Diarrhoea is a common gastrointestinal condition characterised by the occurrence of loose, watery stool for more than three times a day. Usually, it lasts for a day or two without any kind of medical intervention. However, persistent diarrhoea with dehydration signs can be an indication of some underlying problem.
Diarrhoea is classified as acute or chronic. Acute diarrhoea starts suddenly and can persist up to a week or two. Chronic diarrhoea can occur for more than two weeks with signs of dehydration. It can be due to gastrointestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease or long-standing bowel infection.
Acute diarrhoea is more common and it is one of the classical symptoms of enteritis, a bacterial infection of digestive system. Acute diarrhoea caused by bacterial infection usually subsides in two or four days with home care. However, seek medical attention if the diarrhoea is bloody with dehydration. Dehydration caused by diarrhoea is quite dangerous in children and older people; it must be treated immediately.
- Worldwide, millions of people are prone to diarrhoeal diseases
- It is the second largest cause of death in children (below 5 years of age)
- It kills around 1 million children every year
- Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of malnutrition in children
Diarrhoea usually clears up within two or four days without any specific treatment. However, children and elders need special attention when it comes to treating diarrhoea. Drinking plenty of water and using oral rehydration solutions help treat diarrhoea. Enteritis caused by bacterial infection may need anti-diarrhoeal drugs, antibiotics, antacids and painkillers.
Severe dehydration caused by diarrhoea requires hospitalisation. Treating the underlying medical condition is another way of treating diarrhoea. Hence, it is essential to seek medical help before using any medicine for this digestive symptom.
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