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Digestive Health & Diarrhea

Digestive Health & Diarrhea

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is loose, unformed, watery stools. It can cause more trips to the bathroom than usual. When you have diarrhea you may feel cramps or pain in the abdomen, have a fever and a strong feeling to go to the bathroom. There are many causes of diarrhea, including certain antibiotics, bacteria, viruses and bowel diseases and conditions. It happens when the large intestine does not absorb enough water from food as it changes into waste. Because too much water is in the stool, vitamins and minerals are not absorbed into the body, which may cause malnourishment and dehydration. (15)

Dehydration is more than just being thirsty. it also includes headaches and a lack of urine production. If children become dehydrated, they may have these symptoms in addition to sunken eyes and a lack of tears or no tears at all. Also, infants or toddlers may have fewer wet diapers. Drinking water may help dehydration, but both adults and children should have special drinks with salts and minerals if they become dehydrated. (15)

 

What foods can I eat when I have diarrhea?

Children and adults need a special diet, including bananas, rice, baked chicken with no skin, boiled potatoes, cooked carrots, crackers and toast. After diarrhea stops, you can restart a normal diet. (15)

 

What OTC medications help relieve diarrhea?

Loperamide-based medications move the stool slower in the largeintestine so more water istaken out before it leaves the body. These medicationscome in liquids or capsules.(16)

Bismuth~based medications reduce swelling, keep the right balance of water and prevent diarrhea-causing bacteria from growing in the intestine. in addition, these medications also help to treat nausea and vomiting. These also come in liquids, capsules and chewable tablets. (16)

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