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Causes, Symptoms, And Preventive Measures For Diarrhoea

Updated On Oct 18, 2021

Diarrhoea is one of the major diseases and it is considered to be the second leading cause of death in children. It is characterized by loose and watery bowel movements and are caused due to parasites, bacterias, or viruses. Chronic diarrhoea can also be caused due to digestive ailments. The intensity of the harm caused by diarrhoea depends on whether it is acute or chronic, which can be determined by the number of days this disease lasts in an individual.

Causes, Symptoms, And Preventive Measures For Diarrhoea

About Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is when people have loose or watery bowel movements frequently. This is generally caused by the effect of the bacterias, viruses, parasites, or any digestive ailments. Diarrhoea may last for around three to four days and then it gets resolved. However, in case of chronic diarrhoea, the continuous or intermittent bowel movements may last for three or more weeks. Due to the watery stool movements, a lot of dehydration takes place in the human body during diarrhoea, thus it is important for the patients to consume as much water as possible to rehydrate their bodies.

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Causes of Diarrhoea

Depending on the number of days the diarrhoea disease lasts in a human being, the intensity of the disease can be determined. An acute case of diarrhoea is generally caused by bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections of the bowel. Travelling from one climatic condition to the other can also cause short term diarrhoea which may last for around a couple of days, and is called traveller’s diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is generally caused by certain underlying ailments or diseases like:

  • Gluten intolerance
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic bowel infections
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Bowel cancer

Diarrhoea also occurs due to the intake of certain medications like antibiotics, cancer drugs, etc.

Symptoms of Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea can be characterized by the loose and watery bowel movements (stools), more than once a day. Some of the other accompanying symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Change in the colour of the stools
  • Vomiting
  • Body weakness
  • Frequent visits to the toilet
  • Mucous, pus, or blood in stools
  • Fatigue

Preventive Measures For Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is generally caused by bacterias, virus, or parasites, and therefore to prevent diarrhoea, you must prevent these pathogens. Preventing the spread of germs is one of the common ways to prevent diarrhoea. You should always wash your hands properly before meals, after using the toilet, changing nappies, etc.

Let us look at some of the common ways in which you can prevent diarrhoea while preparing food:

  • Refrigerate food that could get spoiled
  • Cook the meat thoroughly
  • You must not eat raw meat, fish, etc. unless they are fresh and from a reliable source
  • You must not keep your food on unclean surfaces
  • You must always disinfect your stove, chopping boards, bench tops, etc.

Apart from the above-mentioned measures, you must also consider the following preventions:

  • Drink clean and safe water
  • Have a good sanitation
  • Practice good hygiene like regular washing of hands, etc
  • Educate yourself on the spread of the infection due to diarrhoea

Treatment of Diarrhoea

In case of chronic diarrhoea, it is best advised to seek immediate medical attention, however, acute diarrhoea resolves in a few days. Therefore, in case of acute diarrhoea, you can consider following measures:

  • Avoid caffeine, dairy products, greasy food, etc.
  • To avoid the abdominal pains and cramps, you can place a hot water bottle over your abdomen or take paracetamol
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration due to diarrhoea
  • Anti- diarrhoeal medications that slow diarrhoea should be avoided as it prevents you from getting rid of the bacterial, viral, or parasitic pathogens.


In case of diarrhoea, you must always take prescribed medications and seek medical attention in case of chronic diarrhoea. Rehydration of the body is very essential in case of diarrhoea as it prevents the human body from losing all its water during dehydration due to diarrhoea.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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