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Diarrhoea

Diarrhea is a condition where loose, watery stools are passed, resulting in an increased number of visits to the toilet. This causes loss of water and salts from the body and may lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, confusion and dizziness. Some patients may also experience a lack of energy and have poor skin elasticity (skin goes back to normal position very slowly when pressed). Other symptoms of diarrhea include stomach cramps, fever or bloating.  

What you can do 

  •  In most cases, diarrhea should go away after a few days. You may also try the following to improve the symptoms: 
  •  Take plenty of fluids to prevent losing too much water. You may also suck on ice chips if you are unable to drink water because you feel nauseous. 
  •  Avoid food that may irritate the stomach (e.g. food that contains milk, fatty food and spicy food) 
  •  Avoid alcohol or caffeine as it may worsen the diarrhea 

When to see a doctor 

For adults, see a doctor when: 

  •  Diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days 
  •  You experience symptoms of dehydration 
  •  Very bad pain in the stomach or anus area 
  •  Blood in the stools or black and sticky stools 
  •  Fever above 39 °C 

For children, bring the child to see a doctor if he/she experiences any of the following symptoms: 

  •  No wet diaper for more than 3 hours (for children less than 2 years old) 
  •  Dry mouth or cries without tears 
  •  Unresponsive and/or sleepy 
  •  Stomach, eyes or cheeks look sunken 
  •  Diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days 
  •  You experience symptoms of dehydration 
  •  Very bad pain in the stomach or anus area 
  •  Blood in the stools or black and sticky stools 

 

You can prevent diarrhea by 

  •  Always washing your hands before and after meals  
  •  Eating  food that is hot and/or well-cooked  
  •  Avoiding street food 
  •  Avoiding raw meat, fish and seafood unless you are sure that they are freshly prepared 
  •  Not placing cooked food on plates that was used to place raw meat 
  •  Drinking bottled water if  water that is safe to drink is not available 

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This article does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. People with special health needs such as babies, children below 12 year old, elderly and pregnant ladies should see a doctor instead of self-treatment. Always read the instructions and warnings on the package before taking any medicine

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