Diarrhea is a condition of having three or above liquid or loose bowel movements per day. It is an increase with respect to the volume, water content as well as frequency of bowel movements. Diarrhea is often accompanied by fever or abdominal cramps. It is the most common cause resulting in death in the developing countries as well as the second most common reason of infant deaths globally. Diarrhea can either be acute or chronic. The former lasts from a few days to a week whereas the latter lasts for over three weeks. As per World Health Organization (WHO), each year about 3.5 million deaths occurs due to diarrhea of which 80% occur in children who are under 5 years of age. Children are more vulnerable to this disease compared to adults as smaller amount of loss of fluids leads to dehydration.
Causes and symptoms of diarrhea
It is difficult to discover the exact cause of diarrhea. Sometimes it is caused by stomach or intestinal infection. However it can also result from lactose intolerance (inability of digesting milk products), food intolerance, diseases affecting the stomach, colon, or small intestine. It can also be caused due to parasites, fungi, bacteria or viruses, problems associated with the pancreas, emotional stress, certain medicines, rapid passage of the stool via the intestine, reduced fluid absorption from the intestine or increased fluid secretion into the intestine.
Symptoms of diarrhea:
Few people may pass slight watery stools accompanied by brief periods of stomach aches while there may be others who may pass extreme watery stools accompanied by severe stomach cramping. Some of the most common diarrhea symptoms include:
If the diarrhea is severe or lasts longer, doctors recommend several diagnostic tests for diarrhea which includes physical examination and medical history, stool culture, blood tests, fasting tests, Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy. Often the only treatment for diarrhea is to replace lost fluids as well as electrolytes for preventing dehydration.
Generic Alinia (Nitazoxanide) : is a prescription medicine used for treating diarrhea occurring from definite intestinal parasitic infections such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum which are also sometimes referred as travelers' diarrhea. This antiprotozoal agent is used for treating diarrhea in both adults as well as children. It functions by killing the parasites in the intestine which causes diarrhea and in turn eliminates it.
Precaution: this medicine should be taken with caution if:
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