Diarrhea is passage of three or more loose or liquid bowel movements in a day. It is common in all ages but seen very frequently in infants and young children. There can be a number of causes of diarrhea.
The loss of fluid in diarrhea can lead to:
There are multiple reasons for diarrhea but the common causes are:
The main aim of management of diarrhea is to correct dehydration and salt imbalance. Therefore the thrust is on the following:
Person having diarrhea should have plenty of fluids orally, like:
The patient should be provided a meal which is easily digested and assimilated like:
Fruits and fruit juices should be avoided as they can increase the frequency of motion
In most of the cases where the diarrhea is generally non-specific in nature no medicine is suggested.
Medicines, if required, are prescribed according to the cause of diarrhea. They fall in the following classes:
It is important to ensure that hygiene is well maintained by the food handlers and for the patient. This involves:
If the diarrhea is persisting then the following investigations are done:
One should immediately admit a patient with diarrhea if:
With repeated passage of loose motions the perineal region (anus and urinary passage) can become sore and red. This can be controlled by keeping the area dry and application of lubricant in the form of bland oil/cream locally.
Dr. Rajiv K. Khandelwal Director & Chief Pediatrician, Vardaan Hospital Chief Editor, Indian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics
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