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    Overview of Diarrhea
    You are here: Home > Pharmacy News | Health Articles/Tips > Diarrhea

      Introduction

      Diarrhea is frequent, loose and watery stool. Generally it lasts for couple of days. If diarrhea continues for more than 4 weeks then it is considered chronic. This could be the sign of serious disorder like inflammatory bowel disease or less serious condition such as irritable bowel syndrome. Diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and can become life-threatening without treatment .

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      What Causes Diarrhea?

      Diarrhea is caused due to the inefficient fluid absorption by our body. Usually the unabsorbed residue from our food passes through the colon absorbing the fluids. In diarrhea, the food and fluids we intake either passes too quickly or in too large an amount causing watery bowel movement. This could also be due to the colon inflammation or disease, making it less able to absorb fluids. The major triggers of diarrhea include virus, parasites or bacterial toxins present in your food. Viral gastroenteritis also referred as stomach flu leads to diarrhea. Antibiotics, laxatives containing magnesium and chemotherapy for cancer treatment can also cause diarrhea. Medical conditions like malabsorption syndrome such as lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease can also lead to diarrhea. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, nerve disorders like autonomic neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy, carcinoid syndrome, gastrectomy or high dose radiation therapy are some of the less common factors that lead to diarrhea.

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      What Are the Types of Diarrhea?

      Diarrhea can be acute or chronic. Acute diarrhea can happen after you eat something that disagrees with your body or as a side effect of the medication you intake. Chronic diarrhea is a long term diarrhea that continues for more than a month.

      Secretory Diarrhea: In this condition either there is an increase in the active secretion or inhibition of absorption. The most common cause of secretory diarrhea could be cholera toxin that stimulates the secretion of chloride ions.

      Osmotic Diarrhea: This refers to a condition where too much of water is drawn in to the bowels. Couple of factors like maldigestion, osmotic laxatives, too much of magnesium or vitamin C or undigested lactose, excess fructose intake might trigger osmotic diarrhea.

      Motility-related Diarrhea: This kind of diarrhea is developed due by the rapid movement of food through the intestines (hypermotility). Since the foods move quickly through the digestive tract, there is no sufficient time for nutrients and water to be absorbed. This can be due to vagotomy or diabetic neuropathy, or a complication of menstruation and hyperthyroidism.

      Inflammatory Diarrhea: Inflammatory diarrhea occurs when there is damage to the colon like infection, leading to a decreased ability to absorb fluids. It can be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, parasitic infections or autoimmune problems such as inflammatory bowel disease. Tuberculosis, Colon Cancer and enteritis can also lead to inflammatory diarrhea.

      Dysentery: If you find blood in your stool then it is not diarrhea, but dysentery. The blood is trace of an invasion of bowel tissue. Dysentery is caused by an excess of water by a release of antidiuretic hormone from the posterior pituitary gland.

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      What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?

      Diarrhea in both acute and severe condition is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. Frequent, loose, watery stools, abdominal cramps or pain, fever, blood in the stool and bloating are certain symptoms of diarrhea. Some people might have nausea and vomiting prior to diarrhea. Some infections like bacterial or parasite can lead to diarrhea. Fever is accompanied in such cases.

      Adults: Seek medical attention if your diarrhea persists for more than three day or you become dehydrated which is evidenced by excessive thirst and dry mouth. Also if you witness little or colored urination, bloody or black stools, severe abdominal or rectal pain, and temperature of more than 102 F.

      Children: Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration in children. Seek immediate medical attention if you baby hasn’t had a wet diaper in three or more hours, has a fever of more than 102 F, has bloody or black stools, if the baby is sleepy, drowsy, unresponsive or irritable and if the skin doesn’t flatten if pinched and released.

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      What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Diarrhea?

      Report your doctor on the symptoms of diarrhea. Also keep him informed about over-the-counter medications you are taking for other medical conditions. Diagnosis of diarrhea is done through physical examination. Your doctor will examine your abdomen with a stethoscope and may perform a rectal exam. He/She might also suggest blood or stool test to check for signs of infection or other abnormalities.

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      What Are the Treatments Available for Diarrhea?

      Generally diarrheas clear on their own within few days without treatment. The body gets rid of toxins in a natural way and hence don’t use any suppressants within few hours. This might lead to serious complications. If you seek medical attention, your doctor is likely to advise some tips to replace the fluids and salts lost during diarrhea. For instance, you will be asked to take electrolyte mixture, which restores the electrolyte imbalance caused by diarrhea. Children and elderly have the risk of developing dehydration, hence consume lot of fluids. Traditional treatment includes a balance of liquid, nutrients and medication. There are plenty of over-the-counter medications for diarrhea. Most doctors suggest staying away from these medicines unless diarrhea persists for more than 3 days.

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      How Do You Cope Up with Diarrhea?

      You are not alone. Diarrhea affects almost all individuals at one point of time in their life. Diarrhea is treatable provided proper medical attention is given at the right time. Use these tips to cope with diarrhea
      • Drink plenty of liquids like fruit juices, sports drinks, broth and teas. This will help you stay away from dehydration.
      • Use electric heating pads or moist heat wraps to relieve pain, cramps or tenderness in the abdomen.
      • Avoid dairy products like milk, butter, cream and eggs during diarrhea. This makes your condition worse.
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      What Are the Ways to Prevent Diarrhea?

      There is no clear way that could prevent you from diarrhea. However you could follow some tips that would help you to in certain ways.
      • Prevent the spread of viral diarrhea by washing your hands often, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating. Teach your children as well.
      • Teach children to not put objects in their mouth.
      • Use pasteurized dairy products.
      • Serve food immediately after cooked or refrigerate it. Leaving it in the room temperature can encourage bacteria.
      • When taking antibiotics, try eating food with Lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy bacteria. This helps replenish the good bacteria that antibiotics can kill. Yogurt with active or live cultures is a good source of this bacterium.
      • To avoid traveler’s diarrhea, use bottled water and don’t use ice. Eat uncooked vegetables and do not eat raw shellfish or undercooked meat.
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      Medications for Diarrhea Available at InternationalDrugMart.com

      We, at www.internationaldrugmart.com, supply a wide range of medicines to treat Diarrhea, which you can buy online and make incredible savings!
      Prescription Medications for Diarrhea at InternationalDrugMart.com
      Imodium (Loperamide) View All Other Medications >>

      Herbal Medication(s) for Diarrhea at InternationalDrugMart.com
      Diarex (DiarCare), Bael

      OTC Medication(s) for Diarrhea at InternationalDrugMart.com
      Bifilac, Eldoper, Electrobion Sachet, Metrogyl

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      Self Care

      Here are few simple, effective diarrhea self-care tips that can reduce diabetes breakouts and control future breakouts.
      • Drink plenty of fluids; this will help you stay away from dehydration.
      • Avoid lactase in your food; this would aggravate your diarrhea.
      • Give your child oral rehydration solution.
      • Avoid solid foods until the diarrhea goes away.

       

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