Know the Symptoms of Diarrhea and When to See a doctor
Everyone experiences symptoms of diarrhea at some point in their lives, and it is a common and unpleasant condition. Most of the time, diarrhea lasts a few days, but if it persists for weeks or longer, it may be a sign of a significant health issue that needs medical treatment. Knowing the myths and facts about diarrhea in both adults and children, as well as when to seek medical attention, is crucial.
Passing loose, watery stools three or more times a day is the primary sign and cause of diarrhea.
In addition to causing diarrhea, a person may also have one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
- Abdominal ache or cramping
- Pressing want to use the restroom
- Arnal affliction
- An inability to control bowel movements
Those who have diarrhea brought on by an illness could also experience:
- Soiled stools
- Nausea, fever, and chills
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
Dehydration and malabsorption, both of which have their own symptoms, can result from diarrhea.
Extreme thirst, irregular urination, dark urine, dry mouth, fatigue, sunken eyes or cheeks, feeling faint, and a decrease in skin turgor are all indications of dehydration. Dehydration in children can also manifest as a lack of energy and dry sobbing when they are crying.
Bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite, weight loss, and greasy stools are signs of malabsorption.
COVID-19 and vomiting
COVID-19 symptoms include diarrhea as well as other gastrointestinal problems like nausea and vomiting. In some people, stomach issues are the illness’s first symptom. For instance, one study discovered that roughly 20% of individuals had diarrhea as their initial COVID-19 symptom. According to additional studies, having diarrhea while infected with COVID-19 increases the likelihood of developing a serious illness.
Many persons with lengthy COVID also struggle with persistent diarrhea. According to research, people who were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 frequently had loose, watery stools three months after being released, along with other digestive problems like nausea, acid reflux, and appetite loss. To learn more about the connection between gastrointestinal problems and COVID-19, researchers are presently doing research.
Tests for Diarrhea
Most cases of diarrhea resolve on their own in a few days. Tests are required to determine the cause of prolonged diarrhea so that the right treatment can be given.
A physical examination and a thorough medical history, including a review of your medication, will be part of a doctor’s appointment for diarrhea. A doctor may also conduct a rectal exam, in addition, to carefully feeling your abdomen.
Acute diarrhea may also be tested for using the following methods:
- Stool Test -To determine whether you have a parasite or bacterial infection, this may be advised. You will be given containers by a medical practitioner to collect and store your stool samples, along with directions on where to ship or take the containers for testing.
- Blood Test– To identify the source of your diarrhea, a complete blood count can reveal indications of an infection, anemia, inflammation, or electrolyte abnormalities.
Your doctor may request more tests, such as the following, if your diarrhea is persistent or there are worrying symptoms, such as bleeding:
- Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy-Both of these tests use a lit tube with a camera. Following a particular diet, the day before the procedure and frequently abstaining from solid foods and liquids after midnight on the night before the procedure is a requirement for a colonoscopy. Additionally, you’ll need to use an enema kit, a laxative in pill or liquid form, or both to clear your colon. The tube is introduced into the rectum during the surgery, which requires sedation, and the camera provides the doctor with a view of the interior of the entire colon so they may look for any anomalies. Like an endoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy simply examines the lower part of the colon and the rectum.
- Test of Hydrogen Breath: By counting the quantity of hydrogen in your breath, this test can identify lactose intolerance. Undigested lactose causes a person who is lactose intolerant to exhale a lot of hydrogen. The test is consuming a liquid with a predetermined amount of lactose and inhaling it into a balloon-shaped container to gauge the hydrogen levels in the breath. Lactose intolerance will be identified when there is a high concentration of hydrogen.
- Fasting Test: This will assist in identifying whether your diarrhea is brought on by a food allergy or intolerance. Your doctor might advise you to cut back on foods, such as dairy, wheat, carbohydrates, or other substances, to see whether your diarrhea symptoms improve.
When to Visit Your Doctor
Even though having the occasional case of diarrhea is typical and not harmful, it might become so if it causes extreme dehydration. It may also be a sign of an illness that is more serious or an infection.
If you suffer any of the following signs, see a doctor straight away:
- More than two days of constant diarrhea
- The presence of both diarrhea and a temperature of 102 degrees F or higher
- At least six loose stools in a 24-hour period
- Severe, excruciating pain in the abdomen or rectum
- Stools that are pus-filled, bloody, or black and tarry
- Frequent vomiting together with diarrhea
- Indications of dehydration
If a kid exhibits any of these symptoms of diarrhea or can feel the causes of diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 hours, they should be taken to the doctor. If they develop diarrhea, older folks and people with weakened immune systems should also consult a doctor.
If are you facing any symptoms of diarrhea, you should consult one of the best gastroenterologists, Dr. Vatsal Mehta. He helps you to overcome every cause of diarrhea.