common GI symptom.
So, how long does diarrhea last when you have acute and chronic diarrhea? It is considered acute diarrhea when symptoms lasts for 1 day to 2 weeks. If symptoms last for more than 4 weeks then it is classified as chronic diarrhea. Dehydration counts as a major complication of diarrhea if untreated. It is can be fatal in children and elderly because they have weaker immune systems. The electrolyte imbalance through dehydration affects many important functions of our body systems. The severity of dehydration depends on how long diarrhea lasts on an infected person. Severe dehydration may cause multiple organ failure, injuries to the skin, and may even lead to death.
How do you treat diarrhea?
Treatment is very easy. It includes hydration, antibiotics, anti-parasitic agents, anti-diarrheal medications, probiotics, and proper nutrition. Hydration means increasing fluid intake and oral rehydration solutions are readily available in stores, and are specifically designed to target the stoppage of diarrhea. It is also possible to improvise an oral rehydration solution by mixing salt and sugar with water when you’re unable to purchase outside your home. Commercialized drinks containing water and electrolytes can also be consumed to replenish electrolytes lost during diarrhea. If vomiting is present, intravenous fluid therapy may be required to avoid dehydration. Antibiotics and anti-parasitic agents vary depending on what kind of bacteria or parasite caused a certain person’s diarrhea. This treatment may last for 5-7 days. Anti-diarrheal are a big help in controlling diarrhea, but is sometimes not advisable because these stops the causative agent from exiting the human body. Probiotic drinks contain live microorganisms that help the gastrointestinal tract maintain its normal flora. It also helps improve digestion and help protect the colons from diarrhea-causing bacteria. Proper nutrition for people with diarrhea includes bananas, apple, fruit juices, tea, and water. Additionally, if you have any of the above discussed symptoms you should avoid spicy and oily foods.
All in all, the short answer is that most cases of diarrhea last only a few days. Those lasting longer are considered serious medical conditions and should be checked by a doctor, however even most serious cases can be treated in a matter of weeks.