FIRST AID FOR DIARRHOEA
Diarrhoea will usually clear up without treatment after a few days, particularly if it’s caused by an infection.
In children, diarrhoea will usually pass within five to seven days and will rarely last longer than two weeks.
In adults, diarrhoea usually improves within two to four days, although some infections can last a week or more.
While waiting for your diarrhoea to pass, you can ease your symptoms by following the advice outlined below.
*It’s important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, particularly if you are also vomiting. Take small, frequent sips of water.
*Ideally, drink a lot of liquids that contain water, salt and sugar. Some examples include water mixed with juice, flavoured soda, and soup broth. If you are drinking enough fluids, your urine will be light yellow or almost clear.
*It’s also very important for babies and small children not to become dehydrated. Give your child frequent sips of water, even if they arevomiting.A small amount is better than none.Fruit juice or fizzy drinks should be avoided because they canmake diarrhoea worse in children.
If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby and they have diarrhoea, you should continue to feed them as normal.
Contact your doctor immediately if you or your child develop any symptoms of dehydration.
Opinion is divided over when and what you should eat if you have diarrhoea. However, most experts agree that you should eat solid food as soon as you feel able to. Eat small, light meals and avoid fatty or spicy foods. Good examples are potatoes, rice, bananas, soup and boiled vegetables. Salty foods help the most. You don’t need to eat if you’ve lost your appetite, but you should continue todrink fluids and eat as soon as you feel able to. Potassium is an important element for your body. It may be lost in large quantities through diarrhea. If you don’t have enough potassium, you may feel weak. When you have diarrhea, eat some foods high in potassium, such as ripe bananas, apricot or peach nectar, potatoes, fish and meat.
Home treatment can help you treat your diarrhea and avoid other related problems, such as dehydration.
A.) Take frequent, small sips of water or are hydration drink and small bites of salty crackers.
B.) Try to increase your fluid intake to at least1 qt (1 L) per hour for 1 to 2 hours, or longer if you keep having large amounts of diarrhea.Note: If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
C.) Begin eating mild foods the next day or sooner, depending on how you feel.
D.) Avoid spicy foods, fruits, alcohol, and caffeine until 48 hours after all symptoms have disappeared.
E.) Avoid chewing gum that contains sorbitol.
F.) Avoid milk for 3 days after symptoms disappear. You can eat cheese or yogurt with probiotics.
Non prescription medicines for diarrhea.
If your child is dehydrated, do not give them any solid food until they have drunk enough fluids. Once they have stopped showing signs of dehydration, they can start eating their normal diet.
If your child is not dehydrated, offer them their normal diet. If they refuse to eat, continue to give themfluids and wait until their appetite returns.
Oral rehydration solutions (ORS)
Rehydrationsolutions usually come in sachets availablefrom your local pharmacist without a prescription. They are dissolvedin water and replace salt, glucose and other important minerals that are lost if you are dehydrated.The “Simple Solution” – Home made Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) Recipe
Preparing 1 (one) Litre solution using Salt, Sugar and Water at Home:
Mix an oral rehydration solution using the following recipe. Ingredients:
1.) Six (6) level teaspoons of Sugar
2.) Half (1/2) level teaspoon of Salt
3.). One Litre of clean drinking or boiled water and then cooled – 5 cupfuls (each cup about 200 ml.)
Stir the mixture till the salt and sugar dissolve.
Effective homemade remedy for watery diarrhea
An efficient and effective homemade remedy to be used when watery diarrhea strikes and is a good substitute for oral rehydration salts:
1.) 1/2 to 1 cup precooked baby rice cereal or 1½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
2.) 2 cups of water
2.) 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix well the rice cereal (or sugar), water, and salt together until the mixture thickens but is not too thick to drink. Give the mixture often by spoon and offer the child as much as he or she will accept (every minute if the child will take it). Continue giving the mixture with the goal of replacing the fluid lost: one cup lost, give a cup. Even if the child is vomiting, the mixture can be offered in small amounts (2-1 tsp.) every few minutes or so.
Banana or other non-sweetened mashed fruit can help provide potassium.
Continue feeding children when they are sick and to continue breast feeding if the child is being breast fed.
Treatment with antibioticsis not recommended for diarrhoea if the cause is unknown. This is because antibiotics will not work if the diarrhoea is caused by a virus can cause unpleasant side effects can become less effective at treating more serious conditions if they are repeatedly used to treat mild conditions.
Antibiotics may be recommended if you have severe diarrhoea and a specific type of bacteria has been identified as the cause.
They may also be used if you have an underlying health problem, such as a weakened immune system.
Nonprescription medicines may be helpful in treating your diarrhea. Follow these tips when taking a nonprescription medicine for diarrhea:
1.) Use non prescription anti diarrheal medicine if you have diarrhea for longer than 6 hours. Do not use non prescription antidiarrheal medicines if you have bloody diarrhea, a high fever, or other signs of serious illness.
Read and follow all label directions on the non prescription medicine bottle or box. Be sure to take the recommended dose.
Long-term use of nonprescription antidiarrheal medicine is not recommended. To avoid constipation, stop taking antidiarrheal medicines as soon as stools thicken.
If your child or teen gets chicken pox or flu, do not treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medicines that contain bismuth subsalicylate (such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate). Subsalicylate has been linked toReye syndrome, a rare but serious illness. If your child has taken this kind of medicine and he or she has changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting, call your doctor. These symptoms could be an early sign of Reye syndrome.
There are several types of antidiarrheal medicines:
1.) Those that absorb water and thicken the stool, and
2.) Those that slow intestinal spasms.
Hope i’ve been able to throw a fair amount of light over the topic “Diarrhea”, so whenever you get the runnies, you don’t get off totally clueless as to how to handle yourself.
The author Prince
Hi, I’m Prince.. a registered Dietitian, an avid reader and a passionate writer. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them