Diarrhoea-3 conclusive causes, symptoms and prevention

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  • Diarrhoea/Loose motion is a condition when a child starts passing loose, watery and frequent stool.
  • Diarrhoea/Loose motion is the body’s way of getting rid of germs.
  • Infants have soft, loose and frequent stools which are often worried to be loose motion.

Causes of Diarrhoea

  • In children, the loose motion is caused by,
    1. Infection-causing germs
    2. Intolerance to certain foods
    3. Antibiotics

1.Infection-causing germs

  • Infection causing Germs enter the body through contaminated food/water.
  • There are 3 types of infection causing germs which causes loose motion
    1. Virus
    2. Bacteria
    3. Parasite

1.Virus

  • Rota viruses are the most common cause of loose motion in young children and infants.
  • Once a child is infected he/she develops the immunity to get rid of the infection later which would be less severe.
  • Rota viruses spreads easily from children to children.

Transmission

  • When a child comes in contact with the surface/object which are contaminated by fecal (Fecal is the stool discharged from the bowels)material.
  • When a child plays/baths/drinks water which is contaminated by fecal material are infected by the virus.
  • When a child eats a food which is cooked in the presence of fecal material.
  • When a child plays with another infected child.

2.Bacteria

  • Bacterial diarrhoea is usually caused by contaminated food/water.
  • These diarrhoeas are usually self-limiting.
  • Common bacteria that cause diarrhoea include Campylobacter, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and Shigella.
  • Bacterial diarrhoeas are cured by taking antibiotics.

3.Parasitic Infection

  • Parasitic infections are caused by contaminated food/water/soil.
  • Parasites such as Giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea.

2.Intolerance to certain foods

  • Change in your child’s diet can cause allergy which results in diarrhea.
  • So when introducing solids to your child check for food allergens.

3.Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics can cause diarrhoea.
  • If you are a feeding mother and you are taking antibiotics which may also cause loose motion to your baby

Symptoms of loose motion

  • Consult your doctor immediately if diarrhoea has not improved within 24 hrs.
  • Also if diarrhoea is accompanied with the following symptoms,
    • Dehydration
    • Fever above 102
    • Vomiting
    • Stomach pain
    • Bloody, green or black stools
    • Bloating

DEHYDRATION

  • Diarrhoea can result in dehydration due to fluid loss.
  • Dehydration is something to be concerned about since it is a life-risking factor.
  • So in diarrhoea, it is important to keep your child hydrated.
  • Oral Rehydration therapy is used to prevent dehydration.
  • Oral Rehydration therapy involves treating diarrhoea using Oral Rehydration Solution(ORS).
  • ORS solution should be given to your child only under the doctor’s supervision.
  • Your doctor will further tell you the procedure for preparing the solution at home.
Dehydration-symptoms-infograph

PREVENTION

For a breast feeding child,

  • Continue breastfeeding.
  • Wash your hands with soap after changing the baby’s diaper.
  • Wash your hands with soap after cleaning baby’s poo.
  • Wash your hands before and after preparing baby’s feed.
  • Wash the cloth immediately in which the baby has pooped.
  • If it is diaper wrap it tightly and put it in sealed trash or cover.
  • Rotavirus vaccine.

In general,

  • Breastfeed at least for 6 months
  • Wash hands often
  • Offer safe drinking water
  • Maintain proper sanitation and hygiene
  • Prevent your child from putting dirty things in the mouth
  • Offer Nutritious diet
diarrhoea-prevention-infograph

Diet

  • For a breastfeeding baby continue breastfeeding.
  • For a child above 6 months,
  • Offer water more than usual.
  • Make Dietary changes.
  • Include more Electrolytes in your child’s food.
  • Electrolytes are nutrients that are necessary to maintain hydration.
  • Main sources of electrolytes are present in fruits and vegetables.
  • Electrolytes such as are required to maintain hydration.
  • Following are foods that contain electrolytes,
    • Sodium (NA)-Pickles, cottage cheese and salt
    • Potassium (K) – Banana,Orange,potato,sweet potato
    • Calcium (CA) – Diary products
    • Magnesium (MG) – green leafy vegetables
    • Phosphorus (P)– Milk and milk products
    • Chloride (CL) – table salt and tomatoes

Foods to avoid

  • Juices
  • Milk
  • Creamy, spicy and fatty foods
  • High fibre diet
  • Leafy vegetables

Other non-infectious causes can also result in diarrhoea.

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